Ever since I was rejected from every campus dance troupe I’ve been looking for a new crew. All I want is a group of fun, good looking, and hip friends to troll around campus with. Why is this so hard? Why is everyone so busy? Does Metro North go to Copenhagen?
Enter project #findnewfriends. For the next month I'll spend 20 minutes a week talking to a new kid on campus to see if they're the BFF I'm missing. Last week I talked to Aanandita Vaghani from Bombay This week I found Ames Ward, a freshman from DC. Sorta.
TEXT BY SOPHIA JENNINGS ('16), CREATIVE DIRECTOR
IMAGE BY BEN HICKS ('18), STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Ben Romero (‘16) and I have a dirty secret. It goes by the name of Ames Ward (‘18). Now I know, this column is supposed to be about meeting new friends. And it is. When I met him in August, our relationship was strictly professional.
We first met in Exley. There I wrote my number on a chalkboard, defined every gender pronoun incorrectly and referred to Ames’ RA as “Nirav”. His name is very much Nabil. Yes, the first time I met Ames I was his Orientation Leader.
As soon as classes started, Ames and I began running in to each other. At parties, I would normally throw a peace sign and then tell him it wasn’t me; my two rules had been: nothing out of a bucket, and Andre makes you fat. But, finally, after a month, I overcame my Orientation pride for the sake of a new friend.
And now, three months in, Ben and I believe no night is complete without Ames Ward. We drag him along to parties, we met his mother in Usdan, we even FaceTime him from bed on Sunday mornings. Sometimes he doesn’t pick up so we go through his Facebook photos instead.
So yes, Ames Ward is our new friend. And, since Ben and I seem to share him, we decided to ask Ames some questions together. Last night, arriving at Weswings for our interview, I found Ben and Ames in the corner booth discussing whether or not Ames might major in CSS. Ben even suggested he could be his TA.
But Ben wasn’t the only one flirting with the handsome freshman. Halfway through our interview a group of girls came by to ask if they could “have a bite” of Ames’ carbonara cause it “looked delicious”. Of course Ames offered.
Here’s a picture. Well actually it's a screenshot of a video. Ben was flustered (jealous).
It’s weird to find a former high school soccer star with a reputation for “awesome freshman pregames” that Ben and I get along with so well. But, after spending an hour talking to him in a (somewhat) serious manner, I’ve come to regard Ames as much more than a cute freshman boy to fight over. Even if he made a comment about how Ben looks like he’d be good at picnics. Followed by the comment that I look like I’d be good at eating picnics.
And, to be honest, this isn’t the first time Ben and I have fallen for the same boy. Back during our freshman year my first WestCo romance turned out to be Ben’s as well. Two years later the guy still likes Ben more than me.
Regardless, here’s 21 questions with Ames Ward. Ames, if you’re reading this, we promise we don’t want to make out with you. Ok maybe we do. Ok maybe we have. Whatever.
26 QUESTIONS with AMES WARD by BEN AND SOPHIA:
WHAT’S YOUR NAME SHORT FOR? It’s not. OH. REALLY? it’s a good story. My mom had a dream she was in an open glen. WHAT’S A GLEN? Like a valley. And, in this glen, a voice told her, “His name is Ames.”Tthen, about ten years later, we were at my mom’s family’s house, and we found this picture of a dude on a horse that said “Ames On His Horse” from the 1800’s. Fucking crazy. It was awesome.
SO WHERE YOU FROM? I was born in Saudi Arabia but I lived in Holland for eight years. WHAT SCHOOL? American School of the Hague. FUCK ASH. Fuck ASL. (We continue to slam each other’s international schools) And then I moved to DC before eighth grade where I went to an international school for a year before Sidwell Friends School. DID THE QUAKERS TEACH YOU FRIENDSHIP AND COMPASSION? Excuse me? DID THE QUAKERS TEACH YOU FRIENDSHIP AND COMPASSION? Um. Did it teach me friendship and compassion? I had friends, and I was compassionate HOW DO YOU SHOW PASSION? Physical manifestations. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Touching bodies as much as possible.
WHAT DID YOU DO IN HIGH SCHOOL? I was really sporty in high school. It was kinda sad when I came here and realized high school sports didn’t matter. WORD SAME.
HOW DO YOU FIND THE LACROSSE COMMUNITY HERE? In DC, lacrosse is huge and like the lax bros are not a joke. Here, they’re all really little sweeties inside. Like have you ever been to bar night? SILENCE. Yeah, of course, you’ve been to bar night. DID YOU JUST ASK US IF WE’VE BEEN TO BAR NIGHT? UH, HI, WE WERE THE QUEENS OF BAR NIGHT (Ben tells of projectile vomiting during a Thursday class) Jesus Christ.
WHAT YOU BEING FOR HALLOWEEN? Cronon O’Barbarian WHAT? Don’t you get it? Like Conan O’Brian. As a barbarian.
LETS GO BACK TO SAUDI ARABIA. HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR SUPRANATIONAL, GLOBAL IDENTITY (Sophia knows a lot about this): Um… interrrresting. I think when I was eight my biggest fight was with my cousin who’d be like, “You’re an American!” and I was like “No! I haven’t even lived there!’ Now I’ve sorta realized that its best to answer when asked, rather than stick it in people’s faces. That said, I feel so happy that I lived the life that I did and that I was able to see the shit I did. Bless the parentals.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN SEEN? Like there was one time we were searching for arrowheads in Rub' al Khali and I was with my uncle, some Russians, my dad, my brother, and my mother. YOU WERE SEARCHING FOR WHAT? Arrowheads in Rub' al Khali. WITH WHO? These random Russians. I think my uncle mighta known em. He’s this total bohemian enthusiast. OH OK AMES. No really. My other memory is him running through the sand dunes naked drawing a huge 2000 because it was at the turn of the millennium. But we were in this sort of basin and these Jeeps come over and there are guys with AK27s and mountain machine guns, and it was the first time my father had ever told me to be quiet. And that’s why I remember it. Cause he told me to be quiet and look cute. And I was like OH MY GOD SOMETHING IS WRONG. So we went to this camp and after a bunch of figuring out what was going on it turned out they were the Yemeni border police and that they were patrolling the area cause there was a terrorist training site about a mile east and it was Al Qaeda. This was all pre-9/11, so it was very intense.
WHO ARE YOUR PARENTS? My Dad’s an environmentalist in big oil, my mom is actually an environmentalist in big oil. WHAT DOES “AN ENVIRONMENTALIST IN BIG OIL” MEAN? It means, so like, usually his title is Head of Health Safety and the Environment, so you basically try and take the worst possible thing and make it slightly better. But it doesn’t usually work that well.
NICE. HOW’D YOU END UP AT WESLEYAN? My mom dropped out of here twice. And really disliked it cause it had no community. But I knew about Wesleyan, and I was originally going to apply early to Penn, cause it was an Ivy and they have a good Middle Eastern studies program. I could paint a pretty picture of Ames the Middle Eastern savant. WHAT’S THAT WORD? Savant. So then I realized that number one: I was not a middle eastern savant necessarily. LOL. Or to the degree that I presented in my application and second, my application was a total lie. It was a lie. In terms of that I was just not being you know, Ames. I would’ve done really well at Penn in terms of socializing. But, I wanted something that was different from my high school in many ways. And I had a dream about Wesleyan, so I did it. DREAMS ARE A RECURRENT THEME IN YOUR LIFE, AMES.
WHY YOU WEARING A RING? ARE YOU ENGAGED? It’s my signet ring. It has my initials and something Arabic thing I forget. And it symbolizes family. I got it in 2001. HAVE YOUR FINGERS NOT GROWN SINCE 2001? Guys.
WHATS YOUR FAVE CLASS? Tied between Intro to Ethics and Ballet I. WHO’S YOUR BALLET TEACHER? With uh… what’s her name… YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR TEACHER’S NAME? Uh. Shit. Anyway. Intro to Ethics is really fun because I’m sorta interested in philosophy and humanity and stuff like that. Ballet is super fun because I’m so bad at it. I’m so bad at it. And I’m the only guy in the class and its totally ridiculous and its fun to do things that you’re really bad at sometimes. HOW ARE THE GIRLS? Totally uninterested.
WHO DO YOU LIKE BETTER SOPHIA OR BEN: Silence
WHAT’S THE MOST SURPRISING THING ABOUT WESLEYAN: I haven’t met a single person here who I dislike. REALLY? WE CAN GIVE YOU A LIST.
HAVE YOU READ ANY GOOD BOOKS?: No, unfortunately, but I watched The Knight’s Tale recently. Heath Ledger is a God.
WHERE YOU ON A FRIDAY NIGHT? Club Bonsai. IS THAT WHAT YOU CALL YOUR ROOM? Yeah. IS IT A “HIP SPOT”? I mean. WE HEARD YOU GOT WRITTEN UP. Neither of ‘the events’ were out of control in any sense of the word. During the trial though, we were discussing the music. My friend Cail made the point that if we were playing singer/song-writer music we wouldn’t have gotten in trouble. WHAT WERE YOU PLAYING? Young Thug.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE THE SECOND HOTTEST GINGER ON CAMPUS? What?
DO YOU DO DRUGS? No, Mom, I don’t.
WHAT’S YOUR FIRST MEMORIES OF BEN AND SOPHIA? Together? START WITH SOPHIA. I think it was, here is this bizarre individual that I can be fun and flirty with. LOL. But then my first memory of you two is n the backyard of fountain and it was very unclear who was approaching me at what time.. and why. FAIR.
WHAT’S THE MOST EMBARRASSING THING YOU’VE DONE: There are very few things that I actually find embarrassing. The first day I accidentally threw across salsa across my room and it exploded everywhere. And it was the type of thing where everyone was being super nice because it was the beginning of the year, and everyone came over to help out and clean up. THATS NOT THAT BAD. I mean, I went to a naked party and was the only person naked for the first 15 minutes. But I’m not embarrassed because I was setting the precedent.
FAVORITE WESHOP SNACK: Chex mix. It’s been a constant. It’s actually one of my things. If I have chex mix, things very rarely go wrong.
WHAT IS YOUR PERCHANCE FOR SCARVES? I love scarves. IS IT BECAUSE OF YOUR HICKIES? I very rarely have hickies. I like scarves because they keep your neck warm, and they’re super fun and fashionable. Don’t put that last line in.
SO ONCE AGAIN, WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH YOU AND BEN ROMERO? He’s a beautiful, beautiful man.
DRINK OF CHOICE? Beer, Guiness from tap. ARE YOU IRISH? I have an Irish passport. I’ve discovered Dark and Stormy’s. WE LOVE DARK AND STORMIES.
IF YOU WERE TO TAKE US ON A DATE, WHERE WOULD WE GO? I’d probably take you to a picnic on Indian HIll first, watch the sunset. OH MY GOD. I actually haven’t been on a lot of dates. Only one. In my life. Usually I just have people over to my house and cook for them. Actually yeah, I would take you over to my house. Make you dinner. Meet my parents. Because my parents are fucking awesome.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT 3PM ON A SATURDAY? By then I’ve given up on doing homework. Wait when are the football games? YOU’RE ASKING THE WRONG PEOPLE.
WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE IN THREE YEARS? Silence. BESIDES SOPHIA JENNINGS. Yeah, I could be a happy mix between you two but a lot more… CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY. A lot more... not crazy? more sane? WE ARE SO SANE. WE ARE TOTALLY CHILL. DO WE SEEM INSANE? DO WE REALLY SEEM INSANE? It’s a charming insanity. It’s not an off putting insanity.
CATCH US DRINKING DARK AND STORMIES IN THE BUTTS THIS FRIDAY WITH AMES !