[“Don’t Tell Me Your Major Theme” By Malena Ramnath]

Malena: Hey guys, I’m Malena Ramnath.

Allison: Oh, I’m Allison.

Malena: And we are your hosts, and freshman here at Northwestern. Once again, this is Don’t Tell Me Your Major, an interview podcast where we avoid getting to know people on the surface level, with questions like what their major is, where they’re from, and how old they are but try to get to know them on a more profound level. So, you guys probably know we have a third co–host, Hannah, who we’re missing today thanks to midterm season, but we have our very first guest with us instead. And although we don’t know his major, this is Karthik Vempati, and we are very excited to have you on our podcast today. Karthik say hi!

Karthik: Hello, I’m excited to be here too.

Malena: Hello!

Allison: Sounds so unenthusiastic.

Malena: Ok, I forced him to be here; we’re not going to talk about that.

Karthik: You know what, I asked to be here, I’m not gonna lie.

Malena: Okay, so, as our first order of business, we’re going to start this podcast off with saying what is your favorite song right now?

Allison: Ok, I will go first. So, Hannah introduced me to this song called Amber Rose by a group called – is it BAFFHAUS?


Allison: BAFFHAUS. Apparently, they’re a group of Northwestern freshman.

Malena: Yeah…

Allison: I don’t know any of them personally, but, if you’re listening, I’m a big fucking fan. So like, I listen to it every morning when I get ready I swear to God.

Malena: Damn sister. You know they have a–

Allison: Yeah, yeah Nina Nina Nina Nina.

Malena: I don’t know how much they want me to plug them. They have a new song, they have a new song. I hang out with– They live in Lincoln.

Allison: Oh shit really?

Karthik: Yeah, they’re lake facing.

Malena: We are exposing them WAY too hard right now.

Allison: No, I just talked to Ray, downstairs, like in the first floor lounge, and Ray was like, I told Ray, cause I saw him on their Instagram page–

Malena: Yeah, yeah.

Allison: Yeah, so I was like oh my god–

Malena: We’re hardcore stalking them.

Allison: Yeah, so I was like I love their song and he was like aww I’ll let them know. I was like oh, cool, cool, thanks. But yeah so Sammie and I blast that in the morning. Ok technically, we wake up in the afternoon, so like at 1 pm, we blast it.

Malena: Ahaha yeah.

Allison: So I get back from the shower and we blast Amber Rose, like on repeat while we do our makeup. So if you’re out there, haha, I–I love you.

Malena: Please, Alex, Gabe, all the BAFFHAUS boys please listen to this–

Karthik: You can’t leave out Arman.

Malena: Arman, I mean yeah. But uh–

Allison: Sponsor me.

Malena: Big shoutout to BAFFHAUS for being another Northwestern start up on Spotify, just like us.

Allison: Cool, cool, cool.

Malena: They’re definitely cooler, but it’s fine. So my favorite song right now is this song called Our Time by Russ. It’s not really–

Allison: Ohhh.

Malena: It’s just good vibes because I realize I listen to a lot of–

Allison: Isn’t that what you say–

Malena: Huh?

Allison: What you feel about–

Malena: HowI feel about college boys? Ok, give it a listen, then maybe you’ll know how I feel about college boys. But at the same time, at the same time, it’s a happy, upbeat song even though it’s about like a sad topic. It’s just a happy song because I realized I was listening to a lot of depresso emo indie folk music, and it was just bringing me down as a whole, so I started to listen to happy music, and that’s why it’s my favorite song right now so...Karthik, what’s your favorite song?

Karthik: Honestly, for me right now I’m going through a phase where I have lots of favorite songs, but probably the one that I can both fall asleep to and get hyped to which is really weird is the Good Grief remix by Don Diablo. I don’t know why, ‘cause it reminds me of like–

Allison: I have no idea what that is.

Karthik: So Malena and I went to high school together right?

Allison: Oh yeah.

Karthik: And that was kind of like one of our class’ songs.

Malena: Yeah.

Allison: Mine was Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon. That was our 8th grade gala song.

Malena: Wow.

Allison: Still get hyped to it.

Karthik: Honestly that song, it slaps. It’s so good. And, my roommate also kinda gets pissed about this but for some reason now I’ve kinda trained myself to fall asleep to music. So it’s hard for me to fall asleep in silence than it is even with banging like Martin Garrix.

Allison: Shouldn’t you train yourself to sleep in silence considering your room–

Karthik: I know, I know but what happened is that I put the music and I take naps during the day. I sleep like four hours a night, four hours during the day.

Malena: Ok can we just take a moment to talk about Karthik’s insane sleep schedule.

Karthik: No, no, no.

Malena: When do you go to bed, Karthik, in the morning?

Karthik: Yesterday–

Allison: When do you do work? That’s my question

Malena: When do you normally–

Karthik: I slept at 6:30 today, and I woke up at 4. So I slept through like four classes.

Malena: You’re a human bat, dude. He’s Batman, in short.

Allison: I slept at 4:30 and then I woke up at 11, not 6:30.

Karthik: Yeah I woke up at 4.

Malena: I had to wake up to go to church, y’all. So…

Allison: Yeah, I know

Karthik: Honestly some days– oh, really?

Allison: Hallelujah.

Malena: I mean, I decided to be productive today, and then took a nap from 8:30 to 9:30. Yeah, and now we’re filming the podcast. Woke up for this boys! Anyways, alright, so that was our favorite songs. So our next favorite thing, we’re kind of theming these podcast questions about what your favorite things are, so what is your favorite personality trait in someone else?

Allison: Someone else go first.

Karthik: Oh, I like that.

Malena: Ok, I can go first. I think my favorite personality trait in someone else is when they can have a conversation for hours. Like for me, I hate when there's awkward silence.

Allison: What if they’re just a bit awkward, and you have to bring them out of their shell?

Malena: No it’s fine, like I’m fine with that. But I love finding that unique person that can make a conversation out of nowhere, because I, if you guys couldn’t tell by this podcast, I talk all the freaking time. And so it’s nice to have–

Allison: I mean who doesn’t like that, yknow?

Malena: Yeah.

Allison: Like everyone likes that.

Karthik: Some people just like silence, y’know?

Malena: Yeah, some people are introverts, it’s kind of overwhelming, but –

Karthik: I mean I like someone I can have like a five hour conversation with every single day–

Allison: And also have silent periods with.

Karthik: I don’t really care that much about that.

Allison: Oh ok, nevermind.

Karthik: Just someone I can chill with, some people they maybe like it occasionally, right, but not that much.

Malena: Yeah.

Karthik: Like once a week max. Yeah, that’s a really cool answer.

Malena: Fair. Alright Karthik, you’re up, You’re up.

Karthik: Ok. I like when someone is just very, very I guess like humble.

Allison: Like Karthik’s Balenciaga shoes.

Karthik: Oh, they’re fake.

Malena: Ohh, ok. Karthik’s got some fake Balenciaga’s.

Allison: I was like, damn.

Malena: They’re just like Valenciaga’s. They have like a V scratched into them. No.

Karthik: They’re so comfortable.

Malena: They’re legit just socks with rubber soles.

Aliison: No, I thought–

Karthik: But they’re squishy soles too. Like, on the plane, I kid you not – vacation for my feet.

Allison: We go off on so many tangents.  

Malena: Ok, sorry what was your personality trait?

Karthik: When someone’s very very humble, right? So they have not exactly a lot to be proud of but like they’re for example let’s say someone is very rich; they don’t show it off, they don’t flex it, they don’t...they keep it to themselves. Someone you wouldn’t know is rich, but they’re absolutely lovely, right? Like that kind of stuff. Or someone who’s really smart, but they’ll help everyone out, and they’re not someone who bases their identity around, I guess–

Malena: Their intellect.

Karthik: Yeah, their intellect, their wealth, anything like that. They just, they want to be themselves.

Allison: Wow that’s deep. I don’t know if I can–

Malena: What’s your answer? I like pretty eyes.

Allison: Aahahah, mine was actually going to be humor.

Malena: Ooooo, I like that, no that’s good.

Karthik: That’s so important!

Malena: How did we not answer that?? Oh my gosh.

Karthik: I mean–

Allison: Um, I would say, I don’t know humor, as in I want to laugh. I want someone who can make me laugh but also I feel like I have a very biting sense of humor, like a very sarcastic–

Malena: You bite people a lot?

Allison: Why are you–why are you nodding?

Karthik: No, I agree, I agree.

Malena: Karthik actually bites people.

Karthik: Oh, wait no!

Malena: Sorry, did I expose you for a second?

Karthik: No, no, no, it’s good. It’s good.

Malena: Is that public information?

Karthik: I really don’t care.

Allison: I’m not fucking–

Malena: Karthik’s a bat and a vampire.

Karthik: I’m that one person that everyone tags in like tag that one friend who bites you. I get like 6 comments on that every single time.

Malena: That’s a Facebook post?

Sadcasm page from Facebook

Karthik: Yeah!

Allison: Yeah I’m not fucking weird like Karthik, I don’t actually bite people, but I feel like I have a very deadpan sense of humor. I don’t know, I’m very sarcastic I think. In a bit of a loving, lovingly mean way. Sometimes–

Karthik: Just mean.

Allison: It’s not!

Karthik:  It’s just mean.

Malena: I bully people, but like it’s cool, I’m nice.

Allison: Shut up! No, no no, like–

Karthik: I make them feel terrible about themselves, but it’s okay.

Malena: I feel like they’re cool deep down.

Allison: Shut up! No, I’m only sarcastic mean to people I actually feel close to, y’know, I’m very, you know like a biting sense of humor and it’s just people who don’t get that, I feel it’s very hard for me to get along–

Malena: Be around them?

Allison: Not necessarily be around them. It’s just like, I’m always fake laughing all the time, I don’t like that. So yeah, I like to laugh and yeah so I guess humor. And I like everything that you mentioned too, but for me, yeah humor.

Karthik: I mean I feel like if you don’t really vibe with someone’s sense of humor, or just–

Allison: Yeah it’s hard to get along.

Karthik: Yeah, you’re never going to be too close, and you’re just not going to spend as much time with them just naturally, I don’t know if there’s lots of social situations you would, but other than that–

Allison: Yeah, humor’s important, especially if you’re a funny person.

Karthik: Exactly.

Malena: Alright, alright, those are some pretty good answers. Up next, what is your favorite season?

Allison: Fall.

Karthik: Ohhh, fall yeah.

Malena: Fall.

Malena: Dude, yeah. Fall.

Karthik: No, no doubt.

Malena: And it’s sad because Chicago just skipped fall this year.

Karthik: No, it was so pretty for that like one week.

Malena: For that one week, all the leaves were red, and everybody was like outside with their phones–

Karthik: And yellow...oh yeah. But then, but then, when that first snow fall came–

Allison: That was pretty.

Karthik: Yeah because it was white, like pristine but also fall. That was the nicest thing.

Allison: Yeah. No, one of my friends uploaded on Instagram, and her caption was if you can’t – what was it – “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.” And it was just pictures of snow fall with like leaves on top of them. It was kind of funny. No but, it’s getting–

Karthik: Wait what?

Malena: What’s convince them? It’s winter?

Allison: No it was like– If you can’t convince them, confuse them, like confuse them because it’s snowing but there’s also leaves, it’s like fall.  Do you get it?

Karthik:  But what’s convince them? What?

Allison: God damn Karthik, shut the fuck up.

Karthik: Jesus Christ.

Malena: Oh my gosh Allison, my parents – sorry mom and dad.

Allison: BEEEEEEP.

Malena: Um, ok ok moving on because we’re all in agreement–

Karthik: Wait, do you censor swear words?

Allison: No.

Malena: No, shoutout to North By Northwestern–

Karthik: Ohhhh got you.

Malena: for letting us be free. So, my last and final question is, for tonight. What is your comfort food? Just remind us of home before Thanksgiving.

Allison: Tteokbokki.

Malena: What is that Allison, please explain yourself cultured person.

Allison: It sounds gross if I explain it in English. It’s like rice cakes but not like the puffy kind. Like, it’s kind of like mochi, but it’s savory and it’s–

Karthik: Oh, I know.

Allison: Not as like stretchy. It’s a bit firmer, but it’s still chewy. And they’re in like cylinders.

Malena: Oh, I’ve had those before! They’re good, they’re not bad!

Karthik: They’re so good.

Allison: And I cut them up into small pieces and it’s in like in gochujang. Gochujang is like red pepper paste sauce with, I like it with garlic. Most places don’t, but my mom makes it with garlic. Garlic, soy sauce, anchovy broth. And you make the sauce, and then you dunk it in there and you add fish cakes, which sounds gross, but it’s like really good. And then, some places will add Vienna sausages in them and cabbage and stuff like that and then for like a side dish you have it with rice balls. So rice rolled in seaweed. You know the thing that, have I ever given you, or have you had it before?

Malena: I’ve probably had it before.

Allison: Like the dried and salted seaweed.

Malena: Yeah.

Allison: That stuff? That stuff like crumbled into, not a powder but like little–

Malena: Damn guys, I ate Cup of Noodles for dinner so like at 4 pm so like–

Allison: Again??

Karthik: I had them one time in second grade. I’ve been trying to find out that name for 11 years now.

Allison: Yeah, I have some in my room.

Malena: We’re really uniting cultures right now.

Allison: I have it in my room, but Sammie and I are saving it for reading week when we have to study.

Karthik: I’ll pay you.

Allison: I will bring–I know how to make it from scratch.

Karthik: I have Mac and Cheese

Allison: I hate Mac and Cheese.

Malena: Is that your comfort food, Karthik?

Karthik: No that’s the one that Max always steals.

Allison: I like Mac and Cheese, but I hate instant Mac and Cheese.

Karthik: Oh, but that’s so good.

Malena: Ok but what’s your comfort food?

Allison: Kraft Mac and Cheese is (gagging noise).

Karthik: That’s interesting. Honestly, I’m not sure. I’ll tell you why. Because recently… so one day I was just walking to the Bobb lounge, the McCulloch lounge, and I smelled oatmeal. Like apple cinnamon oatmeal.

Allison: I hate oatmeal.

Karthik: Oh my god it smelled amazing. I ordered it– I ordered a box of 40 immediately.

Allison: It smells good but it tastes–

Karthik: Oh, it tasted amazing.

Malena: This man did like 17 Instagram polls about whether he should eat maple sugar oatmeal or

Malena and Allison: apple cinnamon oatmeal.

Karthik: No, I had both.

Allison: There’s more!

Karthik: I had cinnamon spice, peaches and cream. I had apple cinnamon, two of them.

Allison: That sounds–

Karthik: And then one maple brown sugar. I kid you not that night was one of my most – I hadn’t had oatmeal in ten years before that, like instant oatmeal. So that was like ooooo.

Allison: Wait, I don’t know if this is an unpopular opinion or a popular opinion, but oatmeal always smells way better than it tastes.

Karthik: Oh, but it tastes so good.

Allison: I’ve had apple cinnamon oatmeal before and like it smelled so good, and I had a bite, and I was like this tastes like water.

Karthik: Yeah, you probably made it wrong.

Allison: Um, I don’t think so. I followed the instructions.

Karthik: You don’t follow the instructions. You have to add a chef’s touch to it.

Allison: Oh, ok, ok. Mr. Gordon Ramsey.

Karthik: Alright, one night for dinner I was vibing this. I had basically this the other night: Cup Noodles, then mac and cheese–

Allison: Okay, wait like American Cup Noodles?

Karthik: Then like 20 minutes – No, no like Shin–

Allison: Oh yeah! That’s Korean.

Karthik: No, not like Shin Ramyun but like–

Allison: Jin?

Karthik: Kimchi, it was kimchi.

Allison: Oh my god! Look at this cultured man eating real Korean ramen.

Karthik: It was good, it was good. But then, I also have Jin Ramyun, just for later this week, but–

Allison: Malena is panicking because we’re running out of time, so hurry up.

Malena: Sorry, the look of panic on my face!

Karthik: Oh, got you got you.

Malena: Sorry.

Karthik: Go ahead, just, foods. Go.

Allison: What’s yours?

Malena: Um no, butter chicken and saag paneer. Sorry, my dad makes really good Indian food.

Allison: Look at us, cultured.

Malena: I know, I really miss it. Because we don’t get a lot of it here. Oh, Channa. Channa Battura.

Karthik: Oh, that’s solid.

Malena: It’s SO good.

Karthik: See, do you know what that is?

Allison: No.

Malena: It’s like chickpea curry.

Allison: I like butter chicken.

Malena: Yeah! Ok, ok we’ll have to have Indian night and samosas.

Allison: I want samosas.

Karthik: Dude, you said you had food in your fridge for me, and I really wanted it.

Allison: Oh, that’s right, that’s right!

Malena: It got confiscated, it got confiscated.

Karthik: By who??

Allison: Did you eat it??

Malena: We have pad thai leftovers in my dorm right now actually. But on that note, I’m so sorry we’re running out of time. Karthik it was so nice having you on our podcast. Allison, lovely as always. And this is the Don’t Tell Me Your Major team, signing off, and it’s been another great podcast from North By Northwestern Audio. Thanks so much!