The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Dropping names, deuces at Big Momma’s House

Carly Wakshlag ’15, Moira Donovan ’14, Violeta Ruiz Espigares ’15, Ellie Garza and Victor Kyerematen (both ’14) strut what their Big Momma gave them. Photo by Joanna Silverman.

The house at 1011 High Street, or Big Momma’s House as dubbed by Dylan Naylor ’13, includes four separate apartments occupied by six people—two international students, Victor Kyerematen ’14 and Violeta Ruiz Espigares ’15, two self-made chefs, Moira Donovan ’14 and Ellie Garza ’14 and a victim of severe allergies, Carly Wakshlag ’15. The last resident is not a student and lives in a single apartment in the back of the house. The group is unsure about his current whereabouts.

On the outside, the house features the ‘Masturbation Porch,’ which received its name two years ago when the house next door, 1005 High, looked out their kitchen window onto the porch and saw someone who they presumed was sunbathing naked. That person turned out to be masturbating.

The porch is not the only location at the residence bearing an interesting title. The group came up with individual names for each of their own spaces within Big Momma’s House.

Carly Wakshlag ’15, Moira Donovan ’14, Violeta Ruiz Espigares ’15, Ellie Garza and Victor Kyerematen (both ’14) strut what their Big Momma gave them. Photo by Joanna Silverman.
Carly Wakshlag ’15, Moira Donovan ’14, Violeta Ruiz Espigares ’15, Ellie Garza and Victor Kyerematen (both ’14) strut what their Big Momma gave them.
Photo by Joanna Silverman.

Kyerematen and Ruiz, from Ghana and Spain respectively, reside in the basement, which they call ‘The Orange Underground’ because of the brightly painted walls. There, the two frequently enjoy a game of indoor soccer.

This recreational exercise may be one of the few things that have allowed them to keep some remnants of a healthy lifestyle. The extent of their cooking ability is limited to macaroni and cheese, ramen and other pasta.

But one should not conflate their questionable dietary habits with their quality of life. Kyerematen is the current Films Chair for Grinnell’s Student Government Association (SGA), and Ruiz inherited gold silk sheets from the previous resident of her room.

Additionally, the two are lucky to have their upstairs neighbors and good friends willing to assist them when they are in need.

Donovan, Garza and Wakshlag frequently cook dishes including soup, turkey meatloaf, bruschetta, steak and blue cheese and challah for all five to enjoy.

“We were talking about organizing a weekly dinner, just so we could feed Victor and Violeta,” Wakshlag said.

Despite their willingness to come together as a group and collectively help one another, the five housemates also note the appeal of living with only one other person—or in Wakshlag’s case, by herself.

“If you realized someone hasn’t flushed, you almost always know that it’s only one other person,” Donovan said.

However, Donovan and Garza—who reside on the second floor, with Donovan’s room being called ‘The Cum Cave’ because of the all-white walls and Garza’s room ‘The Panty Graveyard’ for purely platonic reasons—have encountered a ‘mystery dumper.’ The two allege that this mystery person has been using their bathroom and not been very discreet about it.

“I’m not talking about a regular person dump,” Garza explained. “[The dump is] ginormous, like someone is morphing this dump in a dungeon or waiting an entire week to dump and holding it all together and coming to our apartment.”

And the two are not taking this matter lightly.

“We have people hiding in the bathtub now when we’re gone just to see if they can catch the mystery dumper,” Garza added.

Wakshlag lives on the first floor, which she has named ‘The Free Clinic’ for not purely platonic reasons. She has been unable to notice any clues regarding who the mystery dumper may be despite being able to hear everything else that occurs in the house.

Hopefully, the group will be able to catch the culprit soon, because Donovan’s role in SGA as Concerts Chair has made 1011 High a go-to place for musicians performing concerts at Gardner Lounge to spend the night. Some of the past performers who have stayed in Big Momma’s House include Fat Tony, Norwegian Arms and Dent May.

With well-known artists occasionally staying and their friends being so close by, the five housemates have found it difficult to socialize beyond their house.

“I would say that the extent of my social endeavors are limited to the three floors of this house,” Wakshlag said.

For Donovan, the extent may be ever more limited.

“I do a lot of wallowing,” Donovan admitted. “Just sit by myself with all the lights off, waiting for Ellie to come home.”

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (1)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • M

    Maria ArthurFeb 7, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Best article ever. So where you off to in the night? You know who you are.