Bonner Brothers-Episode 1 Transcript

Jasmine 0:00

Welcome to your Bonner brothers. This is Jasmine wiles and I’m a freshman here at Emory involved in the Bonner Program. I’m involved in some other things like I am a volleyball manager for the team, and I’m also involved in the Honors Program here. I have yet to decide my major but right now I’m involved in the art education program. And some things I enjoy are going to the duck pond and watching the ducks.


Peyton 0:24

Hello, everybody. My name is Peyton Derek. I’m a fellow Bonner here at Emory Henry. I’m a freshman, majoring in exercise science. I’m also part of the football team here at Emory.


Ethan 0:36

Well, how are we doing? My name is Ethan Fisher. I’m a business administration and accounting double major. I’m part of the rugby team and I’m a blue and gold ambassador. Something I love about Emory is just how you can talk to everybody and everyone will be friendly back.


Mary-Catherine 0:51

Hey, y’all. I’m Mary-Catherine Jones. I’m also a fellow Bonner scholar. I’m a junior BFA musical theater major, and I am a sister of sigma upsilon nu on campus, as well as a member of Alpha Psi Omega. And yeah, I’m really involved in the theater department.


Ethan 1:13

So this podcast is going to be about how Emory and Henry has been dealing with the covid 19 pandemic and how things have changed and how we’re able to have a partially in person semester. There’s been a lot of changes here at Emory that you know, as a sophomore, like things were very different. And you know, I was coming in the caf having to wear masks that was new. I’m not a big fan of masks, but I do it to keep everyone else safe. And, you know, there’s directional arrows everywhere. And you know, the cafe didn’t have seating for the longest time, which was crazy. And you know, the to go boxes were always a thing, like, while we were here, but like not to the extent that they were used now, like, we had the green boxes, I’m sure Mary-Catherine remember, like


Mary-Catherine 2:00

the recyclable or reusable ones.


Ethan 2:02

Yeah, but now they’re using like paper to go boxes. And you know, some of the dorms are now shut down for like quarantine dorms. And you know, campus just has a whole whole different feel to it with the Plexiglas everywhere and things like that. So,


Jasmine 2:15

yeah, definitely, when you’re sitting in the cafe, and you have Plexiglas in between you and your friends, you can’t hear anything, it’s really difficult. And when you leave, you have to flip over your little things and say, check or x so they can clean on


Mary-Catherine 2:27

they also take our temperature before we enter the caf to to make sure that no one’s reading the paper before they get food and share their germs with everyone else. Yeah.


Ethan 2:34

And then, you know, the, for the first couple, both for the first part of this semester, and like the whole last semester, we couldn’t use lobby spaces, which is like,


Jasmine 2:45

right, they just put out the chairs. Yeah.


Ethan 2:48

And my like, the friends that I made here, my first semester, were definitely like the people I hung out in the second floor hickory with all night. And it was weird not doing that. So I could I’m sure freshmen are like,


Mary-Catherine 3:01

probably definitely. And you guys can probably speak more to this than we can because we’re older. But I definitely met a lot of my friends like making cookies in the hickory kitchen and like someone else would come in and be like, you have any butter. Why don’t we share?


Jasmine 3:15

Right? Well, I just walked into hickory the other day because that’s where I’m living right now. And they just put up the chairs and the tables and the couches, and I walked down and it was like a whole new entire place. And even though no one still uses them, really, it was crazy to walk in and think that people can be down there together safely wearing masks and everything. But it was a whole different feel to it and coming in as a freshman, knowing that we had just finished our senior year out in March and not even getting to finish it. And coming in knowing that there was going to be so many restrictions and not knowing what to expect it was really different for us. Because I know me and my friends came in and I mean I came in with a girl that I’ve known forever. But a lot of people come to college not not knowing anyone like I’m I live close to here in Bristol, Virginia. But a lot of people come from really far away and they don’t know anyone. So to be able to make friends and COVID pandemic is crazy to not be able to socialize with people there. In the beginning. It was crazy.


Peyton 4:12

Going off of what Ethan said, talking about making friends. I think at the very beginning coming in as a freshman, it was really hard to meet brand new people that you’ve never met before. And I think one of the most influential things being freshmen was doing an orientation day being in that little classroom. I think that being with all those people, I think I know, to a great extent now and I think a lot of those people that I’ve met and they’re still friends with which which helps a lot.


Jasmine 4:41

Yeah, that is where I met a lot of people too. And I remember on orientation day, and well the weird thing about this first semester was that when we came it was only freshmen. So it’s basically we just went almost back into high school but just on a college campus and it was just a ton of freshmen for about seven weeks. And so on our orientation day I remember We all got dressed up, and we’re all walking down the sidewalk, and we got to meet a ton of new people. And people would just scream hi to each other, even though we didn’t know anyone. And so that was a way that a lot of people bonded and a lot of people would go sit around the duck pond because all the benches are spread out and people will go to the duck pond really late at night. And we would just all go hang out there and just do random stuff. So, again, orientation was a big part of it.


Peyton 5:22

Yeah, I think COVID has helped a lot with the freshmen because I think with just having the freshmen here on campus has helped everybody get a lot closer. Yeah, it was nice. Because going going through these next three years, I think is going to help us because we’ve seen that we’re a lot. A lot closer. Yeah,


Jasmine 5:38

we’re really close freshman class, which is odd, because usually, I mean, you all can speak on this, I’m sure you come into college, and it’s not just your freshman class, you know, you meet upperclassmen and older people, things like that. But we just came in, it was just freshmen. And now a lot of us freshmen all know each other a lot more than I’d say, other students here.


Ethan 6:00

Yeah, I mean, it makes a good point to say that, but you know, I think the magic about Emory is like, you don’t just get to know your class. Like, if it’s a normal semester, like, there’s plenty of people I met like Braxton And CJ, Will like people who you would never think I would know, like, he would know everyone on campus. And instead of knowing like, your class intimately, which is a great thing. But you’ll end up knowing everybody,


Mary-Catherine 6:26

Yeah, and you know especially since you guys are involved in sports, do you? Yeah. Peyton, do you want to talk a little bit more about, you know, your involvement with the football team?


Peyton 6:37

Yeah, athletics at the very beginning, when I first came here, it was just us freshman, as I mentioned before, and I think that that’s that’s also helped us as a team. As a lot of people know that we’re going on and play for the championship this Saturday. Against Randoplh Macon. It’s really exciting. And I think that that’s helped us bond more as a closer to a team. But COVID has also impacted us in a way that that could have made us go downhill really quick. And that’s getting our season canceled, or our practice canceled at the beginning of October, and it got canceled the whole entire month. So about as soon as the upperclassmen came back, it got canceled, and we still have to wear masks, and stuff like that, while we practice and also during the game. So a lot of people don’t like that a lot. But I think it’s also made our football team stronger. If that makes any sense.


Mary-Catherine 7:28

You guys keeping everybody safe is like, really important. And it’s it’s like a bonding thing for the team. I feel like


Peyton 7:34

Yeah, and I think a lot of people, we’ve also had to get used to being tested every week. You know, some players get tested on Monday, and some people get tested on Tuesday. And also think that that makes our campus a little bit safer. Um, you know, who has COVID? And who doesn’t? And actually, since we’ve been doing that a lot of the numbers have went down. I think that influences a lot of people to stay safe.


Jasmine 7:58

Do you think it’s made y’all closer as a football team to be living together because this semester, they’ve done a lot of bubbling for housing with even like the volleyball team, they all live together and you all live together more? So you think that’s my job closer?


Peyton 8:10

Oh, yeah, for sure. There’s there’s different people that that I never talked to the beginning of semester with, with freshmen. And there’s upperclassmen, too, that I’ll talk to I’ve never knew I’ve never talked to him before. And we’re so close. And it’s a little bit more seems a little bit more lenient. Now. As we’re getting into the end of the year, I think it’s helped us a lot. And I think it’s it showed on the field. Yeah, I


Ethan 8:31

Yeah, I mean, I know for rugby, like, we were put into a bubble by ourselves, because I know you guys are with baseball and I think men’s swimming is also and soccer as well. Yeah. And we’re in a house by ourselves, we’re in Sullins. So it’s literally just us women downstairs men upstairs and like us getting tested to getting tested the week of a contest and the day before a contest is you know, it hurts I hate COVID testing because they just shove it up in your brain and how you deal with it. But you know, I think it did make us closer and you know, the team chemistry is just out of the roof, which is weird because you would feel like in a normal semester you guys are only around each other as well. But I don’t know what like the differences but I definitely feel like I have a closer bond with my teammates now. And yeah,


Mary-Catherine 9:20

previously like on campus, there’s there’s been a lot of stigma with like athletes and their attitudes on campus. But I think that especially this semester, like seeing the football players and the rugby players and like all the athletic teams like banding together and wearing their masks and keeping people safe and having a really good attitude, for the most part about the COVID safety precautions on campus has made a lot of people have respect and


Jasmine 9:50

responsibility thing. Yeah, I think the athletes Yeah, I can totally agree with that with volleyball because I’m not on the team specifically, but I just started out my work study as the volleyball manager. I spend a lot of time with the volleyball girls. And they all live together in the village, and I don’t live with them, I live in Hickory, but being around them a lot. I think that as a community here at Emory, when we all know that everyone has this responsibility to keep everyone safe, when everyone knows that they have this one responsibility, it brings everyone together. And it gives you something to work for, because everyone’s working to go back to normal. So if everyone’s working together to go back to normal, it’s going to bring everyone closer, seeing the volleyball girls, you know, it seems a little to just put on a mask and go out. But it’s, it’s a lot bigger than you think, well, it’s an everyday thing. And COVID makes you not see your family or not see your friends, but to see everyone come together, wear their masks, take precautions, go get tested, hold hold each other accountable. That’s a big part of it. I see my volleyball players holding each other accountable, and the coaches and it really brings everyone together. It’s not only just the volleyball team, it’s other teams holding, like say volleyball, holding baseball accountable, or maybe some teams that live together. You know, Payton lives with other teams, it’s not just football in Mawa, and they have to hold each other accountable and do the right thing. If we all want to go back to normal.


Ethan 11:15

I mean, that doesn’t also go for sports teams. I don’t think that’s for fine arts people. It goes for just regular people on campus. And, you know, like, as a choir student, like we space out a bunch and we wear our masks, like our director got a special mask that our director gave us. That plenty of space around our mouths that you know, allow us to sing and breathe fully. To You know, bring us all together I guess is the thing that I’m saying. But how is the theater department doing stuff like that, because I know like my home theater department back in Blacksburg they got special masks that are seethrough and cover up nose and face and stuff like that.


Mary-Catherine 11:53

Yeah, so I had a acting the song class last semester, actually. And we had those clear masks. So she could our professor can see our mouths. Because that’s important for acting, especially singing. As for like, our classes, a lot of my vocal classes like my singing classes are online, because it’s it’s especially dangerous to, to sing. As far as like the transmission of COVID goes, it’s a much higher rate of transmission when you sing. But luckily, we’ve been able to do some productions, some zoom productions. Right now we just were about to release. And sometime in April, our musical, which we did, we got tested, so you could film without masks for that. So that’s really cool. And then we’re also doing A Midsummer Night’s Dream a little bit later, we’re filming that and putting it online, full stage production. I’m playing Hermia, super excited about that. So we’re definitely still finding ways to create art and come together as a theater community. And even in these troubling times, when it seems like you know, theater wouldn’t be possible, especially with like the shutdown on Broadway. That was like, how is theatre going to continue? especially here at Emory. That’s something that’s like, super cool about us is we’re creative. And we figure out ways to keep going even if it seems like we can’t


Ethan 13:26

I mean, that even goes with like not even theatre department not the school, but how we hang out with each other too. I mean, coping with COVID no alliteration there. But you know, there’s plenty of things that you can figure out to do here. Like I mean, I was an OL, I was an orientation leader. And my freshmen that I was leaving around, were kind of asked me like, What is there to do and like, I can’t say like how I used to hang out as I would get eight guys in a dorm and play Madden till four in the morning. We can’t do that anymore. So we did plenty of things like there’s a restaurant right down the road burrito loco that everyone goes to get some food. They kind of like walk around the duck pond or we would go around to like Bristol and we would walk around see the Country Music Festival everything like that. And


Mary-Catherine 14:13

so now since the theater department can’t really get together and like hang out even though we’re in bubble housing, we’re not allowed in each other’s rooms and whatnot. We the barter theatre obviously can’t do shows right now in in house. So they’ve moved to barter at the moonlight drive in, which is so awesome.


Ethan 14:31

Yeah. I saw wizard in The Wizard of Oz. Yeah.


Mary-Catherine 14:36

It’s just, it’s really cool. We all get to sweet park in a parking place. And then we can all like bring our lawn chairs and sit obviously still six feet apart, but we don’t do our masks and our little spaces. And it’s just really cool to see theater like live theater


Jasmine 14:49

and you’re outside. That’s so nice. And The Moonlite is huge. Yeah, it’s huge. You’re gonna have a lot a big audience and everything. So coming off that, I know you two are both involved in Greek life here on campus, and I’m sure it’s a lot different from last year as a freshman, I don’t know. But what’s it been like for you guys and what’s your change has been like?


Ethan 15:07

So, I mean, I was not a part of my fraternity, the Dom-I-Necers until this spring. So I’ve never really seen in Greek life or been in Greek life without COVID. But, you know, it’s still fun, like, you still get to hang out with your brothers, you still have your brotherhood, and I mean, life, life is good. You know, it’s great. You can hang out with everybody. You know, with masks on, of course, how’s Sorority Life, because I know fraternity Life is going well.


Mary-Catherine 15:38

Pretty good. I mean, I rushed sigma knew last year around this time, but they decided not to take bids because of or not take new members because of COVID. So I was around during then, obviously, it’s a lot easier to connect with people, especially as a new sister, when there are events in person, my entire rush week or pledge week. Sorry, was virtual. So that was interesting, to say the least. But it was actually really cool, because we opened our pledge week to alumni. So we got to hear a lot of stories from old sisters. So that was actually a silver lining, if you will, of doing pledge week online. So that was cool. And I mean, we’re still I would still say that we’re we’re close, you know, sisterhood and whatnot. But yeah.


Ethan 16:39

I mean, like, there’s a thing that people don’t see about Greek life, I’m sure like, I’m telling you guys, this is like freshmen is like, being in Greek life, there’s a bunch of stuff that you do have to fill out. And you do have to be active in the Greek community. But you know, a big thing that we do is like community service like that. Normally during like a Dom-I-Necer pledge week, Sunday’s all about community service. And so we go out there, and I do a food drive or something like that. And that’s another thing that Bonner is big on like, that’s the whole point in the scholarship is, you know, service going out in the community, which was easy to do our first year here, even though we did do podcasts as our projects,


Mary-Catherine 17:17

t was a lot easier to find places to meet, though. And, you know, we would all we would always meet in the hut.


Ethan 17:23



Mary-Catherine 17:24

Because I don’t know if you guys know this, but the hut used to have tables in it and chairs, and you could sit down,


Ethan 17:30

and they gave you a nice little fancy buzzer instead of calling her name.


Jasmine 17:35

You could play games in there? Yeah.


Ethan 17:37

There were pool tables. There’s an Xbox.


Mary-Catherine 17:40

Gaming chairs and stuff. Yeah, yeah. And so I guess Bonner has really been our outlet of service this semester. Like, I don’t know that we would have been able to serve our community without Bonner.


Ethan 17:55

And I mean, the first part of the first semester, when we were doing those research projects, or whatever, I was able to work in the garden a little bit, the e&h garden, which was really fun and got your outside got you a little bit of sun. But I want to hear from you guys, I guess freshmen was or were you guys able to do any service? Are you guys just doing like responses and stuff that we’ve been doing?


Peyton 18:13

Yes, I actually did get to do service. For my geography class, we actually got to get out and get in the garden. So I got the serve some community hours in there, and we cleaned up that outer edges of the garden, and we cleaned it up, it looked a whole lot better. And I’m very, very glad I got to do that. And I think it kind of came over into Bonner. And it kind of gives me kind of a foundation of the services. Yeah, how service works here.


Jasmine 18:38

Yeah, it’s been a little different. For me, I haven’t been in the garden or anything like that. But I’m totally aware of all opportunities, we have to go out and do community service. And there’s a lot of people in Bonner that choose to go out in the garden. And I’m sure there’s other things I’m just not completely aware of a lot of their community service. But where we can come together and do this podcast is, you know, serving the people who are going to go in and listen to our podcast, and they want to learn about Emory and want to learn about life, here from people who’ve experienced it. We have upperclassmen that we have me and Peyton who are just coming in, and we can let everyone know our experience with it and how we’ve dealt with it and how you may think that coming into college, I know a lot of people who want to take a gap year but honestly, from my perspective, COVID has been a thing, but I’ve had so many good experiences and ways to serve and things like that, that I wouldn’t have had if I’d have taken a gap year or not come this year. Well, I think that’s all we have for you guys today. Thank you for listening. The brothers were here. happy to talk to you. And we will talk to you next time.


Bye, y’all YERRR SEE YA


Mary-Catherine 19:48

Thank you everyone for listening to the Bronner bros podcast. If you want more information about the Bonner foundation or the Bonner program here at Emory, you can go to


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