Some things fishy


Gunter Kleist

Gwen Campus

Gwen Campus is a Johnson campus alum who can often be found smiling as she greets those entering the Sodexo establishments in Stearns. She greets all who enter with a cheery demeanor, and is always happy to share a “dad joke” with interested parties.  
Where are you from and what brought you here? 
I’m actually from Connecticut. That’s where I was born. I actually lived in northern Vermont for a couple of years, and when my parents got divorced I moved to Connecticut for about 10 years and then came back here in 2015 because my dad lived in Hyde Park. 

What’s your philosophy on life? 
To treat people with kindness and compassion. … Be kind but take no shit. That’s a big one because you don’t know what people have been through, but when it’s to the point where they are walking over you and making you feel worthless, you know that’s where you gotta put your foot down. 

What is your favorite food? 

Any particular kind? 
No, I like it all. I love it all. I mean I actually have a very wide palate. I’m not a picky eater at all, but sushi has just taken my heart. I make it at home all the time. I’ve mastered it. 

What is your least favorite food? 
Oh, I don’t know. Actually at this point it would have to be something really obscure.  

What are your favorite things to do? 
Well, I’m a singer. That’s actually what I went here for. I sing, I play guitar; I’m actually a flow artist. Actually, let me rephrase that to flow artists because I do a variety of things. I do the hula hoops. I’m learning pointe right now. And I do – what are they called – the ribbons. 

What are your least favorite things to do? 
Cleaning and “adulting” overall. You know, paying my taxes; those stressful things in life. I know that they have to get done but I don’t like doing them. 

Let’s say that you’re sitting on death row – wrongly accused, I’m sure. What do you request for your last meal? 
I would probably get – hear me out – I said sushi before. So sushi. Yes! But then I would also want some type of noodle dish, probably shrimp pad thai, and a seaweed salad. That would be really good – and miso soup. 

Would you like to be doing 10 years from now? 
I wish to be a professional musician; performing, touring, and traveling the world. But realistically I feel like I will be doing something like, social work. I would still be doing something with music though; maybe being a music therapist. It’s still going to have something to do with music, but it will be a different version of it – maybe helping people in recovery learn how to play instruments and song. That’s something I’m actually very passionate about; helping people, especially helping people that are in recovery. 

What is the trait you most admire in yourself? 
My spunkiness, definitely. 

What is the trait you least admire in yourself? 
I’m so hard on myself. … I tend to beat myself up a lot and put myself down and tell myself I can’t do it.  But I have learned to overlook these things and all the obstacles that I’ve achieved. Then bring myself back to reality. 

What is the best advice you have ever received? 
This is going to sound a little wild, but learning the concept of mindfulness. Being taught about mindfulness and being present in the moment was helpful because I feel like when you are living in the moment, not only does time go by slower, but you savor it more. 

Do you have any guilty pleasures
Nickelback? Society tells you that you can’t like it, but I do. 

If you could have dinner with any three historical figures, who would they be and why? 
Janis Joplin because she was one of my musical influences growing up. I feel like she could tell me a couple of stories about the 60s because that is a genre from a time I wish I lived in. That would be my choice if I were to be this age in a different time. Actually I want to be 21.  I want to be 21 in the 60s because I just feel like that was such a powerful time for women. It was a powerful time for civil rights, and people coming together, and the hippie movement, and I’ve always been really interested in that kind of stuff – and rock and roll, you know.  
I don’t have a specific name for the next person, but I’m interested in meeting someone who was accused of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials. I’m really into that type of stuff. I would maybe even like to meet somebody that was actually guilty – not only accused, but actually guilty. I would talk to them about their practices and what happened for them to get caught. How did they get involved in it? I think it’s very interesting. I admire strong women. 
I’m gonna change it up a little bit for the third person. Maybe Jerry Garcia because I feel like he has a lot of stories and there’s a lot of things he’s done and he’s seen. 

What does heaven on earth look like for you? 
Oh, I like that.  If there was a heaven on earth,  I would envision it as a meadow with wildflowers growing everywhere. Nature taking back its course, the sun shining; it’s always summer. It’s not melt your face off hot, but just the right amount. There would also be a cottage; a two story high cottage with a fireplace And I would have beautiful gardens, and all the kitties and puppies I could handle. 

What does hell on earth look like for you? 
I actually feel like this is a real reality for a lot of people. But being homeless, having no place to go. Having no one to love you, having that constant fear and constant judgment from other people … receiving no kindness or compassion. Just being unloved. Which, like I said, I know that is a reality for some people, and on top of it, not being able to get the resources and help that you need so you can better yourself and better your life. The constant cycle of never ending pain and misery. And then being really sick on top of it. 

What is your favorite “dad joke?” 
This is too hard. I have too many. Okay.  
Q: What did one melon say to the other? 
A: We cantaloupe! (can’t elope)