__Sara Courson rocks her black Converses and green scarf in a kind of cool, understated way. After graduating this spring, she wants to be a teacher’s assistant in China or Taiwan, but nothing is set in stone for this English major and Tucker Hall enthusiast. She has been whitewater rafting in Utah, sea kayaking in Mexico, and considers Arches National Park one of her favorite places. An Austin, Texas gal with a soft spot for sunny San Jose, Calif., Sara tells me a thing or two about Tribe Rugby, her ubiquitous nickname and some of her family’s holiday traditions.__
**You just returned from break. Do you and your family have any favorite Thanksgiving traditions?**
My favorite thing is to make pumpkin pie with my dad and then, the morning after Thanksgiving, we have it with black coffee for breakfast.
**Tell me a bit about your rugby experience.**
I started first semester freshman year. I had played lacrosse all through high school, but when I got to William and Mary I wanted to do something different. So I went to the first practice and the girls were so much fun. The sport is really addictive. It’s my favorite sport and I’ve played a bunch of other ones — softball, lacrosse, etc. So I’ve stuck with it. I was president my freshman and sophomore year and into junior year. We practice maybe six hours a week and then we have games on Saturdays.
**Do you have any nicknames on the team?**
[Laughs.] The rugby team named me SoCo. There were a lot of Saras on the team when I started and my last name is Courson, which of course starts with “C-O,” and somehow Southern Comfort came up because I’m from Texas, which is Southwest-ish. So, I became SoCo. Now I answer to that more than Sara on campus because there are so many Saras. It’s funny because most of my close friends, even if they don’t play rugby, call me SoCo.
**What’s been your coolest job?**
My most lucrative job was interning for a law firm in Austin, but my best job was working at a snow cone stand. We worked next to Barton Springs, which is a natural pool where all the quirky Austinites go during the summer to swim. I love to people-watch, so it worked out perfectly for me. Plus, we got all the free snow cones we wanted. My favorite flavor ended up being half tangerine, half wild cherry with sangria on top.
**What’s something you can’t leave the house without in the morning?**
My Timbuktu bag. I bike to campus every day, and it’s so useful — it has a ton of space. I’m not usually a gadget girl, but this is my gadget thing; you customize them.
**Do you have any funny stories from freshman year that stick out in your mind?**
Fall break freshman year I didn’t go anywhere and most of the people I knew had gone home. So me and a few of the guys on the hall next to me went and stuck a melon in one of the trees behind Yates. They had a hatchet with them so we practiced trying to throw the hatchet into the melon to see who could spear it first. I won. [Laughs.] It was pretty funny.
**What would your perfect weekend be like?**
My perfect weekend is a rugby game at home — we win. Then we watch the guys and socialize with the other team afterwards. It’s a nice fall day; I love autumn in Williamsburg. It’s so nice, especially before it gets cold and the leaves start to change, but the sky is still really clear. Then on Sunday I come to the Grind with my best friend and we get a blueberry muffin because they’re really good here. We talk about the weekend, and ideally I don’t have any work to do or any papers to write.
**What’s something people might not know about you?**
I’ve always wanted to be a member of the William & Mary 13 secret society. I think what they do is so great, putting up encouraging messages around campus. One time sophomore or junior year I got a business card from the 13 Society in my CSU box that just said something to the effect of: “William and Mary is a better place because you’re here.” Anyway, I thought I’d get the word out that I’ve always wanted to be a member in the hopes that they’d let me in.
**What do you do to relax?**
I love to watch movies and have film nights. Anything by Tarantino, Hitchcock and Woody Allen — those are my three favorite directors.
**Is there a movie character that you feel you relate to in some way?**
It’s kind embarrassing, but I’ve always thought I’m a little like Bridget Jones. She’s so likeable and sweet, but she’s just terribly awkward and always seems to do the wrong thing. Sometimes I think it’s an apt description of myself.
__Sara gives a warm good-bye and hops onto her bike. Wish this senior luck as she heads out to hike Yosemite’s famous Half Dome crest over winter vacation, and seek her out if you have any hatchet-throwing issues or need a tasty recommendation for your next snow cone.__