Getting to Know…
By Mark Sweeney, The Dartmouth Senior Staff
Published on Thursday, May 6, 2004
Following in the footsteps of such journalistic luminaries as Mike Wallace, Barbara Walters and Ed Bradley, The Dartmouth's Mark Sweeney catches up with the big names on campus and asks the questions that others have too much professionalism or integrity to ask. Today, Sweeney sits down with campus celebrity Ann Scott '06.
The Dartmouth: Recently you were inducted into the highly prestigious Getting to Know . . . Hall of Fame along with Erkki Mackey '02 and Snowden Wright '04. How do you feel about earning this extraordinary honor, and since you now have a public forum at your disposal, whom do you wish to thank for helping you achieve this distinction?
Ann Scott: Well, Mark, I don't mean to glorify you. Wait -- change that. Yes I do. I owe this honor entirely to you. For those of you who are unaware, Mark and I have this reciprocal relationship in which we tell the other how absolutely hilarious he/she is. I don't know if the rest of the Dartmouth community has as profound an appreciation for our antics as we do.
However, I guess it really doesn't matter since he is the distinguished gentleman who gets to pick the articles and create a forum for us to amuse ourselves. It's really quite unfortunate for everyone else. Regardless of whether anyone enjoyed the first article, they are forced to read another. Really though, it's all about the little people. Thanks, little people. I am quite honored, especially considering that many of you didn't believe that I was clever enough to participate in last year's interview.
The D: It seemed like only yesterday when we converged for your first interview last year. How have you grown as a person since last winter?
AS: Shortly after our interview, I instituted the "Ann Scott self-improvement plan." After a careful reflection of all of my flaws, this plan evolved into an elaborate and detailed description of how I intended to better my life. It was really quite glorious. I remember there were goals encouraging me to "not be a jerk" and "don't procrastinate by playing too much Nintendo." Wow, I just can't get over what a great idea that was.
Unfortunately, I failed miserably at most of these goals. I have come to terms with the fact that the self-improvement plan was a little too ambitious. So, needless to say, I haven't evolved that much. Actually, I did gain some confidence on the fourth of July when I won a balloon-tossing contest against a whole bunch of small children. I had to cheat but I think it counts. Right?
The D: You have been described by some of your admirers as a "Renaissance Man," which is quite impressive considering you neither lived during the Renaissance, nor are you a man. You manage to excel in the athletic, academic and social realms. How do you juggle all of your varied interests and talents, and how did you become so proficient at everything from hitting a killer slice forehand to executing some very renowned dancing moves?
AS: I have discovered that combining the athletic, academic and social components of my life hinges on my ability to do one thing: balance. This answer is rather cliche, so I think I need to clarify.
I've mastered the balance essential to hit a not-so-pretty-but-effective forehand. I've learned the perfect angle to balance my head on my shoulder in class so as not to be too obvious about the fact that I can't stay awake. But, most importantly, I have become quite skilled at balancing on one leg as my arms flail about in the air while performing these renowned dance moves.
Balance is essential. Nobody enjoys crashing to the floor at a frat party and taking down multiple couples in the quick descent while dressed in some sort of neon '80s headband, leg-warmers and short skirt unable to quickly and coolly recover due to the fact that your limbs are twisted up and bent in a terrible mess. But I digress. Balance, people, balance.
The D: With which character from film or literature do you most identify, and why?
AS: Although I answered almost this exact same question last year, I will ignore Mark's obvious lack of creative thought and innovation and go ahead and come up with something new. For lack of a better idea, I am going to go with Julia Roberts in Notting Hill.
You might expect it is because of my movie-star qualities, beautifully huge smile, English boyfriend, millions of dollars and great acting ability that I can relate to this character. However, after coming to the realization that I possess none of these things, you might wonder why I have selected her.
In fact, our only similarity is that her name in the movie is Anna Scott. I am well aware that this is not my name but it is pretty close. I apologize for the poor quality of this response. I blame it on the question.
The D: In our interview last year, the photo that ran with the article gained quite a bit of notoriety. If I recall, the most memorable part of the photo was one of your features -- or, a pair of your features, I should say. These features crossed over each other and dangled seductively off the table on which you were seated, and many readers could not divert their eyes from them. By looking at this part of the photo, it was immediately clear that you must have played a sport which required a lot of running. Of course, I am referring to your fantastic shoes. From what sources do you gain your keen fashion sense?
AS: Obviously, you know very little about fashion sense. I have none. A teammate recently told me that I was "in a rut" after I purchased yet another solid colored shirt and button-up patterned shirt.
So, since I don't have much to contribute on that topic, I would like to use this opportunity to discuss with your readership an issue that I have recently found very intriguing. . . Who exactly requires the courtesy greeting, what are its levels and when does it expire? I feel that we need to establish some sort of handbook that clarifies the appropriate behavior and to alleviate the discomfort associated with walking past individuals who may or may not require the courtesy greeting.
First off, we need to establish who. Frat-basement introductions? Friends of a friend? Trippees? Group-project partners? Friends of an ex? Exes of friends? The list goes on and on. Secondly, what exactly is this greeting? A hello, how are you? A nod? A wink? A forced smile and then a quick aversion of the eyes so as to minimize any awkwardness?
And from this we begin to wonder, is the courtesy greeting phased out? Are these different greetings merely levels and eventually we all end up pretending that we have never seen each other? Let's face it, we all know each other. If anyone has any input on this topic, let's meet up and work this whole mess out.
The D: An additional talent of yours that was brought to my attention was that you are proficient in performing magic tricks. What tricks are you particularly adept at doing?
AS: I like to consider myself the female version of Houdini. I mean, really, if you totally ignore the fact that my magic repertoire consists of one card trick, I can't escape from those plastic handcuffs, and my death is not mysterious (nor am I dead). We have a lot in common.
In all seriousness, I have mastered my one trick, and all those who have witnessed it have been quite impressed. At least if they remembered it, they would be impressed. Perhaps the fact that I only share my trick with intoxicated individuals has something to do with its mystery. In high school, I decided that when I got to college I wanted to be known as "That Out-of-the-Ordinary Girl Always doing Magic on frat basement Evenings." It's a little long, so I shortened it to TOO (much) GAME. The name hasn't caught on but I am working on it. Perhaps next time I see you out I will demonstrate my magic and why I deserve this nickname.
The D: As an economics major, you clearly understand the importance of frugality. In what ways do you lighten the financial burden on yourself when you are purchasing items?
AS: The economics curriculum here at Dartmouth has taught me many things. Most importantly, I have learned that not buying things is the most effective way to save money and become rich. Now, I know that this is a rather novel idea but I think that those of you who have attempted to follow this advice have encountered a problem; you actually want to possess what we like to refer to in economics as consumables -- food, clothes, transportation in layman's terms. Crazy, really.
But, for those of you who seem to want it all, I have carefully mastered a technique in which I acquire things for free. It takes some practice but I think that with the right training everyone can learn this skill. If you are interested, I only charge a small start-up fee and an hourly rate for training. Among other life necessities, I have received polish sausages, T-shirts, those glow stick things, a boat ride and even a caricature in an amusement park for free. I know that none of these things may be that highly sought after. However, I'm building up. My next task is to acquire a house.