Last Call: Doreen St. Felix

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 2014 leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things they’ve been up to. To this end, we’re (re)starting the series Last Call, which features 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.

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Then + Now

People might know me as… The Girl With a Hoop Earring. My cumin addiction is big talk around town, too. Also, I spend a lot of time editing The College Hill Independentwhich was recently shortlisted for a Pulitzer. So that’s that. But if you want the real me, the serious, the unadulterated, the “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman” thing, check @dstfelix.

In my time at Brown, I am most proud of… Black Girls. That’s the title of my nonfiction thesis. It’s a collection of essays—about my mother, Lauryn Hill, Michelle Obama… there’s even a little thing about Lil Kim in there too. Why did people stop listening to her? And I’m most proud of black girls. The beautiful women walking around this campus, they make me proud to be a part of that sisterhood.

On a Friday night, you might find yourself… face down, ass up, in the downward dog position. I think it’s super important that one center oneself before engaging in any shishinou. That’s French. I also just made that word up. So after aligning my chakras, I love to just roll down to the west side on my bike, Isis, and find a dance party. 

The best class/professor at Brown is… the class you make outside of the classroom with your intelligent, wondering, and off-beat friends. 

Three things you wish you knew freshman year…

  1. Break up with your boyfriend. His French accent is no longer sexy.
  2. Quinoa is not the enemy.
  3. There’s no such thing as a “practical” class. By that, I mean, no one class can perfectly set up a student for post-college life in people like to euphemize as the “real world.” That Religion in Antiquity class is just as important as Econ 101 (is that even the number? I concentrated in English). To that end, getting off the Hill is just as important as sitting on the Faunce Steps. I wish I knew to go beyond Brown, physically, mentally.

Ratty vs. V-Dub?
I’m the girl who went off meal plan the day I began my sophomore year. But if I hadddddd to pick one—I’d choose death.

The best random thing you did in your time at Brown is… waking up early one morning freshman year to make oatmeal in my Woolley kitchen. This kid, Marc Briz, walked in. We started talking and haven’t stopped since. OH and last year I lived with six jock-y guys in this huge house on Lloyd. Random, but not the best.

One thing you wish you had done… I really regret never applying to be a BRYTE tutor.

After graduation, you plan to… Take off my cap and gown, maybe get a foot rub? My parents want to go to dinner, so probably that. Oh, and pictures! Hopefully I can get one “leaning in” with President Paxson 😉

What’s the hardest class you’ve taken at Brown? If you could do it over, would you still take it?
Classics of Political Economy. It was the hardest environment for me to be in. People would frame questions like, “Well, taking factors like gender out of the labor equation…” and that was very jarring. Maybe it’s a convention of the discipline but I’m not looking to take all of this womanness out of the equation.

You’ve written for several campus publications over your four years. What’s your favorite piece that you’ve written and why?
I think my favorite piece is a recent one I did for the Indy. It’s called “New Shit” and it’s about bacteriotherapy and fecal transplants but also about like, the human condition.

You’re known for being well-dressed. What’s your favorite item of clothing in your wardrobe? Why?
Thank you! Honestly, my Timberland boots. Brooklyn girls call them Tims. I love them because they make me feel industrious, like I could change your tire in a pinch. But I def can’t; I don’t even know how to drive.

One piece of advice for underclassmen?
Don’t talk to me.

Lindsay’s question: Describe a time when your parents were right about something and you were wrong, OR What’s the wisest thing your parents ever told you?
The Dalai Lama actually calls my mom for advice from time to time, so this is a great question for me. Whenever she catches me pouting or looking stank, my mom always says: “Fix your face.” I remind myself this all the time, to force myself out of wallowing or too much self-reflexivity because that can really get in the way of connecting to people.

Who are you tagging next? Marc Briz

Question for Marc: Deleuze or Diplo?

2 Comments

  1. Tom Bale '63

    Hello, Doreen,
    Your farewell comments were great fun. It is a gift to be so unafraid to let others know who you are. It took me 45 years after Brown to become unfettered over what other people think. You seem to have done it in 4. You like to swing with black girls, but I get a sense that doesn’t account for all the people in your wide-open stance. I’m asking you one more question: Do you have any thoughts about the place of the Center for Slavery and Justice on campus?

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