Kierstin Alston

"I have twenty-four nutcrackers..." I have twenty-four nutcrackers, I have three nutcrackers that are non seasonal, meaning I can have them all out all year long, but then I have — the rest of my nutcrackers which are very much so Christmas, related. I’ve a nutcracker that goes up to my shoulder blade. What nutcracker is this? That’s a Christmas nutcracker, my ultimate favorite nutcracker. I have twenty-one nutcrackers and that’s a lot, and I collect them. And my aunt, she doesn’t like them. She’ll come up every year on Christmas, be like, those nutcrackers are terrifying. I’m just always like, yeah, but I like them and I have a lot of them. We get them, me and my grandmother, we get them every time after Christmas cuz that’s when everything Christmas related goes on sale, and we get a lot of nutcracker. I just have — I have one nutcracker in my room that’s a doctor, another nutcracker it’s like a lady and she has like a shopping bag. And then I have another nutcracker and I’m pretty sure it’s Christmas related but I refused to admit is Christmas related because it’s a guy who’s holding like a small little tree in his hand, but I refuse to believe it’s Christmas related. I just like to say he’s Michigan, because you know, there’s so many people in Michigan carrying around trees, that’s a Christmas-related nutcracker. I’m not taking it down.

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Mariana Santos Bittencourt de Almeida

"How does your clothing style change over time and what about your music taste?" The question was, how does your clothing style change over time and what about your music taste? I would say it changes a lot. I changed a lot, especially during the pandemic. I took the time that I had free because I was doing online classes and everything was online. So I started exercising a lot so I lost hundred pounds during this pandemic, and I feel my clothing style has changed a lot.  I decided to make more bold choices I guess, after losing all the weight. I have always loved fashion as a way to express myself. So I have always used different clothes — I don’t know — but I think it’s definitely bolder after I lost all the weight.  And about music, my music taste usually changes depending on my mood and on the situations that I’m living at the moment. So usually when it’s — for example, exam week, finals week, I usually play music that’s gonna motivate me and make me feel like a superhero or something like that, so I could be all powerful and really tackle the exams.

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Maggie Backus

"...thinking about it now, it feels like a really melodramatic movie scene..." My favorite party story or personal story to tell people is the time that I had a brand new coffee cup, get run over by a school bus when I was in high school and this happened in January. It was the first day back in classes after winter break. I think it was my junior year. And over Christmas, one of my grandmas had gotten me one of the Keurig instant coffee makers and a brand new travel coffee mug to go with it. So — it was my first time using it cuz it was the first day back in class, and I filled it up with some hot chocolate and I was running late as usual. So I’m like rushing to get outside and I get out there and I’m about to drive myself to school, but it’s raining. And it’s kind of a gray and gross and dark day for early January, and it’s early in the morning. So, I’m rushing, I got to get to class, and I’m trying not to get stuck behind the school bus. So I get outside, and my car had this issue to where I couldn’t unlock it with the beeper. So, I had to set my coffee mug on top of the car to get my hands free to use the key and get in through the door. So I do that and I quickly get inside and I hear the bus coming around. So I very quickly back out and start driving through my neighborhood, and I’m going pretty slowly cuz I’m in the development. But at one point, I turned a sharp corner and I hear this thud in the middle of the road, and I wonder like did I hit an animal? Was something in the street that I missed? It was really dark and I was kind of distracted with being late. So I was really nervous that I had hit something, and I pull over, and I step out of the car –thinking about it now, it feels like a really melodramatic movie scene where I’m standing there in the rain and there’s lightning and thunder, and like I said, it’s so dark out and I see my coffee cup lying in the middle of the road right behind me, and the…

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