That Guy: Colin Reynolds
April 20, 2007
The beauty of the College lies not in the graceful arch of the Crim Dell bridge or the vaulted arches of the Wren Building. No, our campus derives its true intrigue from the quality and diversity of its students. We are academics and community volunteers, social butterflies and bookworms. Part-time male model and competitive athlete, Colin Reynolds is funny, intelligent and totally willing to strike up random conversations at the UC. Here, That Guy talks about transferring to the College, backpacking solo through Europe and the genius of Swem lockers.
p. **You transferred to William and Mary as a junior. What’s up with that?**
At JMU I was really involved, got really good grades, knew a lot of people. I had a great time, and I gave it all up. I saw it as a natural progression — you get involved in an organization, and if you’re really into it you rise in the ranks. I was at a point where if I rose in the ranks any more I would have to hold office hours and all that nonsense. I really didn’t see myself going anywhere further.
p. **What was the transition like into a new student community?**
It’s harder to get involved [at the College]. It seems like with everything here you have to apply to hold a position. If I’m going to devote my time, at least on my level, I don’t think I need to justify my involvement in an organization that I’m devoting my time and my energy to be involved in. I decided to get involved on the community level through the Food Bank — they always need people, there’s no need to beg them to get involved.
p. **Talk to me about working with the Food Bank.**
There seems to be a large percentage of the population that need food on a weekly basis — people in the service industry, people on hard times. The one thing is that you see a lot of people come and go. If you work for several weeks on end you start to recognize certain people; it’s counterintuitive, but it’s good when you don’t see them. You may have formed that connection with them, just saying “hi” and asking how they are doing, but you hope you won’t see them again because it means they’re doing better.
p. **What’s your relationship with dining services?**
As much as I like meeting new people, once I get into a routine I tend to stick to it, so I get lunch and dinner at the same place every day, usually at the same time as well. Usually when I’m there I read a book. Alone. It’s amazing how much reading you can get done if you read in there twice a day for a half an hour at a time. Some of us can go out in public without people on all sides and still be comfortable, so I go there and sit and read. Once in a while people will come up and ask to join me or something, and I always say yes. But I’ve definitely read a lot of books. Made a couple of friends, made some memories, shed a couple tears — you know, the whole range of emotions. All at the UC.
p. **Explain your relationship with Swem.**
From the get-go I’ve never studied at home, not at JMU or here … It makes so much sense — I don’t need to carry books around because I have a locker, I keep on renewing it, and I don’t have to lumber around with all those books because I never study at home. It’s nice there, the staff is great. You want to read a newspaper or magazine? You read it there. You can take it easy, watch a movie once in a while, take advantage of all the resources they have to offer. It’s a nice environment, and you can get a lot of studying done. It’s a great place to take advantage of all the things William and Mary has to offer.
p. **You work at the Cheese Shop — how is it?**
It’s like a rite of passage here, either working at the Cheese Shop or the Green Leafe. I’d never had a bag of bread ends until recently, but now I have. Oh, I don’t know. We don’t have American cheese, people. We don’t have lettuce and tomato; we have watercress and marinated roasted tomato. If someone asks me that again, I don’t know what’s going to happen.
p. **What did you do over the summer?**
I traveled to Europe and Asia; I spent two months alone. Europe was great; it was just me with a pack. I slept in a barn a couple of nights. I got really drunk on the train from London to Scotland one day and met up with North Sea oil pocket workers who made fun of my clothes. I couldn’t really understand them, but apparently if you wear plaid you’re a lumberjack. I went to Hong Kong, which was really nice — great sunsets, you can thank the pollution for that. It was my first time in a non-Western country, though Hong Kong is about as Western as it gets over there. They air condition outside, too; they leave the doors open and let the air blow out into the streets. The best part was going by myself and being able to stay anywhere I wanted. One night I stayed at a place on the side of a mountain in a guest house in Switzerland. It was so rural that they’d never seen an American before. They sat down with me outside and just wanted to hear me talk — probably to listen to my horrible Swiss-German, but still. The back wall was on a cliff, so it was actually just rock.