The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Co-Captains of Team Cray-Cray

By Reilly Pruitt

Friends since day one, Kate Fahje and Marisa Raether immediately bonded over volleyball, the Olympics, and the perks of being taller than the average Macalester guy. The two claim to have had only one real fight, even during the summer they shared an apartment and a bed. Though graduation will take them as far apart as Russia and Washington D.C., there’s no denying that someday they will find themselves in the same city, reunited once again.Why did you decide to come to Macalester?

KF: For me it was between here and University of Wisconsin. I came and stayed overnight here and really liked it. It’s a pretty typical story. If I had gone to Madison I think I would have stayed friends with the people I knew from high school. It’s just a totally different social scene, at a big school. I mean, everything would have been different. I’m really happy with the decision, though. The stories you leave here with are really.special.

MR: For me it was a really random decision. I’m from California, and no one from home had ever heard of Macalester. My dad is from Minnesota and he suggested that I apply here. And yeah, I didn’t get into any of my top choices. So I decided to come visit this random place. It was either here or Berkley and I thought, “what the hell?”

How do you think your collegiate experience would have been different had you opted for a larger state school?

MR: Had I gone to Berkley or UCLA I would have been in a sorority, just as a way to meet people. But I don’t know? I mean the volleyball team here, all the sports teams, really, they are pretty much Macalester’s equivalent to the Greek life. I definitely wouldn’t have chosen the major I did, I probably would have gone with something like journalism. It worked out for me here. I love to gossip and know who people are. Within the first two weeks I knew who everyone was and who was hooking up with whom.
KF: I don’t know if I would go that far. I love recognizing people and seeing friendly faces.

Was volleyball how you two became such good friends?

KF: There were nine of us coming on to the team as freshman, and those are the first nine people we met. It was the summer of the Olympics, so during our breaks from practice we would all sit together and watch them in the Dupre lounge. A lot of bonding happened there. It was very high school.
MR: Yeah, and the football team all lived in Dupre and would sit in the lounge with us and play card games. And Fahje made me laugh right away. I remember the first time she made me laugh. Someone said that speed walking was a sport in the Olympics, and Fahje just stood up and demonstrated speed-walked. I knew then she was it.

Can you explain a little bit about the volleyball culture?

MR: I feel like a lot depends on the older girls on the team. The girls who were seniors our freshman year really made an effort to host lots of events and get the team to bond. We really wanted the freshman this year to have the type of experience we had.
KF: Yeah, this year we spent a lot of time in the Macalester vans. The locker room has a lot of dance parties, too. It’s funny to see the younger kids now. We definitely see ourselves in them.

How did you acquire the nickname Faj?

KF: My last name is spelled in an interesting way. It’s actually pronounced Fay. When I got to Macalester there were three “Kates” on the team. Our coach had a contest with who could come up with the best nickname for me because I was a freshman. They were like “FAY! And it looks like FAHJA from Austin Powers.” It then got shortened to Faj. And now its spread around pretty the whole campus. People who I have been friends with here for years will be like, “who’s Kate Fay? Oh, Faj.”

MR: Yeah I don’t think I will ever call her Kate.

Marisa, you came from a big family, what was it like growing up?

MR: I have five sisters and two brothers, so I am one of eight. I think it explains my ridiculous personality to a large extent. As long as I can remember, I had two or thee other kids around me. My mom is this ridiculous European woman, and my dad was this in-your-face guy who always loved to gossip. I’m the second oldest and it’s just funny to see how much my parents mellowed-out in their middle age.

Being from California, was it hard to adjust to the climate here?

KF: I think I took her shopping for her first winter coat.

MR: I remember walking into her room and seeing her closet and thinking, “you have so many sweaters.” I felt so inferior. I still don’t know how to dress for the winter. The winter is just ugly season for me; I don’t know how people look cute in the winter.

Tell us about the “Hottie Police”. How do you regulate?

MR: Ok, well the Hottie Police purse was given to me by my older sister, who knows how much I love everything sparkly tacky. She went into this store and saw this bag that was shaped as a police badge with “Hottie Police” written in glitter. And so she knew that I must have it. When I went to visit her she pulled it out of my closet and gave it to me. I’ve been wearing it ever since.

KF: It really embodies Marisa and who she is. She called me the day she got it, and I had a clear picture immediately. I believed her when she said she would wear it everyday. Even in Mexico over spring break she broke it out, but I think it was lost in translation. She has been talking about making citations.
MR: I’m not sure that it translated very well. But yeah, it’s a great conversation piece. I haven’t actually regulated yet. I’m going to make citations for sure, and throw them people at some party. “You’re too sexy, you’re not sexy enough.” It’s a one-woman force. I don’t know am I?

Macalester has a relatively short student body. What’s it like being taller than most?

KF: It’s something I have always dealt with. I have always been tall. Initially it wasn’t a very big deal, being friends with volleyball team. Then during the ever-eventful Summer 2006 we became friend with the babies, Jill and Megan. I am over a foot taller than Jill.
MR: When I was younger I always wanted to be short. I wanted to be the cute short girl, but I knew I would always be the tall girl with big feet.

KF: I definitely think people here are smaller than I’m used. Most aren’t Midwestern. I have good Scandinavian stock. But it does come with perks. A guy at Little Caesars calls me “a tall drink of water”, and you can always reach things on the top shelf
MR: A man at Cheapo Discs once told me I had legs for days. There are for sure perks.

You lived together last summer, what was your living arrangement like?

KF: Well we came back to St. Paul from being abroad and we had no money. Literally, no money. So we were subletting our friend’s apartment and she had a queen bed. Originally we were going to move another one in, but that never materialized. So we shared the queen bed. It’s just funny because I never thought anything of it. Neither did our friends.

What about in the case of a fight? Someone move to the couch?

MR: We never fought. Ever. We’ve had fake fights, but never real fights.

KF: Yeah, we have had like one fight and it lasted all of two hours.

Do you have any post-graduation plans?

KF: I got an Americorps job in Washington D.C. I will be working in schools with AIDS education and literacy. It starts at the end of August and lasts for ten months.
MR: I just got into a summer program in Russia, so I am going there for two months, and then I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing after. I’m doing a program through the state department. There is a set of languages that the state has recognized as critical languages, and we educate people in these languages. So after that I may move to Moscow or maybe back to LA.
KF: You might come to DC and live in my bed

Are you guys nervous about being apart?

KF: It’s going to be hard. When we went abroad I remember the first time she texted me I think I screamed out loud.
Yes! I had to go visit her in Copenhagen because I was loosing my mind in St. Petersburg because I had no friends who understood me.

Describe your best memory from Macalester.

MR: I think the night last year when we beat Carleton at Carleton. We made these shirts that said “Cuck Farleton” and we won. We were so pumped. After there was a party at the baseball house and we went over there and sang country songs and just hung out with all of our friends.

KF: I would have to say my favorite Marisa/Fahje moment, without giving too much detail, was freshman year. It was a Sunday morning involving a trip to the hardware store for some Draino and some underwear in a tree. And I will always hold a place for Summer 2006.

What legacy would you like to leave at Macalester?

MR: Well, we are both definitely going to be inducted into the volleyball hall of fame. Also the SAAC Ball, which is sponsored by Student Athletic Advisory Committee, which I am the president of. It’s going to be a formal dance, but nineties themed. There will be a king and queen. April 12 is the date, as long as the budget gets approved. It will be quite the event
KF: I think Hottie Police speaks for itself.
MR: Duh.

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