Beers with Ben

By Ben Fields '15

“Beers with Ben” features various members of the Hamilton faculty in off-the-cuff interviews at the Little Pub.

This week features Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology Elizabeth Lee, drinking an Empire Brewing Company IPA.


What is your least favorite thing about humanity?
That’s a tough one. Maybe just simple cruelty to people. People’s capacity to do awful, awful things to people directly and not out of ignorance.

Do you believe in aliens?
Hmm. I don’t know if I believe in aliens or not. Also I don’t think it matters if I believe in them, because if they’re there, they’re there.

Have you ever been offered a bribe?
Not that I know of. It’s possible that I missed it somehow, but I don’t think so.

What would you do if you weren’t a professor?
I feel like I should have a better answer for this, but I think probably I would be a researcher.

If you could have any celebrity as your best friend, who would it be?
That one I maybe should have prepared for. Who would it be? I feel like maybe what’s her face from Charlie’s Angels...Drew Barrymore...or maybe Cameron Diaz, I feel like she could be fun. Or Lucy Liu, any of Charlie’s Angels...I take it back, I take it back! I would totally want Simon Pegg to be my celebrity best friend.

How much did you drink in college?
The year before college, I was a study abroad student in Germany, and I turned 18 the summer before I got there, so it was legal to drink.  And my host parents were 30 and 34 so they were like, “Have fun, bye bye.” So I drank a lot before college, and when I got to college, I was like, “I’m cool.” So I drank a lot, but I got the crazy out before college.

Salt or Pepper?

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Fashion designer.

What book are you currently reading for fun?
I’m between books right now. I really like mysteries so I’ve been reading a lot of mysteries by M.C. Beaton, so if I were reading a book it would probably be an M.C. Beaton novel.

What’s your all-time favorite TV show?
Over my entire life, the thing that has given me the most pleasure: Bugs Bunny cartoons.

If you had to pick any Hamilton faculty member to sing karaoke with, who would it be and why?
I have sung karaoke with Hamilton faculty members, whom I will not name. However, I will say that my partner, who is not a Hamilton faculty member, loves karaoke. So if I would sing karaoke with somone, it would be her.

What word from the English language would you remove?

If you could pick a real word?
That is a real word! Can I pick three? Lovely lady lumps.

You’re just not a Black Eyed Peas fan?
No, I love the Black Eyed Peas, I just don’t like Fergie.

If you could live in any dorm on campus, where would you live?
I can’t answer that question because I basically hear about two dorms: Bundy, which I hear very good and very bad things about, and I think someone mentioned Major to me earlier today. I feel very uninformed about this topic.

Where would you have your office if you could have it anywhere on campus?
KJ, definitely, all the way.

If you could go back in time to any era, when and where would you go?
If I could be a fantastically wealthy white woman, or man I guess, the U.S. 1920s pre-depression and pre-collapse. I think that would be pretty interesting. Not awesome for most people...but neither is the rest of history.

If you could get rid of any U.S. state...?
No. No. That’s a slippery slope.

What’s your favorite Disney character or movie?
I don’t know. That’s tough. Even though I have enjoyed watching a lot of Disney movies, I didn’t really like the characters. I liked Sleeping Beauty when I was a kid a lot; that would probably be my favorite Disney movie [a late email corrected this to Fantasia]. I like the song in Little Mermaid that involves “Le poisson, le poisson heeheehee, hahaha,” so maybe the crab from that.

Have you ever graded papers drunk?
I have never graded papers drunk, and no, I do not know any faculty members who do. I read that part [of the last interview] a couple of times.

If they were to make a biopic about your life, whom would you want to play you?
Um, I don’t know. I would like Emily Blunt to play me, who I would also pick as my celebrity best friend, because I think she’s awesome and, you know, she’s Emily Blunt. And we nominally and vaguely look alike in the sense that we’re both white and have brown hair. But she’s also just awesome.

What is your favorite curse word?
I was just talking about this at Senior Dinner. I just read the Buzzfeed quiz about “How Sweary Are You?” It’s pretty funny, and some of the words I think are just made up, but one of the words that I was like, “That’s not a word,” I then later saw on a blog, and I was like, “Oh my God, people say that!” But I’m not going to say it because it would make me blush.

But I really like bitchtits, which I don’t think is a swear word, but it was on the list. That one just has a new, fresh, I’ve-never-heard-that-word-before quality to it. Failing bitchtits, I would say f**k would be my number one.

Sound that you particularily love?
The ocean, that’s an easy one, I guess.

Sound that you particularily hate?
People clipping their fingernails in public transportation or anywhere in public. Just gross.

Is there a profession that you would never do?
My sister has had way more different kinds of jobs than I have, and she has been both a car salesman and a telephone psychic, and I would never do either of those. Also, I have been a door-to-door canvassar, and I would never do that again.

Have you ever killed a man, just to watch him die?
I should have anticipated that one. No, I have never killed a man to watch him die, or for any other reason. Zero killing so far.


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