Welcome to Laird and Meet the Editors

2 October 2021
By Octavia Washington, Madeline Goldberg, and Julia Johnston
Julia and Octavia work on the puzzle.
Julia and Octavia deeply engrossed in a puzzle, stealthily captured by Madeline.

Welcome back to Laird, home of disgraced English majors and (one) elevator. We took a break in our regularly scheduled programing for a bit of construction, but now we, and Laird, are back and better than ever. And also welcome back to Northfield! If you suspect that not much has changed about Northfield’s quaint charm, you’re right! Of course, there is the new boba place near Target and a brand new population of bright-eyed freshmen; otherwise, it’s the same old cows, colleges, and contentment.

 In addition to now being the prettiest building on campus, Laird also contains the most English major-y games of all time, which you can feel free to play in our brand new lounge. We have a couple of incredibly frustrating one hundred piece puzzle sets, which Octavia spent all of her time doing before remembering that she had not started her comps proposal yet. There is also Metaphor Dice (Pierre is pumped to play) and Codenames, a game known to tear friendships apart. Don’t forget Fire in the Library, Lizzy and Darcy: A Jane Austen Matching Game, and Quiddler. Drop by! We also suspect the couches are particularly nice for napping, but cannot say for certain one way or another, since none of us have fallen asleep there yet, given that this is only the third week, right, Julia?

Next up, we have some very belated introductions to make, so we’ve conducted a three-way interview. We thought this would amuse our readers; however, we learned too much about each other in the process and will never be doing this again. Please enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn more about us. 

First we have Julia Johnston (she/her pronouns): blonde, sneakily tall, (unfortunately) athletic. Julia, a Boston native, has been known to bake excellent blue scones under duress, duress here being loud whining about a lack of scones from Octavia and Madeline. If you’ve ever walked across campus, you have probably been introduced to Julia already, as she has made it her mission to chat with everyone from freshman to squirrels. She thinks she’s bringing Midwestern cheer and providing the English department with a friendly-faced ambassador, so if you see her talking to a tree, please just smile. If you need conversation topics, ask her about Tamora Pierce (she will read anything Tamora Pierce ever writes) or about the title of her memoir: One Time I Dug Up a Grave.

Then there’s Madeline Goldberg (she/her), also known as an alternative universe version of Octavia. Madeline is from New York’s Upper East Side, where she lives surrounded by hot dog carts, the Met, and overpriced (but delicious) bagels. In fact, she loves them so much that she has decided that the title of her memoir is Where Are My Bagels?; or, Why Leaving NYC Was a Mistake. Given the chance, she would re-read several of Agatha Christie’s books for the first time. In fact, if she could forget the ending of every one, she happily would, living in a world of (suspenseful!) ignorance. Which is not unlike the world she’s currently living in, come to think of it. She’s waiting for the right moment to throw down a glove and challenge Pierre to a duel for the right to teach Shakespeare I.

And finally we have Octavia Washington (she/her), an alternative universe version of Madeline. Another New Yorker, Octavia is a shopaholic who loves Sarah Dessen and Agamemnon. She is constantly craving the feeling she got from reading the first Percy Jackson book, which she will talk about in the first chapter of her memoir Capricorn Season: A Series of Astrological Musings. Octavia, when asked what grade-saving online tool she prefers, replied “it’s sparknotes and me for life.” Despite her self-admitted low reading comprehension skills, she would teach Arnab’s Caribbean Literature, just so she could keep reading books from the diaspora. 

As the representatives the English department secretly wants but definitely doesn’t need, we conclude our interview with a shameless plug: if you have any creative work that you would like posted on the Miscellany, please send it to us! Before you do, please rejoice in the following literary memes — and then send them, along with your own favorites, to your professors.

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