Last Call: Chelsea Garber

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.

Then + Now

People might know me as… captain of the rugby team, original short-haired Chattertock, Econ 11 TA

Lorena’s QuestionIf you got the chance to do one thing over from your Brown experience, what would it be? If I could do Brown again, I would do it with a trademark. Some people on campus are just huge characters, you know? My preliminary idea is running everywhere in moon boots, but I’d worry that the tread would wear down too quickly, so I’ll have to think on it…

You play women’s rugby. What’s the worst injury you’ve ever gotten? In March of my junior year I shattered my nose on a teammate’s/opponent’s knee/head. (Even after careful film review, it’s unclear exactly what went down). But I had my nose reconstructed and had four-inch splints sewn through my septum. It was looking great after recovery, and I even joked that the “excuse for a nose job” made my nose look better than ever. But then I broke it again in January at All-American camp and have had some minor fractures since then so now it is forever crooked.

What is something about rugby that you’d never know unless you played it? How empowering it is. Most spectators just see rugby as an 80-minute brawl, or as my dad said once, as the barbarian version of soccer. But there is something so beautiful and primal about the physicality, that someone has to physically take me down to stop me from scoring. Also, rugby is the ultimate team sport. We literally sacrifice our bodies for each other on the pitch, and that creates a bond that is truly unmatched. 

What have you arranged from your time with the Chattertocks? I’ve arranged three songs — “Somebody More Like You” by Nickel Creek, “My Eyes Get Misty” by Girlyman, and the “Sparks Fly/Teenage Dream” mash-up by TSwizzle and Katy Perry.

What’s your favorite part about a cappella? Every year in the last week or two of winter break the Chattertocks go on tour. We’ve been all over the east coast and New England and it is always the best of times — hanging out with best friends literally 24/7 and singing at high schools, colleges, Brown clubs, hookah bars, pizza places, subways… just about anywhere.

Favorite memory from the intergalactic community of a cappella midnight meeting? Midnight meeting is always epic. One year I took a personal mini-keg of Newcastle Ale to midnight meeting… from what I recall, that was a pretty awesome night. (I’m not an MPC)

On a Friday night, you might find yourself… Saturday’s a rugby day, so my Friday nights are pretty calm. We have rugby practice on Friday afternoons followed by team dinner at the Ratty, then I usually retire to my apartment to watch rugby and hydrate for the next day’s match.

In my time at Brown I am most proud of… the tremendous success of this year’s rugby team, and my improved leadership. We returned only seven out of fifteen starters from last year’s national play-off matches and we expected this year to be a rebuilding year, but we have exceeded all expectations. We’re a better team than ever, and I think I’m a better captain than I was last year as well. In our spring break trip to Scotland, we played the best rugby match I’ve ever witnessed against the top-ranked Scottish women’s team, and last weekend at Sweet Sixteens in Mobile, Alabama, we beat the University of North Carolina 62-5 and the University of Virginia 38-10. We will be playing in the National Semi-Finals against Stanford on May 11. (Shameless plug… to support our road to Nationals, please visit:

The best class/professor at Brown is… tough call, but I’d have to go with Econ1390: “Research Methods for Economists” taught by Anna Aizer. I’m a huge econ nerd, so I loved reading journal articles and working on my thesis proposal, and Professor Aizer is brilliant and has given me some really solid advice for my academic career.

Three things you wish you knew freshman year? Nobody likes a cocky freshman. Good friends are more important than girlfriends. Everyone expects you to make mistakes so don’t beat yourself up over them.

Ratty vs. V-dub… Ratty

Three things you wish you had done? The only thing I can think of is that I wish I had taken a religious studies class. I always meant to, but it never worked out.

After graduation, you plan to… Starting in August I will be working for John Donohue, an economist at Stanford Law School who has coauthored articles with the guys from Freakonomics. He does really interesting work on crime and economics and it is going to be an incredible learning experience for me. After that, I hope to get my PhD in economics and then become a professor/rugby coach somewhere.

Who are you tagging next? Sami Horneff. We have been singing in the Chattertocks together for four years, and she is someone who I probably never would have met if it hadn’t been for a cappella but am so happy to call my friend. She is always so genuinely enthusiastic about everything and is also an incredibly capable and talented actor, singer, and student.

Next up: Sami Horneff
Chelsea’s Question(s): 1. What was the most rewarding part of Spring Awakening this semester?
2. Literally, what was the best day of your life ever?

Leave a Reply