Moderately Good Advice with Gardner and Kate

by Gardner Davis and Kate Taylor | 11/1/12 11:00pm

Dear Gardner and Kate,

I'm going to my first formal this weekend, and I was considering getting my date flowers. Do you think this is a good idea, or is it too much?Recently Relevant Randall '15

Gardner: Before I dive into my pro-flowers argument, I will issue one caveat. If you were blindly set up or have only met your date once or twice, you will most likely seem overeager and creepy if you buy flowers. However, if you know your date, even if you've only hung out a few times, flowers are always a great call. Assuming your date goes to Dartmouth, it is nearly certain that he or she has not gotten flowers from a date since senior prom. The more overlooked fact is that there is a florist a stone's throw away from Collis. It takes no more than three minutes to walk 20 yards, give a brief description and a price and thus go from an average date to the metaphorical apple of your date's eye. Do it.

Kate: Bringing flowers to formal is only going to magnify whatever feelings currently exist. If your date is interested, flowers are like frosting on top of an incredibly attractive, caring and genuine cake. There will be an immediate mass text giving you the rightful title of "best date ever," claiming that you have single-handedly restored all faith in Dartmouth men, describing possibilities for a honeymoon destination, etc. On the other hand, if he or she was roped into this date due to the perfect ratio of pity and limited Facebook profile pictures, flowers are going to result in this text being sent: "I am incredibly uncomfortable WHY DID YOU SET ME UP WITH THIS CREEPER." In this case, it was going to be a terrible night anyway, so you might as well get flowers. Keep an eye out for a cringe-turned-forced-smile, and immediately start pouring shots and eyeing the room for other dates with the uncomfortable deer-in-the-headlights look to offer a single flower from the bouquet.

Dear Gardner,

Can you take the short survey for my class that I just sent to you via email?Desperate Dan '14

Unless your email's subject is misleading, I will almost always click on the link. At that point, a complex array of factors influence my decision of whether or not to take your survey. If I have to scroll a long way to get to the end, I'm not going to take it. If any of the questions require me to write in an answer longer than a three-digit number, I'm not going to take it. If any of the questions have more than four responses, I'm not going to take it. If you meet all of these requirements and I have some work I'm trying to avoid, I just might take that survey for you, Dan.

Dear Kate,

People keep telling me that my vote counts. Does my vote actually count?Undecided Ursula '14

To a very large degree, my relationship with voting is rooted in guilt. I would like to think of myself as a politically-minded person in the general realms of reading the news, having the ability to vocalize basic political arguments and accepting trendy free posters and stickers for my political candidate of choice. While I logically know that the Electoral College means the vast majority of votes in this country do not count, I'm neither relaxed nor jaded enough to not vote. Even if my vote doesn't count, I'd rather have a false sense of pride and an "I voted" sticker for my computer than sit bitterly in my room refreshing polling results. Plus, I really don't need the guilt-induced night terrors I will have for the next four years if a certain candidate wins. Also are you really still undecided? Really?

Gardner: What Kate is trying to say is, she thinks you should vote for Obama.

Kate: Dear editors, am I allowed to go rogue and endorse candidates? I think that most of Dartmouth is relying on Gardner and me to mold their political opinions.

Dear Gardner and Kate,

Would you say that Dartmouth is technologically savvy? Prospie Penelope '17

Gardner: Eight years ago, I toured Dartmouth with my older sister and was amazed at the tour guide's claim that you could access the Internet from anywhere on campus. I leaned over to my dad and said, "Wow, this place is really on the cutting edge as far as technology goes." Dartmouth has been trying really hard to disprove that statement ever since. My needs for technology at Dartmouth are basic I use the Internet, and I print things. Yet Dartmouth cannot quite figure either of these things out. Dartmouth Secure is like an unreliable friend that takes a while to get in touch and disappears randomly when you are hanging out. Greenprint jokes are played out so I will not make one, but I will say that printers never struck me as the most complex pieces of machinery, yet they apparently are.

Kate: Thinking about the Dartmouth internet connection fills me with a rage that I usually reserve for casually sexist Facebook statuses, being forced to wear pants and people who ask advice columnists irrelevant questions. I could go into the minute issues that fill my Saturday mornings with fury, such as having to disconnect and reconnect to Dartmouth Secure five times in a row and the need to constantly pause my semi-legal means of watching television, but I think everyone at Dartmouth knows my struggle all too well. If I understood how the Internet worked to any degree at all, I would suggest a solution here. Instead I can only offer the assurance to all others struggling to simply Facebook stalk in peace that they are not alone.

Dear Gardner and Kate,

We rushed the field. Does that mean we aren't the worst class ever? Freddie Freshman '16

Gardner: Absolutely not. The kid in the camouflage Ghillie suit seems all right, though.

Kate: But it's cute you tried!

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