If you know Gemma Doll-Grossman ’12, it might be because you’ve seen her around campus working on various film theses, or because you saw her spread out on the roof of her house. Or because you’re a Wesleyan women’s soccer fan and have seen her on the field. Or maybe because you typed ‘g’ in the “to” section of an e-mail you sent and you noticed that someone at Wes has the e-mail address G-Doll-Gross-Ma. But even if you don’t know her, you probably should.

Gemma Doll-Grossman: So, I have two ulterior motives for being WesCeleb. Nathaniel Draper ’12 would just love to say he’s a great fan of The Argus. He loves The Argus. He needs to read this.
The Argus: Okay. And your other ulterior motive?
GDG: “Word . . .Life Radio.”

A: Do you want to talk about that?
GDG: Wednesday nights. WESU.

A: What is it?
GDG: Harry Bartle ’12 and Ben Fitzelle ’12 should be playing German rap soon. If I have my way with them.

A: So you’re really just doing this WesCeleb to promote other people’s things?
GDG: Potentially. This whole WesCeleb thing is kind of funny. I’m really nervous.

A: Don’t be nervous! It was great that Jessica (Placzek ’12) nominated you because I didn’t really have to think about it that much. I just did some Google-stalking.

GDG: Really?! What did you see?
A: A lot of soccer stuff. Here, take a look.
GDG: [looks at computer] Oh, wow—that’s boring! That’s just a lot of games.

A: What would you want to see on your Google?
GDG: In a few years, I hope to see “Gemma Doll-Grossman, inventor of eyeglass windshield wipers” and “the great film director who directed a horror film inside a car wash.”

A: So you’re into cleaning things?
GDG: Yeah, potentially. Maybe it was just my shift in the Usdan utility room that got me into cleanliness.

A: Why did you start working at Usdan?
GDG: Do you want the real reason?

A: How about both of the reasons?
GDG: The first one was money. And I guess there is no second reason.

A: Why did you choose Usdan of all the on-campus jobs?
GDG: Because I got fired because of not working at Weshop. I got a job and lost it within minutes. Essentially I said I would take the shift and then realized I had class in the middle. So that was a no-go. And why not Usdan? I’m a second-semester senior—that’s a good send-off. By the end of it, you’ll be so tired of the student body. God, that’s sounds so anti-social. [whispers] I think the stir-fry boy is a babe. Don’t put that in! Oh god, I just got really warm. From embarrassment—not him!

A: So let’s talk about some other things you’ve done on campus. You’re a film major.
GDG: Yes—I’m also a biology major. Leading to a schizophrenic academic life.

A: How do you balance the two?
GDG: It’s funny. I’ll have a science textbook and film readings right next to each other and I’ll just go back and forth. That kind of regenerates me. It really has led to less overlap than I would have assumed. Although sometimes looking through a microscope I pretend I’m a cinematographer. It’s like making movies when you get to move the Petri dish around.

A: You’re not working on a thesis—why didn’t you do one?
GDG: It came down to having to fill major requirements and the expenses. But! I was just in Berlin visiting a certain young man and we met this film crew at a coffee shop and we offered to be their cooking crew for the week of their shooting.

A: Where at?
GDG: In the forest of Germany! I don’t know which forest. I was planning out lasagna and quiche dinners. But the producer never called us back. They were about to have free labor that they totally turned down. Irrationally excited college students helping them out? Their loss.

A: Why did you want to do this?
GDG: I can’t even explain it with any kind of logic. It just sounds so enticing. The other problem is I don’t speak German so that would have led to lots of funny interactions. Needless to say, I think I’m still going to move there this summer.

A: What are you going to do there?
GDG: Waitress? Yeah.

A: Did you just decide that right now?
GDG: It sounded like a good thing to say. Yeah, waitressing. And attempting to learn the language.

A: Why Germany?
GDG: Because my sweetie is there.

A: Is he a Wes student?
GDG: No, I met him in the Rocky Mountains two years ago. We made homemade ginger beer that night—this might get too romantic—and wrote letters. He lives in Berlin for the year.

A: Have you ever lived in the same place?
GDG: I was a baker this summer in Colorado living with him. We listened to a lot of Outkast on tape cassettes in a blue Ford Taurus. We went to Grand Junction to buy peaches. He’s a vegetarian butcher. Okay—can I tell you about my house?
A: Yes.

GDG: My house has wallpaper.
A: Here?
GDG: Here, at Wesleyan, on Home Avenue. I live with four amazing women and we got a goldfish named Finger Lickin’ Wickenden who we suspect started the norovirus because he is such a greedy little fink—he eats his own poop! And currently my house is in the developing stage of a Turquoise Jeep Records cover band—that’s our new project. Have you heard of them? How do you like eggs: fried or fertilized?

A: Is that a song of theirs?
GDG: Yes. I’m not just asking you a question. Is that too profane for The Argus?

A: No, definitely not. So what else do you want to tell me about?
GDG: To tell you the truth, I have not read many WesCeleb articles. If you guys had a crossword—seriously! I’m sorry I don’t know the format. What’s the history of WesCelebs?

A: They were invented by Michael Roth. No, I have no idea. Why are you interested in the history of the WesCeleb?
GDG: I’d like to know who my forefathers are. Funny thing—today in the dish room, Carmelo, the Sicilian man, who I’m really trying to become friends with and learn Italian from, has this beautiful idea where he had a gold watch that he had Saran-wrapped across his wrist. And it was such an interesting image. Because it was something so useful that you don’t see day-to-day. I’ve been thinking about the dish room a lot. Why is it so tucked away? Why isn’t there a window? To hide perspective seems—I don’t know.

A: Do these thoughts inform your desire to be a filmmaker?
GDG: No. Carwashes do though. Going to the carwash is like going to the movies! It’s so sensory, you’re moving through time and you’re in a small dark space. So many things could happen there that could be really great or really violent.

A: So we’re about to wrap up our four years here. What has been your experience slash contribution to campus?
GDG: Hmm. I’m really trying to think about this seriously. I don’t know how to answer. There’s a woman who stopped me on the street today [while wearing red and black] and said, “You’re dressed in good commencement colors!”. And I said, “Why don’t we all dress as cardinals for commencement?” And she said, “No, there’s one cardinal.” And I said, “What if there were 700? Then we’d really be a flock.”

I mean, really though, why the cardinal? They’re not friendly! And they’re not even something violent like a hawk or a cougar. I mean, if you’re going to be a lame animal, why not make it something classy like the Pomona Sage Hen or the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs? But cardinals are like square in the middle between taking yourself seriously and not, so it just lays limp. Maybe my contribution of these four years is starting a movement to change the mascot. This could be the catalyst.

  • Guest

    Sounds like a pretty fantastic woman!

  • Guest

    Tilly and Rodney would be so proud