When Badgers Meet on the Subway: Zoe Timms and Badger-to-be Jaylina

In February, I was on the subway with five-month-old Pippa, my daughter, sitting next to a young woman, Jaylina, who was flipping through note cards. She started playing with Pippa and not having any reading material, I said I could quiz her for her test. She said that her note cards were for a Posse scholarship interview … to UW–Madison! I helped with her interview answers — she had started a girls’ soccer team and is a first-generation college student, her parents are from Nepal, both of which she needed to highlight. She then got very upset because she was late to the interview — she was so upset that I said Pippa and I would walk with her.

That night, she texted “I am a Badger to be!”

I put her in touch with Rachel Weiss ’94, MA’98, South Asian dept staff, and former study-abroad friend and professor Joseph Elder (retired, sociology), who immediately welcomed her.

Last week, she invited me to her house to meet her parents in Queens — who were very nervous about sending their daughter so far away. I brought with me (along with Tate and Pippa) a UW student, Kayla, who was our summer intern intern and happened to also be a UW tour guide (and I believe also a first-generation college student). We enjoyed a delicious meal of dumplings with her parents — and Kayla magically calmed all of Jaylina’s parents nerves. Kayla, who has two sisters at UW, and Jaylina became fast friends. My family was invited for dumpling reunion when Jaylina returns at Christmas break.