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10 questions with ... Belisa Nunez

1. What do you enjoy most about working with college students?

I love seeing the crossroads of where they stand, they are adults but also have plenty of growth ahead of them and they don’t always realize it. Seeing that always helps to put my growth in perspective. I think back to when I was a college student and thought I had done a lot of growing and compare it to now. The two are worlds apart. Then I bring it to the now; I feel like I’ve grown, I still have a long way to go even when I don’t realize it.

2. Not long before we closed the office, you had a baby! What family traditions are you looking forward to carrying on with her as she grows up?

I did! I can’t believe she’s already a year and half. That’s how I track pandemic time and it still blows my mind! The holidays have always been a big deal in my family. We celebrate Christmas Eve with a huge dinner, Christmas day with brunch and dinner, New Year’s Eve with another massive dinner and New Year’s Day with lunch. Wow! That’s a lot of eating on our part. I plan to keep all of those traditions as she gets older. The food, the laughs, the Christmas music, the tree … AH MAGIC!

3. Summer is finally here! What is your favorite thing about/to do during summer in Rhode Island?

Speaking of traditions … during the summer we LOVE going to Iggy’s. Last year when the world was starting to open up again it was one of the few activities we could do to get out of the house safely. We would do mobile order and sit in the car in front of the ocean and eat our food. Calamari, chowder, clam cakes … can you tell I’m a foodie? I always tell my husband it makes me sad to think some people have never seen the ocean. It’s so magical! Anyways as I was saying, sitting in front of the ocean, eating chowder with my family, what’s more “Summer in Rhode Island” than that?

4. What is the first album/cassette/CD/digital download you bought?

This question makes me laugh because I think about it often. When I was 6 my aunt got married and before going on her honeymoon, she asked me what I wanted her to bring me back as a gift. I asked for a Mana cassette. For those of you who don’t know, Mana is a well-known band in the Latin music world that most 6-year-olds did not listen to; they still don’t. My family always said I was born 30 at heart which I guess would make me about 60 now. My aunt bought me the cassette and little self couldn’t believe it. I listened to that cassette more times than I could count. Go listen to it yourself! “Sueños Liquidos,” Mana.

5. Do you have any hobbies?

I love interior decorating! I think that counts as a hobby. Any time friends or family are redecorating I’m right there with them creating inspiration boards and looking for furniture and décor nonstop. If I wasn’t in this field I would be an interior decoration for sure! In case interior decorating doesn’t count, I love reading. No deep books that teach me great life lessons, just pure lighthearted entertainment.

6. Do you like to cook? What is your favorite meal?

I’ve learned to love to cook in the past two years. Before that I despised being in the kitchen and everything I made was pretty mediocre. Now I’ve learned to enjoy creating dishes, following recipes, learning about spices, and mixing textures and flavors. I can’t believe that’s me now. Food doesn’t have to be difficult to be delicious! Stop being afraid of “weird combinations”; if a recipe recommends it, it typically works. As for my favorite meal? I have too many to count by let me give you my favorite burger combo: Brioche bun, patty, American cheese, bacon, pineapple, onion ring and BBQ sauce. YUM!

7. What is your favorite vacation destination or memory?

In case you didn’t catch it before, I love the ocean. Although, not all beaches are created equal! Sue me! I used to dream about a beach that had clear warm waters, white sand, no seaweed or sea creatures nearby and then I didn’t have to dream about it anymore because I found it! Several years ago, I was on a cruise, and they stopped at Half Moon Cay, a non-inhabited Bahamian Island. You guys! It was the beach of my dreams and no other beach has come close yet. Go visit!

8. What’s your life motto or favorite saying?

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. That’s a quote by Henry Ford that has stuck with me since high school. It was actually my senior quote. I’m a strong believer in speaking things into existence and it’s actually a psychology theory! It’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy. Don’t believe me? Look it up. This doesn’t happen because the words will magically make it happen but because you will start to take small actions toward whatever it is you are putting out into the world. Want an example? Say you have an exam coming up and although you have done average in the class so far you decide this will be the exam you ace. You are determined to get an “A” no matter what. The fact that you decided this will influence your decisions moving forward. Maybe now you will incorporate extra study time or you decide to go to office hours. Maybe you’ll look up videos on the material and actually read the textbook. Like actually. This all makes you more likely to get that “A” you said you would get. So like I said, it’s not magic, it’s all you and what you make of it.

9. What was your favorite game to play as a child?

Unpopular opinion: I loved Monopoly and still do! Most people cringe when I say that but after years of intense research – I even wrote a peer reviewed article on this (I’m kidding) – I’ve concluded that this is because people don’t play by the rules! When you don’t play Monopoly by the WRITTEN rules the games takes forever and usually never ends. Go do yourself a favor, go read the instructions manual, don’t make side deals, and finish your first game. P.S. I do not take responsibility and I’m not to be held liable for any terminated relationships while you’re playing said game. Do so at your own risk.

10. Aside from people, what’s one thing you won’t take a trip without?

Besides my phone because communication, a fan. Yes, I know I’m a weird potato. I need the constant sound in the background to help me sleep and no, a sound machine doesn’t do it for me. I also need the air flow and cooling factor. Don’t worry I don’t carry around a giant box fan, just a small travel sized one. No judging, people! Or do, I’m still going to travel with my fan regardless. 😀