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A Special Snow-Flakus

Ashley Flakus is a freshman from Naperville, Illinois, which she describes as “intensely suburban.” She is also kind enough to distinguish that she’s from outside of Chicago, not actually in the city. This phox is from Pangborn Hall and is majoring in Biology, with the intention of being a teacher.

Although she is a Biology major, she has a keen interest in Gender Studies. In fact, she lists “smashing the patriarchy” as one of her many passions. She generally does this through eloquent soliloquies- or “rants,” as she calls them- where she gradually picks up speed until she is talking so fast you can’t understand anything.

Additionally, Ashley moonlights as a writer. She’s participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the past seven years; she’s done the full 50,000 words every year. She’s quite proud to have reached 70,000 words this year, but she told me not to include that. She prefers to write “urban fantasy,” or stories where she’ll craft a world where everything is normal except for one thing. For example, one of her more recent stories took place in a completely normal world, except with the caveat that everyone has a soul mate.

All decked out for the Phoxy Phormal!

As our resident den mother, Ashley is one of the most caring, nurturing, loving people I have ever met. This past Valentine’s Day, she wrote ten intimate letters for our little pack of friends. They were so sweet and genuine that every recipient cried.

(Even as I write this article, she is speaking on the phone with her little brother to help him out with his homework. What a sweetie!)

This is just one sign of Ashley’s empathy, a trait that will help her be an excellent teacher. She plans to teach high school students and is currently a tutor at the Robinson Center, where she works with kids twice a week. She says that this is the first job she’s ever had where she looked forward to going. “I didn’t know that being excited to go to your job was a thing.”

Chilling with her aunties!

Regarding weird personal facts, she mentioned that she has an “Irish twin,” which is when you have a sibling who was born less than a year after you. Her and her younger brother, Eric, have a period of ten days in November and December each year when they’re the same age. She says that because of this, she’s always been very close with him. “When we were really little, a neighbor girl asked me if she was my best friend and I said no, because I was best friends with my brother.”

When asked if she had writer her own creed of honor and ethics in blood upon a stone tablet, she looked like me like I was crazy and said “I’m a big fan of ‘Treat others like you want to be treated’ I guess?”

Ashley’s Myers-Briggs type personality is ESFJ, or “the caregiver.” This surprises no one.


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Images: All provided by the interviewee

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Megan Valley

Notre Dame

Megan Valley, Notre Dame class of 2018, is majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies and English. Some of her addictions include chai tea, naps, popcorn, flannel shirts and floral print dresses. She enjoys reading, writing, smashing the patriarchy, binge watching television shows of questionable caliber, and speaking about herself in the third person.
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