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“She did some stuff”

Brittney+Malik
Brittney Malik

Brittney Malik

Jacob Greenia

Jacob Greenia

Brittney Malik

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Brittney Malik is a JSC junior focusing her studies on theater. She grew up in Randolph, Vermont, and has made waves on campus with her activism and dedication. Her efforts helped bring together multiple campus events and performances, and raise the Black Lives Matter flag outside Stearns.

What do you do around school?
I’m a theater major and I do a lot of things, I guess, mostly just working and jobs. I work in admissions, co-manage the radio station, and I also work in the print shop. I do a lot of activism-based performances here on campus. I’ve been in some of the plays that we’ve performed, and there’s been gallery openings that I’ve recited poetry at and helped organize.

What is your job at Admissions?
I’m mostly just a tour guide and do office work. There’s a lot of different events that we put on — open houses, school visits — I help organize when [prospective students] come and what they will be doing, who they’ll see, lunch, and stuff like that. It’s just organizing people, getting people to know Johnson, showing them Johnson, and introducing them to what we do here and who we are.

Do you enjoy that job?
I do! I like interacting with people and presenting. I like performing in general, so I picture it as a performance with me presenting a college that I’m at and I love. I want other people to be like, ‘Come to Johnson!’

Do you play any sports?
Not anymore — I used to. I used to be a very heavy athlete. My freshmen year, I played soccer and lacrosse here, and then last year I was on the rugby team instead. Then this year, I’ve sort of dwindled out. Sometimes I go to the gym. In high school I was a three-season athlete for my whole career, but when I got to college it was like I realized — not to say that a D3 school isn’t amazing — but there were priorities that I had.

What is your best memory of Rugby?
My best memory of rugby is actually being tackled by people! I know that’s a really weird thing to enjoy about rugby, but as an athlete I’ve always been a very aggressive player. Sports like soccer especially — like in women’s lacrosse, you can’t touch anyone. Ever. At all. So that was very difficult. In soccer, I would always get yellow cards and red cards for doing not great things, and when rugby came around I was like, ‘Finally I get to be aggressive and it’s okay!’ Just the physical-ness of rugby is sort of my favorite part of it, and also the team itself is literally a family of people. If I had to think of a group on campus that was so well knit together, it would be the women’s rugby team, because they’re just very cohesive and support each other very well and it’s amazing! It’s an amazing group of people, and I’m amazed that they’re here and they’re an option.

Would you ever rejoin rugby when you find the time?
I really want to try. I’ve been trying this semester, but it’s just time. I’ve learned that theater schedules don’t mix with most schedules that exist because theater happens at night, and then everything else happens during the day, and at night is usually sports and stuff like that. So I can’t really mix the two, but I’m hoping that eventually I’ll find a nice even balance and I can start to do rugby and stuff like that.

What would you want written on your tombstone?
Ah, man! That’s an interesting question because, I’m going to be honest, I don’t think very highly of myself. I think I’m an okay person, like my tombstone would probably say — I’d want it to say, ‘Well, she did some stuff,’ or something like that. I don’t know, maybe I do amazing things, or maybe I just work a normal job [like an] average Joe person. I don’t really have an inspirational quote or anything — I’m pretty bland.

What type of legacy do you think you would have?
Either it’s just a legacy of just bad jokes and making too many puns and satirical jokes, or I’d actually do something productive. I don’t know, the future is a weird thing to think about.

If you could invite five people to dinner, living or dead, who would they be?
I would probably have Michael Jackson — I don’t want to make it seem like he’s just the entertainment for the night, but if he just wants to sing “Man in the Mirror” for us, I wouldn’t be upset about it. Probably Langston Hughes, just because I like poetry and I did a poem of his last year and it was very empowering to me, so I’ve been getting into that. Probably Pharrell Williams, because he’s a very big activist when it comes to empowering students and the youth to grow in music, and he helps students challenge the boundaries of their music, so I think that’s pretty great. Number four, this might be a cliché, Michelle Obama. She’s just fierce, amazing, and empowering, so she’s just like an inspiration. And maybe my dog. I like my dog. He’s pretty neat. He’s pretty chill with everyone. Everyone will have a good time and there’ll be a dog there. There will just be a jam sesh and Michael Jackson singing to us.

Where were you from before JSC?
I was born in Colorado and I moved to Vermont when I was five. I lived in the Orange County/Randolph area for my whole everything. I went to Randolph Elementary and Brookfield Elementary, then I went to Randolph Union High School for my whole high school career. Randolph’s like a small town, not super small because I’ve learned that graduating classes can be like 13 people and I didn’t know that, mine was 69 people. But it was a small town and everyone knew everyone in some form. There wasn’t a lot that happened in Randolph. It’s one of those towns where you’re like, ‘I’ve got to get out of here because it’s literally the boringest place I’ve ever been.’

What made you pick Johnson?
Honestly, it was the money. I’ve been on full scholarship since I’ve been here. Also, I always thought that maybe I could go to a giant university or a city school, but after a while I realized, education-wise, that’s not how I function. Smaller class sizes and smaller communities are easier for me, and so Johnson was a good fit. Also a fair amount of people from my high school go to Johnson, so having that foundation of being like, ‘at least there are people here that I know,’ but also still being able to branch out and meet a bunch of new people from a bunch of other places was cool.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
In elementary school, we took trips to campgrounds and stayed the night. One year we went to Silver Lake, which is near Bethel. It’s the end of the school year — sixth grade. So we’re like, ‘It’s the end of 6th grade! We’re going to 7th grade. It’s going to be phenomenal! Our lives are changing, we’re growing up!” What we decided to do was, in the middle of the night we just wake up, and it’s like this weather [60s and below], so it was not the time to go outside and jump into the lake. But we decided, ‘Let’s go jump into the freezing cold lake in the middle of the night because 6th grade is over, woo!’ So we did that, and that was basically half of my elementary class, which I grew up with through high school and on. It was fun! The hype was great, and then you jump in and you’re like, ‘This is the worst decision I’ve ever made!’

Are you a dog or a cat person?
Dog! 100 percent! I don’t hate cats . . . it’s just that I’m allergic to cats and I have asthma. It’s one thing to just get itchy eyes, and if they scratch you, you get itchy bumps. But I get really hard breathing, even harder than if you were getting an allergic reaction to something. Cats do this thing where whenever you want to take them off of you but they don’t want to leave, they just claw into your legs and I don’t enjoy it. But dogs, they just cuddle with you and you can hold them and they sleep and lick your face and I love dog kisses. I have two dogs now, but I’ve gone through spans of large amounts of dogs. We use to have four dogs, but the dogs we have now are a German Shepherd and a Border Collie/Black Lab/Terrier mix. We had a little Rat Terrier and a Beagle and they were all really cute.

Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy music a lot. I’m a musician — I play the trumpet and I sing. I’m in Funk Fusion Ensemble here on campus and I’m also in the Jazz Ensemble. I don’t take classes to study music, because I would have to start from the literal beginning. I have a general understanding of music, but to get to the next level, I would have to start over again to learn all the things I’ve already learned. I don’t have the time or energy to learn something I already know. A lot of my friends are musicians, so I spend a lot of time around music and experiencing music.

Have you tried any other instruments?
I’m self-taught on ukulele, and by self-taught I mean I can play chords and strum differently for different songs, but if you want me to play the melody of a song on ukulele, that’s not going to happen, but I can play and sing at the same time. I’m also sort of self-taught on piano; mostly it’s just chords and playing for myself while I sing. I tried to play the flute once, but it’s just too many buttons. The trumpet only has three buttons, and then all the other instruments have like 23, and that’s too many buttons. I did learn how to play the clarinet in eighth grade. A little music talk for you — instruments are divided into different keys they are played in, and trumpet and clarinet are played in the same key, so that means all the notes are the same no matter how you play them. So it was easy for me to learn the clarinet.

If you were on death row, what would your final meal be?
Oh man, I love a lot of foods. Can I get three meals? Is that a rule? A three-course meal, that’s what I’m going for! It’s not in any order and it doesn’t make sense when you talk real-talk… Pancakes, 100 percent pancakes, all day, every day. I love pancakes. I literally stabbed someone once for pancakes. Number two is steak. Pancakes and steak don’t go together well, I understand that, but steak is really good. I want it cooked medium-rare, and I want a sirloin with a nice Mediterranean rub on it. My third course would be chocolate lava cake. With pancakes, it’s too much cake for one meal, but I just can’t get rid of pancakes.

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“She did some stuff”