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Meet Your Summer Tour Guide: Lauren Kalish ’14

June 15, 2012

Introducing our weekly features of the Summer Tour Guides! We begin with Lauren Kalish ’14, a rising junior from Syracuse, NY. For a complete bio on Lauren, and our other Summer Tour Guides, check out the Admissions page. Additionally, over the next few months, Summer Tour Guides will also guest-blog about experiences they’ve had during their time at St. Olaf. Check back often! 

Lauren Kalish ’14 in her favorite place on campus.

About your time at St. Olaf…

What made you decide to come to St. Olaf?

I know that everyone probably says that the tour is what sold them, but for me that is definitely the case. I knew the size of the college was the perfect one for me: not big, not too small. I knew that I wanted to live in a community in which I felt safe and accepted. I also knew that I wanted the ability to try new things and forge my own path. Through my tour I learned that all of this was possible at St. Olaf. As cliche as it sounds, I knew I wanted to be an Ole when I arrived on campus.

What’s the most memorable moment of your first year on the Hill?

The night that the last Harry Potter movie (part one) came out happened to be the same night as the annual Thanksgiving Dinner in Stav Hall. I walked in to dinner that night and was suddenly in the Great Hall at Hogwarts. The tables were divided into the four houses, our president and his fellow colleagues were sitting at the Head Table in their robes, paper candles were strung across the balcony and looked like they were floating, the Harry Potter soundtrack was in the background, the lights were dimmed, and our Quidditch team was playing throughout the whole meal. Not only was the food great, but it was such a fun dinner and I really felt like I had stepped into Hogwarts.

What is one favorite study spot/chair/couch/floor/patch of grass on campus?

My favorite spot on campus is anywhere in an Adirondack chair. They are perfect for making phone calls, drinking coffee, reading a book, talking with a friend, or simply relaxing. While I prefer the reference room for studying, you need a break every once in awhile! Those chairs also symbolize that it has changed from Winter to Spring — a change that every Ole looks forward to!

In your opinion, what’s the best St. Olaf tradition?

My favorite St. Olaf tradition is randomly singing Um Ya Ya in the Caf. It doesn’t happen all the time, so when it does finally happen, it’s exciting! I get chills every time it happens because I feel an overwhelming feeling of pride. The Caf always has a large number of our student body present at one time, so when we sing Um Ya Ya it is powerful and makes you feel connected to every other student.

If you need a few hours off the Hill, what’s a favorite place in Northfield?

I really love the Kurry Kebab even though it isn’t right in downtown Northfield. It is a little farther out (by Target), but it is still a favorite place to go. There is a debate about Kurry Kebab vs. Chipati and which is better, but I am a big fan of Kurry Kebab. The food is great, not too expensive, and it’s the perfect restaurant for sharing food with friends.

Where and how did you meet your best friend at St. Olaf?

I met my best friend in my neighbor’s room freshman year. He had a really nice camera and was sitting in a chair –nothing special. I was wearing this gigantic pair of St. Olaf sweatpants and I was coming over to my friends room to show that I could put both legs in one pant leg, and this kid David was sitting there with his camera. We talked about photography and he took some funny pictures of me in these oversized pants. We met pretty randomly, but we got to know one another and he has been a best friend to me ever since.

And now for some fun facts…

If you’re feeling a little down, what YouTube video cheers you up?

I am a big fan of the music video for “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn. This song not only pumps me up, but I can not help but dance when it comes on!

What’s the most played song on your iPod?

I love falling asleep while listening to music, and Bon Iver is one of my favorite artists to fall asleep to. I think his song “Roslyn” must be the most played.

If you could conquer the world and be a leader, who would you choose as your second in command?

My second in command? I would choose Katniss Everdeen. That girl is awesome and can do pretty much anything. I could totally conquer the world with the Mocking Jay by my side. (If you’ve never read The Hunger Games books–read them! This answer will make sense after reading.)

If you were stranded on a desert island, what celebrity would you want to be with?

I am setting myself up to be embarrassed by this answer, but I would choose Zac Efron. He could sing to me, play basketball with me and make everything into a musical. His many talents could keep things interesting when things get boring on the island.

What’s a unique hobby of yours?

One thing that I am most proud of is my unique ability to reenact the dance in Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” music video. This video not only cheers me up but is a great piece of choreography. I’ve watched it countless times and will dance to it at any time, anywhere.

As the Class of 2016 prepares to move to campus — and prospective students consider every part of the college process — Move-In Day is highly anticipated. What is one thing you didn’t bring with you when you moved to St. Olaf… and wished you would have?

This might sound weird — but a drying rack is something I wish I had from the get-go. I had to go buy one about a month after being here. Now I use it every time I do laundry. It’s better for your clothes and better for the environment!

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