Each week, we randomly select a unix from a list of all current college students for our One in Two Thousand feature. As long as the owner of a selected unix is ready to be interviewed and is not a member of the Save badvice, this person becomes the subject of our interview. This week the computer (using an R script) chose Maddy Andersen ’25, who spoke about the crew team, friendship bracelets and almost Halloween debacles. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Shizah Kashif (SK): How has your morning been so far?
Maddy Andersen (MA): It was nice. I woke up, then I went down to Goodrich’s, just had a coffee and a bagel, and got ready for this interview.
SK: Go-to Goodrich order?
MA: I like a plain bagel with chive cream cheese and then an oat milk and caramel iced latte.
SK: It looks wonderful. Also, you mentioned earlier that you had a stroke yesterday. Tell me more about it.
MA: Yeah! This fall I joined the crew, which was super exciting. I didn’t play sports in high school and I was like, “I’m just going to mix it all up completely, do something totally different in college and in Williams.” And so, I decided to join the crew team. My two WOOLFs [Williams Outdoor Orientation for Living as First-years] the chefs were in the crew [and] another girl in my hall was joining, so that rings true[ed] as if there were a lot of forces pushing me towards this. This whole season has been really exciting, learn[ing] do something completely new from scratch. Like, I didn’t know how to row or do occupational therapy, and now I know how to do those two things.
SK: It’s really exciting. I have heard that you are also a huge fan of the outdoors.
MA: I’m from Brooklyn, but a lot of my dad’s family live in Vermont, and I went to summer camp and worked at a summer camp in the upstate. from New York. So I spent a lot of time outside hiking and swimming. It was really nice, in terms of the crew, to have the chance to get out of campus every day. We go to Onota Lake every day, about 30 minutes away. Recently the sun went down while we were out on the water, and it is just beautiful. Our trainer sometimes asks us to take those “nature moments”, where you just stop and really look around – watch the sunset or the mountains and gaze at the Purple Valley. I think one of the things I love about being here in Williams is all the opportunities to go out and hike, whether with WOOLF or Mountain Day – I did too WOC hikes. I used to live in the city, which I like too, but it was kinda cool to have this moment to be connected and in nature. I really appreciate it.
SK: I like it for you. I also noticed that you are wearing a lot of bracelets at the moment. What’s the story there?
MA: Yeah, I have a ton of friendship bracelets on my wrist, which I’ve had for a long, long time. Some of them that I’ve had since, like 2015, which is kinda crazy. People usually ask, “Oh, do you do them? And I made a few, but a lot of them are freebies. I did a lot for my campers and friends and then, in return, they kind of did it for me. During the pandemic, when I wasn’t at camp, it was really fun doing them because they provided that feeling of connection. I would do them by listening to my online lessons and all that. I like it a lot, but more generally I think it’s just a really fun way to be creative and have a little memory of summer with you throughout the year. I get a lot of compliments on them because I don’t take them off and they are quite visible.
SK: They are really pretty. It’s a lot of summers on your wrist right there. But let’s get out of summer for a moment: Halloweekend. How was it? What was your disguise?
MA: So, I went there as a cowgirl, with a cow print dress and a cow print hat. Classic first year costume at William’s, you know. I ordered my dress from Target,… but ordered it well in advance because I knew there were a lot of shipping crises that I didn’t want to be involved in. So I got an email saying it had been delivered, but I never got an email from the mailroom and it wasn’t in my mailbox at all. And then I checked the UPS tracking order, and it said my order had been returned to sender.
MA: Yeah, which was pretty awful. I spent a Friday afternoon trying to track this package. The mailroom didn’t know where it was. UPS no longer had any tracking on it. The post office either. I finally called Target and they said, “Oh, the post office is sending it back to you”, but later that day they refunded me. So ultimately I had to rearrange the dress. But everything went well, despite the fact that I had to place a new order. I got a lot of compliments, and I’m glad it worked out. I also had costumes to match some of my friends – we were all kinds of variations on the cowgirl theme. So, it was really fun to be able to participate in Halloweekend in the way that I initially wanted.
SK: I’m really glad it worked for you. It’s a bit of a change of tone, but I heard that you were also really involved in the Shabbat dinners on campus?
MA: Yeah. I am Jewish and have been very involved in my Hebrew school and in my community in high school, from kindergarten to 12th grade. Most people stop by after their bar or bat mitzvah, but my class was really, really close. And so we kept on going [to Hebrew school]. Throughout high school, we took a lot of trips together. We’ve been to Israel and we’ve been to the southern United States as well. We went to Washington, DC to learn how to lobby, and then we also went to Poland and Germany to learn more about life before, after and during the Holocaust in Europe. So I was very connected to my synagogue and also sat on the board of the youth group in my synagogue to plan events.
Coming to Williams I always wanted to be connected to some extent so I go to Shabbat dinners as much as possible just because I think it’s really nice to spend a Friday night with other people who are also Jewish. . I don’t think that’s necessarily the same connection I had with the people at my Hebrew school – which is understandable because I had known them from kindergarten – and I’m still entering the Jewish community here. , but it’s good . I also have a Jewish “big brother”. I just had coffee with her, which was really lovely. And Rabbi Seth Wax actually knows my rabbi from home, so that’s a really good connection. I haven’t done a ton outside of Shabbat, but it’s nice to sit down for a meal, see people week after week, and feel connected at Williams.
SK: It sounds lovely. How was your trip to Israel? I am really curious.
MA: It was in eighth grade. And so, that was a long time ago, and I wasn’t fully aware of all of the dynamics that were present in the conversation about the country. I think it was really interesting, but it led to a lot of conversations within my group about what this trip was like: what does it mean we can go on a trip to Israel in eighth grade, and what about the whole conflict? I think it was very interesting to have been there. But I don’t think I was fully aware of all the nuances back then. And I think it’s been pretty good to be able to think about it since then.
SK: Here’s one for the clichés: What’s your story for Williams?
MA: My dad grew up in Massachusetts and he did track and field in high school. Because he was in Massachusetts, he was trying to be recruited by Williams, and they even came to see him run several times. He applied to six schools, because that’s what you could do at the time, and he actually signed up five and was on the waiting list in one – and the one where he was on the waiting list. was Williams. So, it’s very funny being at Williams. When I walked in he said, “This is my redemption bow, 30 years later, my revenge story!”