Kelly Zhou

Do you ever just feel like talking to someone about nothing and everything? At Yale, it always feels like our conversations need to have meaning. Otherwise, why are we wasting our breath among the realm of intellectuals? That, in my opinion, can be absolutely suffocating. What if I want to talk about glitter pens? What if I want to talk about nothing at all?

This past Sunday, I caught up with Alyssa Ince ’20, my suitemate. In the comfort of our Benjamin Franklin common room at midnight after a particularly long day, I asked her 20 random questions. Why? For no reason. No motive. No initiative. I can’t remember when the delirium hit, but I’m sure you’ll be able to guess.

1. What was the last gift you gave someone?

“Um. I gaaaAAAaaave … Christmaswasawhileagoivedefinitelygivenstuffsincethen. Well, I guess it depends on how you quantify a ‘gift’—”

It’s open-ended.

“—Because I’ve given physical gifts recently. Like, a month ago for Mom’s birthday. BUT if I were to say the latest gift I gave someone … I gave Alexus a gift.”

Oh, me!

“Yes. I gave you a gift, like 20 minutes ago, when I SERENADED you.”


2. What was the last gift you received?

“You gave me the gift of food like, two hours … three hours ago.”

Damn right. That’s lovely. Onward then.

3. If your friends would compare you with any animal, which would it be and why?

“Oh, this is hard. If people could compare me to any animal, ummmmm … mmmm … this is hard. 🙁 *mumbles* Peoplecouldcomparemetoananimal … This isn’t the last question, right?”

We’ve got a long way to go.

“I’m wondering if we should come back to this.”

NOTE: We never came back to this.


4. How many square feet of pizza do you estimate that you eat each year?

“Each year? I would say, 3 x 2. I don’t eat that much pizza.”

Okay, uh.

“—MAX. Actually, I don’t think that. I’d say like, one and a half by two … feet … square feet, as you asked … NEXT!”

5. Single answer. Jonas Brothers or One Direction?

*YOUALREADYKNOWTHEANSWER! *Slams fist* Jonas Brothers.*

6. If you could meet one celebrity right now, but your interaction would have to be you throwing up on their expensive shoes, who would it be?


Remember, you’re throwing up on their shoes.

“I mean, but I don’t really care about the ‘throwing up on their shoes’ part — ”

That’s bold.

“—Well no, but I’m saying like, you know, I feel like if I threw up on their shoes, thennn … okay, so I guess the thing is like, if I could meet someone, it’d be nice to meet Beyoncé. But I feel like if I threw up on Beyoncé’s shoes, her security would like, beat my ass. Or, beat my behind.” *Inquisitive look*

This is WEEKEND; we can swear.

“Okay. But. If I threw up on like, Rihanna’s shoes, I think she would be like ‘Sis. Calm down.’ so I feel like in some ways, it would just be like, she — Rihanna — is more for the people. So I feel like she would like not be offended by it. AND I get to meet Rihanna. So I guess, Rihanna.”

7. What do you put on your pizza?


7a. Wait, no, better question — would you eat ranch with your pizza?

“I don’t … I think I’ve had or *incoherent mumbling* like, I’m not opposed to the combination.”

8. Tell me about one time where you felt the happiest in the world in the past two months, and don’t leave a single detail out.


Yeah. Oh! That must be in 2019, because that’s January.

“Okay, um. Hm. I felt very happy when I went to Ghana with the AFAM House … the first night we were there, we went to Sky Bar—”

Was it in the sky?

“—No, but it’s a bar, a rooftop bar—”

So, it was in the sky.

“—I mean, it was close to the sky … I feel like it was almost the experience of an Upper-East-Sider, the experience of looking down over the city and looking over the beauty of the landscape but also having this really good food with good people and just, like, endless … drinks.”


“Yeah. While we were there — we were there for several hours, and a lot of the group left, only a few of us stayed — they had music and a rooftop pool, the drinks were so good, and I had like, three Caipirinhas. It was a good way to kick off 2019.”

9. What is something you really like about one of your family members?

“My little sister — ”


“—one of the things that I admire about her is that she is probably the most empathetic, caring person I’ve ever met in my life. She is just so incredibly loving toward everybody, even in instances where people just do not deserve her love and her empathy. She is just so sweet and super cuddly, and I admire that about her — her ability to continuously see the good in people.”

10. If you could eat ANYTHING right now, what would it be, and how much of it would you be … eating?

“Does it have to be eating, or can it be drinking?”

You’re the captain of this ship, my friend —

“I told you already, I really REALLY want a mojito.”

*She indeed had told me this.*

Well, you have to say it for the article —

“I want a mojito right now.”

Okay, I can’t get you a mojito.

“I want a mojito, and if I could eat something, I’m really in the mood for Basil’s spicy pad thai. And thai iced tea. And a mojito.”

11. Which toe on your right foot is your favorite?

“Well, right now my big toe might potentially be broken, so it CAN’T be that. I guess, like,”

*Long pause as Alyssa stares at her foot.*

“… So my pinky toe is kinda small and a little awkward. It just stands out a bit, so I like it.”

12. Pulp or no pulp in your orange juice?

“No pulp.”

*Long, awkward pause. Alexus loves pulp.*

“Well, I feel like, I don’t drink OJ. So, this isn’t relevant to me …”

*There is tension.*

13. Are you type A or type B personality?

“Oh, I’m a type A.”

I knew that.

“I feel like that’s very obvious.”



14. What’s your Myers-Briggs type?

“OH, ummmm. Let me find it.” *Rummaging*

You have it written down somewhere?

“Let’s just say that I’ve taken it multiple times.”

You have a spectrum or Myers-Briggs types?

“Well, I have one type that I feel like is me … but then, sometimes … I had another result that’s different. I just want to make sure that I’m giving you more accurate information. I think that I am … hold on, I just want to make sure it’s right.” *More rummaging,* “I think it’s, I mean I want to say that it’s INFJ.”


“Depending on …”

You are an advocate.

“Oh, I lied. That’s weird. That’s not my personality type, is it??? The last time I took it, apparently I got ESFJ. But, that falls under the house of Gryffindor, and I am a Hufflepuff.”

… What?

15. What do you use to cope when you’re feeling uncomfortable?

“I laugh. I laugh, and I rub my nose.”

16. What emotion do you experience the most?

“Depends on where I am. I feel like I experience a lot of joy in my life, but Yale can be frustrating because people try me. At Yale, I feel frustration and stress and joy.”

17. How many and which languages do you speak?

“I don’t speak languages.”


“I don’t speak them.”

That’s not the question.

“You said how many, and what. I don’t speak them.”

That’s impossible. You’re speaking right now.

“So, I technically speak three languages. I speak English, French and Arabic. My goal because, you know, my grandparents didn’t quite pass down the skills is to brush up and make sure that I can also speak Spanish at some point in the future.”

18. Do you have any phobias?

“Yes. Many. 🙁 I have many phobias. So, I think I’ve always been scared of poison, poisonous things, I’m scared of scorpions …”

Sounds very rational to me. Phobias are irrational.

“I mean, when I was younger, basically my second mother, before she moved from Trinidad where she lived as a child … She has so many siblings, there are at least 12 of them. One of her brothers opened a bunch of bananas, and a scorpion fell out between his feet and stung him, and he died. So, I’ve always because of that, ever since I was little, I’ve always had a fear of scorpions. Yes. I do like the Drake album. I also have a fear of … tarantulas, because they can poison me. I really don’t like snakes. Even the innocent ones …”

*Alyssa proceeds to list multiple other animals that terrify her for very rational reasons.*

“In Florida, there’s a highway called Alligator Alley, and I DON’T like it. When I was very little, I was very scared of Captain Hook; I thought he lived in my closet.”

19. What’s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you?

“I don’t like it when people assume that I’m yelling or that I’m angry when I’m just really not.”

20. This is the last one. I swear. What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

“Well, the *first* thing that came to mind is my Mom and Dad always told me when I was younger not to play in traffic … but, I mean, I don’t think that’s the *best* advice I’ve ever received. My mom taught me when I was little how to admit when I was wrong. I remember how proud she was of me when I did that, but … I don’t think that’s advice. The best advice I’ve ever received … I don’t know. I’ve been around so many wise family members that there’s just so much — I can’t remember any specific things that I’ve been told. I feel like I only remember all of the silly things.”

Alexus Coney | .