James Bond in GDD

By Liz Scholz

Although not all present at the beginning of the interview, the residents of GDD 327 resemble a relatively functional family with international multi-ethnic roots. Except for Cousins, the black sheep of the suite, who harbors a strong desire to realize his lifelong aspirations of becoming James Bond-a dream that can only become a reality upon his graduation from Macalester and the world-wide recognition of his hometown Edina as separate from South Minneapolis.
The suite is rich in geographic and disciplinary diversity. David Lopez of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is an Economics and Math major, Munadir Ahmed of Bangladesh is a Physics and Math major, Sarah Van Etten of Wisconsin is an Anthropology and Latin American Studies major, Zach Lazar of Mundelein, Ill., is an Environmental Studies and Political Science major and Collin Cousins of Edina, Minn., is a Sociology major.

The Mac Weekly: When and how did you guys meet and decide to live together?

MA: It was a sunny morning.

DL: Long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

MA: Well it was kind of random, because..

ZL: Well, me and David were roommates freshman year, just randomly assigned. And I met this kid [Lopez] because he was in my room one time.
DL: Muna would come over and hang out a lot in our room in Turck.

MA: You know, that whole international-American thing. We only hang out with international kids so I’d be in his room [Lopez’s], and I’d hate him [Lazar] because he’s American.

SVE: Muna and I were in the same first-year course. And so became pals first year.

MA: So basically I know everyone and no one else knew anyone else. Because I’m so popular.

DL: Not true!
SVE: Collin and I ski together.

MA: Collin and I were on the same soccer team freshman year.

SVE: Mambas!
DL: We were RAs together second year in Dupre.

ZL: And I lived in Dupre when they were RAs.

TMW: What has been your favorite part of your Macalester experience?

ZL: Well, meeting awesome people, like the people in this room right now. The international community. I mean, we have people in this room from all parts of the globe.

SVE: Mac is a lot about the people. I mean, obviously, classes, professors and stuff are important too, but people are.

ZL: The small community.

MA: You just grow up basically. I feel these four years are more important than your other years before that.

DL: And living away from home for the first time, without Mom and Dad. It’s such a new challenging experience.

TMW: So what have you learned about yourself?

DL: That I’m proudly capable of a lot more-reaching for a goal and doing something-than I sometimes think I am capable of.

ZL: I guess just learning where my interests lie, academically and in terms of where I want to go with the rest of my life.

SVE: I feel like a lot of the ways that I’ve changed through college have been very personal experiences and I guess that I’ve also gotten a lot better as an academic as far as really understanding what’s going on at this school.
MA: I feel like they’ve summed everything up, but. I think interacting with different people. Especially for, I don’t know about David, but for me because where I come from everyone is brown, and so, we’re all from the same culture so it’s very different coming here and meeting so many different people with different beliefs and so on.

DL: It’s true what Muna says. Even for me, from Malaysia, which is quite a multi-ethnic, multi-racial country, it’s still really different. Like, I’ve met people from almost everyone continent in the world and that has just given me such a broader prospective in so many different things. I’m really thankful for that.

MA: Oh yeah, and just so you know, we’re not offended if you call us brown.

TMW: What would you think Collin has learned in his time here?

DL, ZL: Women.

MA: Gravity.

DL: He fell off his bed.

ZL: He’s going to regret not being here.

SVE: I’m sure he’s learned lots of important things.

DL: Girls. Just put a spin on girls and that’ll probably summarize it.

ZL: Also weight-lifting.

SVE: He didn’t learn anything about that though.

MA: I think he’s learned a lot about himself and what he’s passionate about. To be honest.

ZL: Girls.

DL: I mean, they own the world!
MA: I mean. there’s a bigger set of things.

SVE: He’s raised a lot of interesting academic questions in the last year or so.

DL: Collin’s good in the sense that he just questions everything. He has such a curious mind that’s he’s never satisfied with something. He’s always looking at things from new dimensions.
MA: And his no-bullshit approach is really good.

TMW: Macalester has had a lot of changes recently, what is one thing you wish you could change back?

SVE: Well I’m glad the swings are back.

MA: The type of students is very different. I don’t see a Bunsuke or an Andre or like a Jay.

SVE: Or a Running Boy, or a Badger.

DL: Those guys are unique.

MA: We’re very different now, we’re becoming. I don’t know if it’s true, but I feel like there’s a lot more athletes now than there were when I came in. I have nothing against athletes, but they spend most of their time training and stuff. So I don’t really get to interact with them.

SVE: I would agree with that actually. That the student body does seem to have changed. I don’t know if I would’ve put that exact.

ZL: Oh! That philosopher’s circle! I mean it was kind of the way and didn’t serve any practical purpose, but it was aesthetically pleasing.
ZL, MA, SVE: They are, that’s true.

TMW: What are your after-Macalester plans?

ZL: I’m taking the LSAT, the GRE, eventually I’m doing a dual-degree program in environmental management, master’s degree, and a law degree. However, right after Macalester, kind of still up in the air.
DL: I’ll probably be going to grad school at some point. But if that doesn’t work out I’ll probably work maybe either in consulting, maybe banking, for a few years. Then go do a MBA.

CC: I think I’m going to go to Hollywood and become a firefighter.

MA: I thought you were going to backpack through Europe.

CC: Yeah but that’s not my goal. My goal is to be a firefighter.

SVE: One of those para-rescuer things.

CC: No, no. It’s called a smoke jumper, that’s where you jump out of the plane and into the fire. You want to know my serious post-graduation goals? It’s to become James Bond. Basically. Combination James Bond, Jason Borne, Ethan Hawke from Mission Impossible. No joke. That’s my post-graduation goal. Hopefully I can be anything I want to be.

SVE: I applied to the Peace Corps. That’s all I got right now. Other than that, I’m going to be a bum in my parents’ house.
MA: I’ll be a bum or be a crime-fighting assistant.

CC: He’ll be the Batman to my Wolverine.

TMW: Do you do anything to get yourselves off- campus and if so, what?

SVE: I mean, we all have friends. Believe it or not.

ZL: Outside of this room, too! We have friends that are not here! So go to other people’s houses.

DL: 401 used to be a big hit until they closed that down.

ZL: 401 Snelling.

MA: The legend.

DL: They foreclosed it.

CC: We do cultural events every week.

DL: Collin, girls don’t count as cultural events.

CC: Muna and I go to the Walker Arts Center once a month on free Tuesdays. We go for the art.

MA: It’s all about finding yourself.

DL: Did you learn that in Principles of Art, Muna?
MA: Kind of. Getting in touch with yourself.

CC: I go jogging outside of campus.

ZL: I go to the Blue Door a lot.

SVE: I run or bike far far away from campus if at all possible.

MA: The river.

CC: Sometimes, we just don’t come back. We have to look for Muna. He wanders. It’s actually a problem.

DL: Yeah it’s like his
[Cousins’] gravity problem.

CC: You didn’t tell her about that!! You suck!
DL: He’s already in training for James Bond right there.
CC: James Bond would have done the same thing!
ZL: It was an evasive maneuver.

DL: Dude, James Bond would’ve stayed on his feet.

CC: I didn’t fall off the bed, I decided half-way down that it was best to shove myself off the bed because I was so mad, and then I hit the fan. That was such a bad Monday morning.

MA: It was great.

CC: It was horrible. And then I said something stupid in English class.