By | Rosa Durst ’17

These two pairs of friends are set to graduate this spring, but four years’ worth of college—food fights, rooftop jamming, and deep conversations—has ensured that their friendships are here to stay.

Sam Parker ’15 (Falls Church, Virginia) and Isaac Mathison-Bowie ’15 (Newton, Iowa) don’t remember exactly how they became friends during the first-year muddle of meeting new people, mingling, and hanging out at parties. Eventually, however, they discovered how much they had in common, including a shared double major in Media/Cultural Studies and Religious Studies (“a one-in-a-million combo,” Parker says) and a shared love of Seattle sports teams (despite the fact that neither grew up in the Pacific Northwest).

They also both like “really weird stuff,” according to Parker, such as strange animals, outer space, and obscure religions.

Their similar academic interests complement their parallel outside interests. The duo took a Religious Studies class about the Holocaust, taught by Rabbi Barry Cytron, which was “probably one of my favorite experiences in college,” Mathison-Bowie says, especially because he and Parker often discussed the class afterwards.

When they lived together last year—one semester mutually agreed to be “awesome”— there was a lot of baking, and a lot of watching TV, says Mathison-Bowie. “And then the occasional, you know, high-level discussion about what constitutes a religion.”

But there’s one area where they don’t always agree: politics. “Parker’s a little liberal for me sometimes,” says Mathison-Bowie. Parker agrees. “We talk about God, not politics,” he says.

A shared interest in baking also brought them together during their first year. They’d make banana bread and other desserts in the Turck lounge, a process that included “a lot of burnt stuff,” says Parker, and “a lot of trial and error.”

Mathison-Bowie remembers when an attempt to bake a red velvet cake turned into a spontaneous food fight. “I was covered in frosting,” he says. “I think we stomped a lot of the cake mix into the carpet.” That was the moment, says Parker, when he realized, “we’re going to be friends.”

Eura Chang ’15 (Rochester, Minn.) and Allison Dobscha ’15 (Portland, Ore.) have also been friends since their first year at Mac, both joining the African Music Ensemble early on. Chang, an Educational Studies and Political Science major, is a vocalist, and Dobscha, an English major, is a drummer for the group.

As two of only a handful of first-year students in the ensemble, they quickly became close friends. Now they sit across from each other during rehearsals and exchange silly noises and faces, to the amusement of other members.

Chang and Dobscha have lived together since their junior year. Their preferred form of communication is to yell to each other from the next room. Dobscha demonstrates: “We’ll be like, ’Did you see that Buzzfeed article about the cats?’ ‘Yeah, bro, I just saw it!’”

They have the same taste in the Internet, she says. They also have shared passions for sleeping in and enjoying late brunches on the weekends, when they’re known to make “elaborate egg scrambles.”

Over J term during sophomore year, they decided to learn the entire dance to the music video for “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn. It has since become a tradition. “We bust it out every once in a while,” says Chang.

And on one of the first sunny days last spring, they took an accordion and guitar up to the roof of their house to sing “Wrecking Ball.” After awhile the neighbors across the street began to sing along, at which point, says Dobscha, we “figured it was a good time to stop.”

All four seniors will graduate this spring. Neither pair has any intention of letting go of their four-year friendships, even if they have to be conducted long-distance in the future.

“Allison likes talking on the phone,” says Chang. “I’m really bad at talking on it, but I’m trying to get better.” Parker and Mathison-Bowie are pretty sure they’ll stay in the same area next year. After all, says Mathison-Bowie, “We’re just homies, we’ve been homies, and we’ll continue to be homies forever.”

March 30 2015

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