Last Call: Ralanda Nelson
As the semester progresses at the speed of light, the senior class is beginning to make peace with that fateful day in May: Commencement. Until the class of 2012 up and leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things the class has been up to. To this end, we are (re)starting a series, Last Call, featuring seniors reflecting on their experiences at Brown. Each featured senior will tag another senior for the next installment. Find this year’s other “Last Call” chain here.
People might know me as… UCS president, or an incredibly funny ball-buster.
Chantel’s question: Do you love this shit? Are you high right now? Do you ever get nervous? I absolutely love it; I’m high on life (my time at UCS is almost over!); all the time.
What was your highest moment as UCS president? There hasn’t been one defining high point, but it’s all the little moments, like when I’m humbled that people trust me to do a good job, or when people appreciate what I do.
And your lowest? Definitely the referendum aftermath [Note: the UCS-UFB referendum held last February]. There was a lot of strife among the students over the reasons for the referendum, and I was frustrated when people thought that UCS and myself would have any sort of motive other than doing the right thing for student groups. I thought people would trust me to do a good job. I’m not ashamed of what I did, but I realize the messaging and the timing should have been different. Although that’s never the kind of attention you want to bring, it did get people interested in UCS, and I still think if you strip out the messaging and the fearmongering, the amendment would be good for everyone.
On a scale of 1-10, how stressful is the job? 25. I wake up to 70 emails every morning! I’m expected to be a full-time student while also having the responsibilities of a “quasi-administrator.” At the same time, it’s always surprising to me when the students I tutor as a Meiklejohn are intimidated, because I feel like any other Brown student.
In my time at Brown, I am most proud of… My relationships and my friends. I cultivated a close group of tight-knit relationships that I am very proud of, especially since it has added to my Brown experience in so many ways and always challenges me. And that’s not exclusive to my peers, but also to faculty mentors and people of staff that I’ve been able to meet — they have all together made my Brown experience.
On a Friday night, you might find yourself… Probably sleeping… Or traveling in the US or abroad on behalf of Brown. One of the perks of the job is that, if you’re able to make time for it, there are lots of opportunities where you can represent the Brown student community at conferences with student leaders or meetings with influential leaders.
The best class/professor at Brown is… I can’t pick only one… Joseph Pucci and The Idea of Self in Classics [CLAS1120G], Tricia Rose and Hip Hop Music and Cultures [AFRI0880], Wendy Schiller and The American Presidency [POLS1130]— her final lecture is about you being a good person, doing whatever you want to do after you graduate. It’s incredible to hear someone say that here rather than the usual idea of pursuing a career or a goal, and it adds a human element to success.
Three things you wish you knew freshmen year… 1. Be myself, every single damn time. 2. You don’t have to worry too much about relationships that were meant to last. 3. Define yourself as an academic or a student before you allow extracurricular activities to define who you are, what you do… It took me 4 years to figure that out!
Ratty vs. V-Dub… At first I was all about the V-Dub, but it’s really just an illusion… Although the chefs are better, the V-Dub food is never better than its Ratty counterpart (especially the Cajun chicken pasta).
One thing you wish you had done… Sing more — everywhere, all the time. I used to do it in high school and I took a class with Dean Bergeron where I made a song, but I wish I had joined a performance group or a chorus. It’s my first passion, although politics is definitely a close second.
After graduation, you plan to… Live my bliss, and I’ll get back to you when I figure out what it is. I look forward to being off for a little while, not having too many responsibilities.
Who are you tagging next? Mark Sabbagh — I owe him one. (And I’ll leave it at that.)
Next up: Mark Sabbagh
Ralanda’s Question: Brown Bares, Spotted at Brown or Brown FML?