Fried Chicken with Julia, Taylor and Stephen – Basement Medicine


Brady Rainville is personnel counselor at Dewey Hall.

How did you come to advise?

I did my graduate studies at Stony Brook University on Long Island. When I was there I was in a psychology program and we had to choose a graduate assistant position and I narrowed it down to a research-based position and another in a counseling center there . Honestly, I didn’t know which one I wanted to do at the time, and I ended up being placed as an advisor. During this time, I worked with two counselors from Stony Brook who were truly passionate about what they did and made my assistantship fun but also engaging. I learned a lot about connecting with people. Then, after graduating, I knew I wanted to teach. I came back here and started giving some lessons. Eventually, a counselor position opened up that was actually almost exactly the type of work I was doing in my assistantship. I applied for this, having had this previous experience during my assistantship, which is why I always encourage students to embark on internships or assistantships when they can; you might find something you’re really passionate about that you didn’t even know existed.

What advice would you give incoming freshmen?

The biggest tip is to know how to ask for help. Being able to say that they don’t know what to do will be very important so that they can get the support they deserve. Students pay a lot of money to be here, and that comes with support services. It is important to use them. If a student doesn’t know what’s going on or is confused about something, there is someone on campus who can help. Not seeing this as a sign of weakness but seeing it as a sign of strength is important.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Oversee a youth leadership program; it’s called the HOBY. I oversee Vermont seminary, and we had a month once COVID hit to turn our in-person seminar into an online seminar. I worked with a team of people to do it. It was really stressful and a lot of work. We succeeded and it was a truly enriching experience for the students who participated. And I think I’m probably the proudest to be able to pivot and do that with my team.

What brought you to Johnson?

I went here as a student and what brought me here as a student were a couple of things. One was that my brother was a senior at Johnson, so I had seen the experience he had here and knew it was positive. Also, financially, it made a lot more sense for me to come here than my other choice I was considering at the time. With that and the little community here, I remember Penny Howard from admissions, just really connecting with her and connecting with other people. I felt really welcome here. So I came here as a student and after my graduate studies, Gina Mireault asked me if I wanted to give a course. I really wanted to do that, so I came back.

What three things would you bring to a desert island?

I would definitely bring a book, I’ll go with “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing” by Hank Green. I would bring an iPod containing all the Taylor Swift songs. Oh, and a laptop loaded with all my favorite movies.

What do you think is one thing everyone should do if they can?

I probably think more of simply discovering new places. I was very lucky to be able to do that. And I know not everyone can, but if people are able to see the world and have those experiences, they should.

What’s the best thing someone has ever said about you?

I’ve had friends at times who really appreciate me being there for them, just thanking me and saying, you were there for me during a really tough time. It’s always something that I really appreciate hearing because I want to be able to support the people in my life.

Who are the three people, dead or alive, that you would most like to invite to dinner and why?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus because I think she’s one of the funniest people who ever lived. Taylor Swift because, I don’t really think it’s necessary to say a reason. I love it. I will add Stephen King. I started reading his books a year ago, and I’ve read maybe 20 of them, they keep me busy. It might be a weird bunch of people, but I’d be entertained.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I’m not really ashamed of my guilty pleasures, but I think most people would consider that I recently got into “The Real Housewives”, more specifically “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City”. So I really enjoyed watching them.

Which fictional character do you most identify with?

There’s a lot that I don’t necessarily identify with about him, but Ted Mosby from “How I Met Your Mother.” So there are some parts that I’m not connected to, but there are other parts of this show that I really relate to. Just her search for a partner, her life experiences, the ups and downs and trying to stay positive sometimes.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

I would say go to graduate school on Long Island. I was born and raised in Vermont, did my undergrad here. I didn’t know anyone on Long Island, I didn’t know anyone in the program. It was a little annoying at first but I really enjoyed it.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

When I was at my lowest when I was in college, some of my friends really encouraged me to use the wellness center. And that was something that was really important to me. I hadn’t really talked about consultation with other people. I had no idea that as many people were looking for help as there were. There was a lot of stigma against him. My friends really encouraged me and once I got there I realized how powerful it was.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

I’m sure there’s something that’s probably bigger, but between lip smacking while chewing or people running late. I think the one that touches me the most is the lips. There can be different reasons for being late, but when someone snacks, I get angry.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would you change?

I would like the world to be more open to the perspectives and ideas of others. I think we’re at a stage where people are really set in their beliefs and have a hard time opening up and listening. I just think it’s a more open place.

What’s the thing you can’t live without?

I would say family and friends would be the priority, if you want an item I can try to find something but I think family and friends are my first.

If you’re having a bad day, what’s the first thing you do when you get home?

The first thing would be to call my boyfriend. And then the second thing is the food. My comfort food is fried chicken. I tour, but I really like Moog’s in Morrisville. Their chicken island sandwich is so good. It’s not fried, but it’s delicious.

What is the thing that excites you the most?

I have a lot of passion. We talked about Taylor Swift. I really like reading, quite passionate about it. But I think I’ll go with Taylor Swift. I think I’m really, really hyper obsessed with different things. I have very intense passions for things, but she has been consistent in my passion column.

So, which three musical groups or artists would best sum up your musical tastes as a whole?

Well, Taylor Swift. Harry Styles. I’m apparently very basic when it comes to my musical tastes. Let me put my all-time artists here… It’s not number three, but I’ll go with Andy’s grammar. Most people just listen to people’s main singles, and that’s fine. But if you go into Taylor Swift, some of her lesser known songs are so powerful and the lyrics are so deep. But I don’t care if something is basic or mainstream, I just like it.

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