The Mac Weekly: So should we start with an icebreaker?
Fernanda Canessa: What kind? We’re OLs. We know icebreakers. Give us one.
TMW: Pelvis ball?
FC: No, that’s so awkward.
Sarah Olander: That’s very visual and this is a written audio thing, so.
TMW: I don’t know whether people actually enjoy icebreakers ever.
SO: They enjoy ones like Ninja. Unless they are people who don’t like running around, in which case they
just hate everything.
FC: I think a lot of people like Ninja and Wah. That might just be me too. The question ball ones also. Henry’s question ball last year was really good.
TMW: What were your question ball questions?
Henry Fremont: I don’t remember. They were fine. They were normal.
FC: What does normal mean?
HF: Yeah, normal is a construct.
TMW: We don’t have to do any icebreakers.
FC: We did icebreakers for like two weeks for the past three years.
SO: That’s enough of that.
FC: That’s more than enough.
TMW: What would you say your High, Low, and Glitter of being a senior OL was?
FC: F— the glitter! I’m sorry, f— the glitter!
SO: My orientees were awesome this year. That was a glitter / a high.
FC: That’s what I’m saying. What is the difference between a glitter and a high?
SO: Not that I was surprised that my orientees were awesome – you OK Henry?
HF: I can’t think of a glitter. I’m lost in thought here. It’s turning to autumn. It’s a beautiful time.
FC: With your Smart Wool socks.
HF: Aren’t I hip?
FC: No. Sarah, what were you saying again?
SO: Not that I was surprised that my orientees were great – they’re always great – but it was surprising to me that I still got stuff out of them as a three-year OL, that they still improved my experience at Macalester.
TMW: Do you guys still hang out with your old orientees?
SO: Some of them.
HF: None of them from this year, but from past years, yeah. Tom [Wakin ’16] and Bailey [Polonski ’16] were my orientees. And Rothin [Datta ’16]. Everything Rothin accomplishes is because of me.
TMW: Well, you’re gonna go on the record as saying that.
HF: Well, I’ve said it a lot. He promised me a shout out in his speech and then he didn’t do it. That was my low of orientation this year.
TMW: Do you guys have any favorite memories of being an OL? Or favorite memories from Camp Friendship? Otherwise known as Camp French Dip.
FC: I think that’s probably it.
HF: When your orientees, if your orientees become OLs, that’s great. Especially if you’re an OL with them later, that feels really good and is really fun.
FC: That’s a glitter.
SO: I’ve had three of my previous orientees be OLs and I think a couple of them from this year are going to do it next year.
FC: I was going to add on to that I think it’s just a ton of fun for us, for the orientation leaders to get together and get know each other. Even though we’ve done this for the past three years, like all the sophomore class I only knew like two of them, so it’s really nice to get to meet other people.
SO: I met a few seniors that I didn’t know before.
HF: There was a great senior contingent. I loved it.
TMW: What’s changed over the years, other than the fact that now we don’t maul first years as they come into Welcome to Your Life @ Mac?
HF: We made everything a lot more efficient, I thought. The coordinators this year had the training planned really well.
SO: It’s gotten tighter, more efficient.
TMW: What would you suggest they change, if anything, at this point?
SO: I think the themes need to be incorporated a little better. They kind of just said “millennials,” and then…
FC: I think 90s is really fun and 80s is really fun, but the thing with millennials is it’s still now. For the Kagin it was really hard to figure out how to dress and the only thing I could do is Lizzie McGuire type stuff, and Britney Spears. But it’s like, how do you do that? Some people just wear Uggs still normally.
TMW: Do you still wear Uggs?
FC: No, I have other ones though that are called Wombats.
SO: That’s the same thing.
FC: These ones are made in Australia.
FC: I’m also going to add on snacks this year I felt sometimes were good, sometimes weren’t.
SO: There were Sour Patch Kids which I personally rediscovered and have since bought multiple bags of post-orientation.
HF: I would’ve bought different things, but everyone’s different. I want fruit snacks and anything salty. Cheez-Its, pretzels, anything there. But I want fruit snacks too. That’s my personal preference. No liquids. Go to the water fountain.
TMW: Rapid fire round. What are your word associations with the word Orientation?
TMW: What sort of OLs are you guys?
SO: I think that all OLs have to be a hybrid of peppy and energetic, but also of “I’m here if you need me to be not crazy.” That’s what I strive for.
FC: I like to go with the flow of it. Flexibility. I’m flexible.
SO: I would encourage everyone who’s ever thought about doing something like being an orientation leader but thought that they would be too shy to do it, just to apply anyway. Because I thought that I would be too shy to do it, because that’s just my personality type, being quiet, but I think it’s good to have a mix of people who are loud and extroverted and people who are more introverted.
FC: Like us three right now.
HF: I was very relaxed. I wouldn’t consider myself peppy with my group.
FC: I think Welcome to Your Life @ Mac kind of describesthe height of the pep – or just energy – cuz you have to be super energetic at that time when we greet the first years coming in. You just have to be happy to see them, and especially you have to be in a good mood when you go to your OL groups, but aside from that you can just roll with the punches.
SO: Well, Welcome to Your Life @ Mac’s crazy because it’s so high, high, high energy and then it ends with something so serious. I think that really describes the range of being an Orientation Leader.
TMW: What were your OLs like when you were first years?
SO: Mine was very low-energy and I think that was hard because he didn’t have another co-Orientation Leader with him, so whenever we wanted to do things he was kind of just like uhhh, mhmm…He gave a lot of advice that I found helpful, concrete advice on what things were happening, why you should do some things and not do other things.
HF: I had two really awesome OLs. Phoebe Marcus and Courtney Olson, who were both friends, so that was really fun. They were friends and they were both really friendly and had a lot fun. I’m still friends with a lot of my orientation group.
FC: My OL was super energetic—it was Harry Kent, if you remember him. He was really cool. I think the best part for me though was seeing him out of the OL role because I just realized he was a really cool guy. Being an OL is just one of those things where you have a lot of passions and you can be serious about other things but at the same time you’re also excited about this. It was nice for me to see him outside of that role, to see that he’s not just this crazy person who likes making us crawl on all fours and run into each other.
TMW: Want to explain that?
FC: Miniature tanks!
SO: How have I never heard of that?
FC: It’s just like…what the f—? You go on all fours and are like [adopts robot voice]: ‘miniature tank, miniature tank.’ And when you run into someone, you go on your back and have to keep your arms and hands [in the air.]
TMW: What does that accomplish?
SO: I feel like that’s not tanks, that’s like turtles.
FC: Well, you’re supposed to be a tank because I guess you bulldoze people.
SO: I just don’t understand.
TMW: Last one. Rapid fire: most memorable moments of being an OL.
FC: Which year?
TMW: All of them.
FC: That’s impossible.
TMW: This is not very rapid fire.
SO: This is not a rapid fire question.
HF: The beach balls. They’re so fun.
SO: Bonding? Making new friends. All three years.
FC: Yeah, hugs.
SO: Meeting people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
HF: I like how the group of orientation leaders has people from all over.
FC: We had a lot more athletes this year, which I thought was really good.
HF: Everyone’s really cool. It’s like a window into all awesome people. I mean, everyone’s awesome at Mac.
FC: I think we’re more representative of the Mac population this year and diverse, which was nice.
HF: I’d agree with that.
SO: Yeah, this was maybe—I’ve loved every year of being an OL, all the people in it—but this year was maybe the best in terms of getting a wide range, in terms of everyone knowing everyone despite the fact that we’re such a huge group. I feel like we all commingled even better than usual.
TMW: We haven’t talked enough about Suresh.
SO: We haven’t talked at all about Suresh. Suresh’s dance moves made Orientation.
FC: We should shout out to James [Lindgren ’15].
SO: Shout out to James, who was technically a three-year OL.
FC: But not really because he was a coordinator. He went to the dark but good side.