Humans of McMaster: Michelle Cadieux 

Esther Liu
October 27, 2022
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

C/O MICHELLE CADIEUX

The Silhouette: Please introduce yourself.  

Michelle Cadieux: My name is Michelle Cadieux. I am the course coordinator and one of the instructors for introductory psychology.  

I've heard a lot about you guys doing costumes this Halloween. Could you tell us a little bit more about that? 

Every year, we do the charity event where, if we raised enough money, your [professor] dresses up for Halloween. In reality, [Dr. Joe Kim] and I would dress up regardless of whether or not we raised enough money — we think it's a lot of fun. It's an initiative to raise money and we participate every year.  

"Every year, we do the charity event where, if we raised enough money, your [professor] dresses up for Halloween. In reality, [Dr. Joe Kim] and I would dress up regardless of whether or not we raised enough money — we think it's a lot of fun. It's an initiative to raise money and we participate every year."

MICHELLE CADIEUX, COURSE COORDINATOR AND INSTRUCTOR FOR INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY

What do you guys have planned for this year? 

That's kind of a surprise but Joe and I are going to have matching costumes. It turns out that, for some odd reason, I own two adult Mario costumes. I'm not actually sure why. But then, my son decided to go as Mario last year for Halloween. My husband wanted to go as matching Marios and I went through our costume closet — yes, I own an actual closet full of costumes — and all of a sudden I found a second one. So, Dr. Kim has gone as Mario a couple of times and borrowed the costume from me. It looks great on him. This year, I was just like: "Oh, we're totally going as matching Marios". I'm really into Nintendo games and I got my son really onto the Mario side of things. We went through all of Mario Odyssey together during the pandemic. Though, this year, he's going as a Pokemon. He's going as Eevee treating and my husband and I are both going as Eevee evolutions. So we're an Eevee family. He also has a Pikachu one for school. 

Do you also have more costumes? 

I have four different costumes for this year. I have the costume that I'm going to wear for lecture, Mario, and then I have the costume that I'm going to wear when I go trick or treating, Leafeon, and then I have the costume that I'm going to wear for my TAs during our tutorial preview. I haven't quite decided what that one's going to be yet but I have this medieval princess thing that I'm thinking of and I have a Sailor Mercury costume that I'm wearing for a Halloween party.  

C/O Michelle Cadieux

Do you have a favourite costume? 

I have a whole bunch of really cool ones. One that students tend to pick for me is a 1950s diner waitress costume. I will wear the whole outfit including the roller skates and I will lecture while wearing roller skates. I haven't decided if students like the costume or just the higher risk that I'm going to fall on my face. Skating on carpet is actually really hard. Regardless of how good I am on skates, I might trip and my arms go up. Everyone in the room will gasp and I don't know if they're hoping that I'll fall or not. Either way, I think it's funny. [The costume] was actually made by my godmother. A lot of my costumes come from her — she used to make costumes for Halloween. She was really into it and luckily we're of similar size. So, when she was emptying out her costume closet, I inherited a bunch. The love of costumes may be genetic. 

Could you tell us a little bit about the psychology of why we want to be so scared around Halloween? 

Being scared is something that a lot of people find thrilling. I don't think it's necessarily connected to Halloween. It's just that Halloween can sort of be an excuse. Being scared ups your adrenaline and that feels good. There's an element of thrill that we enjoy. It's the same reason we like eating spicy chicken wings — even though it hurts — because the pain releases endorphins. We get this connection between being scared and getting that adrenaline rush in a situation when we're not actually in danger. It's why we do escape rooms, watch horror movies, play pranks where you jump out behind somebody and everyone laughs. A little bit of fear gets our blood pumping, gets our adrenaline up and that can be a really positive feeling as long as you're not in actual danger. 

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