Senior Spotlight: Matt and Ellen
Features, Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Matt and Ellen

The Mac Weekly sat down with MCSG Executives Matt Dehler and Ellen Washington to hear their opinions on Miley Cyrus, One Direction and pop culture in general.

Ellen Washington: We’re probably just going to have a conversation for half an hour, I hope that’s cool.

Perfect. How often are you guys together?

Matt Dehler '14 (left) and Ellen Washington '14 (right) snuggle on the couch.
Matt Dehler ’14 (left) and Ellen Washington ’14 (right) snuggle on the couch.

[both laugh]

Matt Dehler: How would you answer that question?

EW: Hours per day. I guess when I’m sick I don’t see Matt, and when he’s sick he doesn’t see me.

MD: A couple of hours every day.

EW: Sometimes I’ll stand at his desk and talk to him for hours.

MD: I work at Card Services.

EW: Well Saturdays neither of us really leave our houses. We’re homebodies.

MD: Even though I don’t really like my home, I stay there.

EW: I like my home, and my cat, and my roommate.

Why don’t you like your home?

MD: I don’t have a roommate.

EW: He lives in a studio… but a basement. I mean it’s a place to sleep and eat, but not much else. My place at least has big windows in the living space.

MD: My window looks out onto the driveway.

EW: You don’t even get to see grass.

MD: Nope. I see grass. There’s a little patch right before the driveway. It’s fine. It’s great.

EW: But yeah, we’re homebodies. I just get so burned out.

MD: Sleeping is the best. And watching Scandal.

EW: And eat a pint of ice cream.

MD: I did that!

EW: I know! And every time it’s because of my recommendation. “What should I do tonight?” You should go home, eat a a pint of ice cream and watch Scandal.

MD: And wine!

EW: Trader Joe’s has this $4 bottle called Green Fin. So good. I could just drink it like water… but not really.

Matt, I know you’re a Miley fan and Ellen you’re definitely not. Has she ever caused any tension between the two of you?

MD: We always argue about her but it’s always done in a productive way.

EW: I mean, we argue about a lot of things but we’re usually able to do it productively. But she’s the bane of my existence.

MD: But I think that since we’ve had a lot of similar roles in our college experience we’ve learned to effectively communicate with one another when we don’t see eye to eye. And we try not to be rude.

EW: But not with Miley. I’m straight up rude about that.

MD: Yeah, but that’s totally fair.

EW: Matt also gives me celebrity gossip that I don’t necessarily care about. Some of it I find interesting, but sometimes I just say “I don’t care.” I could definitely find a nicer way to say that.

MD: But I’m going to tell you anyways. I don’t care.

EW: So when I talk about YouTube or say that I’ve been on Tumblr for 6 hours…

MD: Yeah, I don’t want to hear about that. I mean you don’t do this too much, but when we get into Dr. Who territory. I’m just like, “No.”

EW: We can’t even talk about movies because I’m such a jerk. “Frozen,” blegh.

MD: I was indifferent to “Frozen.”

EW: And that was one of the only times we’ve ever agreed.

MD: In case it’s not figured out yet, I’m pretty into pop culture and I buy into a lot of things pretty easily.

EW: We both love pop culture.

MD: It’s just that we love different parts of pop culture.

EW: The fact that you haven’t sat down to listen to One Direction’s new album, Midnight Memories, kinda upsets me. I always reference stuff from it and you like One Direction!

MD: I’m a casual Directioner, though.

EW: I know! And I don’t know when I turned into not a casual One Directioner! But it happened, and it’s scary, and it’s real.

MD: In MCSG we actually have an official ranking of One Direction by hotness. It’s changed a couple of times. Harry has moved up! He used to be number 5.

EW: He’s the lead in so many songs on the new album!

Harry is actually the hottest, in my opinion.

MD & EW: WHOA! NO!

MD: Zayn and Liam are easily the most attractive people.

EW: Zayn is just a little angel I would just like to… hang out with. But they’re all under six feet tall, so let’s be honest.

What else do you guys bond over?

EW: We haven’t done this as much this semester as we did last semester, but going to Perkins late at night. That was something that I used to do with all my friends who’ve since graduated but I roped you into doing it.

MD: I loved doing that.

EW: We also used to go to Blue Door after MCSG meetings, but we don’t have that amount of time anymore.

MD: Or money.

EW: Yeah we’re both broke.

What are some other things you have in common?

EW: I think everybody knows that I’m bad at school. It’s a big part of my identity.

MD: Yeah, academics just aren’t my thing.

EW: Not learning because there’s a difference between academia and learning.

MD: I think we’re pretty good at the outside of the classroom aspects of school like leadership, being involved, community engagement. We bond over that too.

EW: Fun fact: Matt was my orientee and there is a long line of my orientees that will hopefully keep growing.

MD: Right now there are four generations of us.

EW: We were both coordinators and I’m hoping that one of my others will be too. We’re really into Orientation.

MD: Like REALLY into Orientation.

EW: Student affairs in general. Why can’t we just do that instead of homework?

MD: I am going to be doing that eventually.

What is that you’ll be doing?

MD: I’m going to grad school for Student Affairs in about a year. Maybe I’ll be like Robin someday.

EW: I would be afraid to compare myself to Robin.

MD: Oh no, never! I can’t compare myself to her.

EW: It would be like, “Maybe in a magical fairy land, someday I’ll be like Robin.”

MD: Yeah, no comparison for sure.

EW: Especially this year, after having her as my advisor, she’s just hit this level of supremitude. That’s not a word.

MD: I want it to be a word.

EW: Community is very important to us. Being on student government and being execs together has helped us bond way more than in the past. We have a lot of the same ideas about how we want to see things happen in our community, not necessarily any ideas about the outcomes.

MD: I’m all about the planning, but I’m more concerned about those plans being engaged throughout.

EW: We both take the long road to planning which we encourage others to do, but nobody else does. No, that’s not true. But I feel like sometimes we are obnoxious about it.

MD: This year there’s going to be a kind of passing of the torch. It’s sort of like an inauguration with the old execs of student government giving a mini speech and officially recognizing the new chair of their position.

EW: I just want there to be a sword involved, like a knighting. It should be celebratory and fun. It is a lot of work to be an exec and you’re not always going to get the recognition that you might think you will. So this might be one chance for the old leaders to recognize the new and also reflect on the accomplishments of the year.

MD: As one of the execs who is more visible and gets a lot of praise because of Program Board.

EW: FAC gets nothing!

MD: We plan a lot of events.

EW: So do we.

MD: Yeah, ok. But I’ve also chosen to be more visible. Not every chair has to be this visible. I wanted people to feel free to come to me with PB stuff.

EW: You’re so loud, and dramatic, and people want to talk to you.

MD: I am very dramatic. So true.

EW: It’s easier to talk to you than to just watch you be hyper. Your personality screams “Come engage with all this!”

MD: I’m really glad to hear that because that’s what I’m aiming for.

EW: Yeah it definitely doesn’t say, “Run away from this.”

MD: That being said, if I ever look like I’m saying “Run away from this” you probably should.

EW: He can be a real krabby patty. Oh and can I plug his recital? It’s next Saturday at 7:00pm.

MD: I’ll be exploring Queer themes in musical theater ranging from coming out to marriage equality.

What are you going to miss most about each other?

EW: Wait, we both just made the same noise.

MD: I think it’s going to be pretty hard because I don’t know who I’m going to meet in the future, so finding someone with such a compatible personality is going to be challenging. I probably wouldn’t have made it through senior year thus far if I didn’t have Ellen.

EW: I think we both know that we’re bad at long distance communication. So that sucks, but that also means that we can be apart and know that we love each other but not have to text everyday.

MD: I’m the kind of person who reconnects with people so fast, it’s like no time has passed since the last time I saw them.

EW: So even if we didn’t see each other until our next reunion, which would suck…

MD: No that won’t happen.

EW: Yeah, it most likely won’t happen, but if it did, it will feel like no time had passed.

MD: Agreed.

EW: We’d probably still argue about Miley Cyrus.

April 4, 2014

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