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The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Couples Speak: Grinnell love stories

Graphic by Rei Yamada.

In the second annual special Valentine’s Day Couples Speak, Features and Arts Editors Ingrid Meulemans ’22 and Abraham Teuber ’22 asked five Grinnell couples to reflect on romance of years past and share where their love stories began. The following stories were written by the couples and shared with The S&B.

President Anne Harris and Professor Michael “Mac” Mackenzie, art history

Photo contributed by Anne Harris.

“We met in the graduate school program for art history at the University of Chicago in the fall of 1991. Mac is a modernist and Anne is a medievalist – worlds apart! – so we never had any seminars together. Instead, the Art Library – where Anne worked – was really the place where we met and talked and hung out and got to know each other. The activities involved in researching and writing PhDs were also bonding experiences, as was traveling in France and Germany for on-site research. You really get to know someone walking on the roof of a cathedral or experiencing experimental architecture!”

Ryuta Kure ’21 and Reina Shahi ’21

Photo contributed by Ryuta Kure.

“We first met each other during IPOP, and we became very close friends because we shared a connection of being half-Japanese. After a few months, we had a few enjoyable moments that we shared at Harris dance parties and restaurants downtown (specifically, Chuong Garden) and realized that we have a lot of common interests, values and goals. Therefore, it was very natural for us to start dating.”

Professor Vance Byrd and Professor Javier Samper Vendrell, German studies

Photo contributed by Vance Byrd.

VB: “So basically, I was a student abroad in Rostock, in northern Germany, and I lived in an international residence hall. And I lived with people from many different countries, including Spain, and there was one woman named Alma who lived in a house, so that’s the first part of the story. The second part of the story was seven years later – I was in Berlin at a library, and I hadn’t been in contact with Alma, but I ran into her and she invited me to have dinner.”

JSV: “To a dinner party.”

VB: “And, when I arrived at the dinner party, I determined that he [Javier] was her roommate.”

JSV: “Yes, I was her roommate. And that’s how we met. This was 2004, so many years ago, and at one point we started talking and we maybe…dated? I don’t know so much about all this dating culture… but we probably saw each other a couple of times and then Vance had to leave the country, and we said that we would be in touch, but we were actually not in touch. And then maybe a year later, I received a text message from Vance asking if I was still in Berlin, and I was still there, so we reconnected in 2005 and started dating for real.”

Caroline Shea ’22 and Lily Dawson ’21

Photo contributed by Caroline Shea.

“We first met in front of the sculpture by Steiner in August of 2018. We started talking regularly the following semester after Lily posted on Free & For Sale looking for yellow items with which to transform their room into a happy yellow oasis following brain science on color. Caroline’s childhood bedroom was painted by their mother in alternating wide stripes of two yellows a very long time ago. We have been together ever since, and this past September adopted a kitten together named Sasha (Aleksander).”

Maya Larson ’22 and Ethan Neuvirth ’22

Photo contributed by Maya Larson.

“We met at the end of our first year. Maya thought Ethan was cute and Ethan thought Maya (and her cat) were cute. Our first date was at Saints Rest, then we parted ways for the summer. After hours and hours of Facetiming, we started officially dating in July when Ethan came to visit Maya (he drove four hours to spend less than a day with her, and she knew he was a keeper!).”

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