Questions You Might Be Afraid to Ask

April 28, 2014

Opinion, The Zoetics


Master Shimada: Lighting a Fire Under Your Essays Since 1998

Drawing by Jacob Lutz

Drawing by Jacob Lutz

In Project Manager Nadyne Shimada’s last senior column of the year, she prepares pending graduates for the all that may happen in their first year of dorm living  

— Before there was YouTube, there was “Dear Ms. Shimada…”  Even with YouTube, I still get e-mail requests for assistance from former students living on their own for the first time.  Where are their mothers?  Or, fathers?  Don’t they have any friends?  Am I truly that wise or is e-mailing me about every little thing one of those annoying habits you developed over the years?  In any case, after students go off to college, my mailbox overflows with all sorts of interesting conundrums.  For your amusement, I have carefully gleaned choice tidbits from my vast archives of old student e-mails along with my sage advice.

Question:  Someone on my hall went to a party, drank too much, then threw-up on the floor and wall next to my room.  The RA called in the haz-mat team to clean it up, but it still smells.  What should I do?

Answer:  You can always ask to move but let’s face it, against my advice, you decided to go to that party school.  Vomit is now an integral part of your life.  Embrace it.

Question:  Is it normal for your roommate to tie nooses and leave them all over the room?  What should I say?

Answer:  Say “Boy Scout or bondage?”  And in college, “normal” is up for interpretation.

Question:  Every time I walk into my room, my roommate is naked.  I’ve talked to him about it a couple of times and he’s really nice about it.  He always apologizes and puts pants on but a couple of days later, he’s naked again.  What should I do?

Answer:  Take the top bunk so he can’t sit on your bed.

Question:  How can I tell if my roommate is dead?  I don’t think she’s moved for two days and the RA is never around to ask.

Answer:  I assume you checked for a pulse.  If not, check now.  If your roommate is cold to the touch, evacuated her bowels in the bed, and smells weird, she might be dead.  That reminds me; I just read this book by Mary Roach, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.  There is a chapter titled “How to Know if You’re Dead.”  You should read it.

Question:  I’m tired of the food and want to cook but all I have is an iron, a curling iron, and a hair straightener.  What can I make?

Answer:  Use your iron to make quesadillas.  Get some tortillas, shredded cheese, salsa, and paper towels.  Turn your iron on to the hottest setting, no steam.  Put a towel down on the floor and put a paper towel on the towel.  Place a tortilla on the paper towel, cover with a layer of shredded cheese, and cover with another tortilla.  Place a paper towel on your stack.  When your iron is hot, press it on your tortilla and cheese stack for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts.  Dip into salsa.  I also like cinnamon toast quesadillas.  Just replace the cheese with butter, sugar, and cinnamon.  Steal the butter pats and sugar packets from the commons.


To all the seniors, congratulations and good luck!  E-mail if you need to.


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