Moderately Good Advice with Gardner and Kate

by Gardner Davis and Kate Taylor | 10/4/12 10:00pm

Dear Gardner and Kate,

My friends always want to hang out and do activities, but I feel like I have work to do. Is this a common problem? Do you have any advice?Overwhelmed Oliver '13

Gardner: Senior year can definitely be overwhelming at times, and it's easy to overschedule your time. When faced with the desire to hang out and partake in these so-called "activities" as well as the need to do school work, there is only one option: sacrificing sleep. This brings me to a theory that I like to call "The Triangle of Dartmouth." In one corner sits academics, in the second sits hanging out/being involved and on top sits the elusive "enough sleep." See the inserted expert illustration. In order to fully immerse yourself in any of two of these, the third must be sacrificed. I obviously can't tell you which two to choose, but unless you have elite time management skills, you can only have two.

Kate: While I empathize with your dilemma, I would ask you to try to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. Having way too much to do is the best conversation starter around. The only thing worse than submitting every one of your Mirror advice columns late because you still haven't done anything you need to do is hanging out with people who are busy when you're taking two classes and only going to the library to troll for friends. In fact, you should probably take on at least one more job on campus, just so you can outdo anyone's complaints that they're "sooo busy this term."

Dear Gardner,

I keep making tentative lunch dates with my trippees, my floormates and the people I randomly pass on the Green all the time, but I'm starting to realize that I can't possibly keep all of them. Do you think they'll be offended if I don't actually have lunch with them?Some '16

Short answer: no. As you will eventually learn, making hypothetical lunch dates with only the slightest hopes of keeping them is an integral part of Dartmouth life. It allows us to feel connected to people that we were once close to but have fallen out of touch with because of the constant business that is Dartmouth. After all, sharing a hypothetical lunch date is better than not sharing one. However, there is a way that you can use this to your advantage. In an attempt to keep all of your tentative lunch dates, schedule two at a time. Odds are good that someone will cancel at the last minute and you'll still have someone to eat lunch with. In addition, you can promise to reschedule with the person who canceled and keep the endless cycle of tentative lunch dates going.

Dear Kate,

As a senior wallowing at the bottom of the Dartmouth X, how do you successfully pull off a DFMO (dance floor makeout) with a '16 while maintaining your senior mystique and coolness?Old and Over it Olga '13

Weirdly, variations of this question are the only thing on the minds of '13 women I've begged to submit questions. Snippets from submissions include: "just want someone to spoon with," "literally crying with sexual frustration" and "I hate everyone." Some people argue that senior women's position at the bottom of the X can be attributed to the fact that they are overwhelmingly "grim." At risk of seeming both biased and bitter, I argue these people are douchebags. Instead, I believe the problem lies in the attempt to maintain "senior mystique and coolness." In the ongoing struggle between dignity and getting what you want, you're going to have to give a few less f*cks. Just go for the DFMO do you really care what underclassmen think about you at this point? While I reject the overused acronym "YOLO" due to my original conviction that it referred to a type of yogurt, I do suggest the more underground and specific motto "YOMO:" Year of the Makeout. Don't leave last chances for Senior Week.

Dear Gardner and Kate,

This morning I woke up for my 9L and I could hardly see across the Green because it was so foggy. Is this why the administration is trying to crack down on hazing?Confused Claire '16

Gardner: While the definition of hazing as defined by the administration is admittedly ... wait for it ... wait for it ... hazy, I don't think the mysterious fog hanging over the Green quite qualifies. However, I can't fully rule it out since everyone that is in a 9L is being hazed in one way or another. If what I hear is correct, the administration is looking for more malicious things than fog. Things like new sorority members wearing Cap-Sacs and new fraternity members trying to grow facial hair that makes them look like pedophiles. If the fog continues to make you feel uncomfortable on the way to your 9L, it's probably because you're taking a 9L.

Kate: In a bit of oft forgotten "Harry Potter" trivia, fog is actually caused by dementors having sex, as opposed to events of new member education periods (Rowling 15). However, I don't think you are alone in your confusion regarding the definition of hazing. I personally live in constant fear that I am, at this moment, accidently hazing someone. Most of the time, I deal with this by puzzling out the moral and ethical issues associated with group affiliations at Dartmouth, while attempting to dismantle the power structures that privilege a select population. However, I admit I sometimes play it safe and just force unaffiliated friends to brand my initials on their skin as a sign of our everlasting friendship. This way, I get to experience a brief power high while avoiding the potential jail time associated with '15s in headbands. Dangerously win-win.

Dear Gardner and Kate,

Does my newfound Greek affiliation make me cooler?Fratty Freddy '15

Gardner: ?bsolutel?.

Kate: Not.

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