ELLE (Lena) is Harvard’s first social programming recruit. Elle does not actually attend classes and instead spends her time increasing the rate of student satisfaction. While undercover as a student, Elle pursues studies in the humanities. She enjoys contemporary American literature and looks forward to an independent study on affirmative action or the Asian American experience. Her intellectual interests include education policy, race relations, the adolescent experience, and women’s issues. Explaining her sociology concentration, she says, “I guess the chicks and chinks won out.”
She is actively involved in queer activism and changes bandages on the hour to tend to her bleeding heart. Her parents immigrated from China but Elle was born in San Francisco. Thus, she speaks embarrassingly colloquial Cantonese. Her phone conversations in “Chinglish” with her mother are disturbingly tinged with a hint of valley girl. Harvard’s student quality of life has seen a 76% improvement since Elle arrived in September 2005.
Elle is a risktaker who should probably not be allowed to operate heavy machinery. She struggles with a short attention span, an online shopping addiction, and a poor grasp of proper conversation topics among polite company. Elle believes in carpe-ing the diem. She does not believe in problem sets. She fancies sushi, Meg Ryan movies, and flirting disguised as witty banter. She is not fond of coconut-as-a-topping or the Cambridge cobblestone responsible for destroying her stilettos. Elle likes walks along the Charles, the company of Italian men, naps in the Yard on sunny afternoons, and wearing dresses for no reason. Elle enjoys reading novels about unhappy women (a la Sylvia Plath) and sympathizing with their sexual repression.
Elle worked her first internship in the entertainment industry at 16. Her subsequent summers in Hollywood have sucked out all remaining youthful optimism. This summer, Elle seeks employment as an intern at a public relations firm or as an executive assistant to an entertainment mogul. She will either be paid to lie or to stroke someone’s ego. Upon Commencement, Elle will wreak havoc through Europe on her first backpacking adventure. She will be clichÃ© and visit all the typical tourist hotspots, but she has a secret desire to throw away the itinerary and operate on pure instinct.
After graduating from Harvard with her utterly impractical sociology degree, Elle plans on taking the unconventional, Bohemian route and freelancing for lifestyle magazines. She will write about sex, dating, and the misspent days of her youth. Cosmopolitan will reject her repeatedly. She will live in a “cozy”, vermin-infested Manhattan flat and her shopping budget will be severely reduced — but her soul will remain intact (unlike those of her i-banking peers). She will temporarily ditch writing long enough to find financial stability in the form of a corporate event planning business. She will opt for single motherhood because she inherited her own mother’s fiercely independent nature. Elle will write her memoir at age 40 after her candid column about making it in New York wins her fame for being her. Upon becoming a grandmother, her daughter will advise her to “put away the stilettos already.” She will staunchly refuse.
IN THE PHONEBOOK
SUMMER GUY (Daniel) is the Republican investment banker who I dated in LA the summer after freshman year and the only ex-boyfriend I bother to hate. Though emotionally unavailable and most likely soulless, he treated me very well and is my only functional relationship to date. When we aren’t taking turns not speaking to the other, we speak nostalgically of what might’ve been … and then dismiss the notion as silly. Probably was still in love with him for a good part of sophomore year. He recently moved to D.C. Over it.
KYLE is my favorite but forbidden fuck buddy who I should not be fucking for various reasons — not least of which, his girlfriend. Smart-mouthed, cocky, and therefore, irresistable. (Especially to readers, with whom he’s garnered a following.) Successfully kept it platonic from February to September ‘07. Trying to be friends (again), though he’s now single.
AIDAN is the subject of now-infamous blowjob entry who convinced me to seek therapy for mood swings that he ironically induced. Case study for “What Happens When You Blog About Someone You’re Currently Involved With.” Also notorious for once losing a condom inside me. Graduated and is now in New York.
ON SPEED DIAL
JB (Jason) is my best friend at Harvard, JB offers terrible advice but has been at my side since the first day of freshman year. I tolerate his bullshit because he is my closest friend in college. He likes the boys.
TERRA (Tara) is my Brit blockmate with whom I share plenty of boys. Often says inappropriate and politically incorrect “quotables” but gets away with it due to feigning cultural misunderstanding.
ADIA is one of the only people I want to hang out with night or day, party or dining hall. Likes her men how she likes her meat: kosher.
CK (Kennedy) is on the receiving end of my sometime-sapphic desire and is my closest female friend at Harvard despite being my polar opposite. I love her ‘fro to death.
ZAP, besides having fantastic initials, is a Quadling pal who has great taste in decor and no moral fiber to speak of. He’s usually around to watch me fuck up.
SUE (Tiffanie) is a lightweight drinker who is everything I want in another woman — Asian, petite, adorable. When inebriated, I try to make out with her.
KAY is my favorite freshman year party pal with whom I first experienced marijuana, final clubs, and Republicans. I am her corruptor.
ALLIE is the swiss darling whose involvement with The Continual Disappointment, The Man Whore, and The Community Service Project has challenged even my bad taste in the cruder sex.
MAGGIE (Megan) s my freshman roommate who I braved Harvard Year 1 with. We shared a bedroom last year and a vanity sophomore year when she woke up every morning not knowing which man she’d bump into next.
KAM is a black, blogging, blowjob fan. Liberal-minded lad whose literary leanings lend me reason to alliterate. Also my summer roommate/co-worker in New York.
INDIANA is a Midwestern sweetheart who has jungle fever, literary talent, and a recurring case of mono.
BOOTY CALLS & BLOCKED NUMBERS
SAM is the Penn grad student I met while in the city of brotherly love. A one-night stand in every sense of the term, this intercession fling quickly and surprisingly became more … only to end abruptly when his true colors showed. To my knowledge, still at Penn.
RILEY thoroughly charmed me after a few dates. Found out he was simultaneously dating a good friend for several months. Subsequently punched him (with permission). Next!
COOPER broke my heart freshman year. That’s all.
PETER is a law student at Harvard I dated sophomore winter. Commitment-phobe.
BERKLEE is a Boston-area music school student who enjoys jazz, guitar, and fucking my brains out in indulgent sessions of ex sex. Dated briefly freshman spring and is one of the few men who did not leave a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended). Looks like Jason Statham. Still in Boston.
MARK has a huge cock, but is completely unreliable. Thanks to his job, I usually have no idea where he is in the world.
ANONYMOUS MATHER MALE was an exam period hookup during sophomore spring. Have a soft spot for him. Currently in Europe.
VIX is my “soul sister” whose allure to Asian men makes me want to switch places with her.
RENA is a fashionista who shares my love for Chanel Black Satin nail polish and tsks tsks at my misadventures.
RODY is my new gay best friend now that JB has ditched me in favor of his boyfriend at BU. Graduated ‘07 and sold his soul to a Boston-area corporate machine.
NATE is a platonic male friend who I have long-standing Thursday night dinner dates with. Also my escort to the Tri-House Formal where I drank myself into Stillman Infirmary. Many think he is my boyfriend; he’s not.
HAMILTON is Nate’s roommate and my freshman fall fuck buddy (who I hooked up with again sophomore year much to Nate’s displeasure). Mostly platonic.
BLASER lived below my blocking group freshman year and contributed to much dormcest in our entryway. Took me home for Thanksgiving dinner 2006 and on my list of “Boys I trust with my vagina when drunk.”
RELLIM is Blaser’s roommate/blockmate. Just as guilty of dormcest and on the same list.
MATT is Adia’s sophomore spring fling and also the “Most Beautiful Man I’ve Ever Seen in my Life.” Yes, that’s an official title. Since I set the two of them up, I naturally approve. Alas, he’s graduated.