Hey guys, welcome to the first Ask Noah column! As a senior, I have a lot of advice to give you. Let’s go!
Q: Noah, I’m a freshman so I naturally tend to talk with my friends right in front of or even on the stairs because I just don’t know where else I can hang out and talk. Could you recommend some other spots for my freshman pals and I?
A: Great question. CPS has a plethora of great places to hang out. Here are a few:
The many benches strewn across campus
The music lawn
Outside the science building on that basketball court
The lawn next to the vending machines
Q: How do I get upperclassmen to like me?
A: If you don’t have any classes with upperclassmen, I’d say the best places to meet and get to know them are clubs and sports. That way you can easily find common interests, and in those settings, people aren’t really divided by class.
Q: What if Seinfeld still on TV?
A: Like you mean with new episodes and modern references? Wow. What a fantastic question. I’ve often pondered this myself, as a matter of fact. Well first I think Jerry would get an iPad. And I bet there would be an episode where Kramer becomes an Über driver and uses Jerry’s car without his permission and then Jerry is late for a Tinder date. I bet George would download Vine on his new iPhone and Elaine would date a hipster who doesn’t have an apartment because he spends all his time and money at Starbucks. The possibilities are limitless, especially with comedic genius Larry David at the helm.
Q: I haven’t been to some of my classes this year. Where is the “N building?”
A: The N building is next to the gym deck and the music lawn. It’s the one with N1, N3, N6, etc. outside each door. You probably should have asked someone sooner, though. I can’t believe you’ve missed two weeks of a class without any repercussions.
Q: [GREAT GATSBY SPOILER ALERT] If you watch the Great Gatsby backwards, it’s about a guy who gets shot and dumped but eventually recovers and gets over the girl until he throws so many sick parties that his neighbor moves away. I guess it’s not really so much a question as a statement, but I’d really like your thoughts.
A: I disagree with you here, friend. I think if you watched it backwards it would be about a guy who comes back from the dead, shoots a bullet out of his chest into a gun, and then spends the next two hours walking backwards, driving backwards in a magic car that brings people back to life, and talking in some language we can’t understand.
Q: Best bathroom on campus?
A: I’d have to go with the one on the gym deck. The one in the library and the ones by the language rooms have kind of weird smells and can only hold one person at a time, and the one outside the auditorium is always the most crowded. But the one on the gym deck rarely has other people in it, it has the most sinks (don’t go too crazy with those because we’re in a drought), and it’s connected to the locker room so there’s easy access to showers if you mess up somehow (I won’t judge).
Q: Why do you think they fired Jon Stewart?
A: I didn’t watch the Daily Show much, but I think it could be because his name is too common. They hired a guy named Larry Wilmore to replace him. According to howmanyofme.com, there are about 7,000 Jon/Jonathan/John Stewarts in the U.S. (such as Carolina Panthers’ running back Jonathan Stewart) but only eight Larry Wilmores.
Q: What’s your take on participation trophies?
A: Let me tell you a story. This takes place when I was about six years old at the end of the season pool party for my baseball team. There was a box of about fifteen plastic gold participation trophies for us. One kid looked in the box and said “Wow! Those must be worth millions of dollars!” I remember that moment very vividly for some reason. Now let me explain something: at that age, we didn’t even keep score, some kids would just ignore the umpires (who were parents who were either way too into the game or not into it at all; there was no middle ground), and my coach thought I was some hero for catching a fly ball that came right to me. Despite all of this, this kid still thought his level of play was worth millions of dollars. Feelings like that were by no means limited to that one kid, however. At a young age, even I thought I would go pro in like four or five different sports, and through talking to people, I’ve discovered that this is not uncommon among young “athletes.” But it’s not limited to sports. Kids get a certificate and immense praise for completing the third grade and then think they’re smart enough for Harvard. So the result of all this praise simply for participating is countless kids having to spend the next ten years of their lives feeling the emotional toll of gradually lowering their goals and expectations until their dream school is just anywhere that will take them and their dream job is being an actuary. There are also some kids who never grow out of these unrealistic fantasies and end up going to community college with no plans to transfer out and no plans to get a job besides competing in the 2016 Olympics (that’s a real example of someone I know; he also thinks brushing his teeth is a waste of time). So instead of participation trophies, limit the end of season celebrations to a pizza party and a few quarters for arcade games, and don’t even mention trophies. The kids will be content. A trophy would just fall off a shelf and break eventually anyways.
Q: How do I be “hip”?
A: I think to be hip you should use the “Trending” feature on Twitter. This feature is updated constantly to tell you what people in the Twittersphere are talking about. Most of these are either hashtags or proper nouns. So to be hip, you should go up to people and just say these things, like “Hey, Patriots.” Or “What are your thoughts on #InternationalLiteracyDay?” That way, you can be up to date on all the happenings of the world.
Q: Is the fridge in the vending machine not a communal, “take on leave one” type fridge? My friends keep telling me it isn’t, but I’m not sure. A: You should listen to your friend; they sound pretty smart. People put their own lunches in that fridge, and usually plan to come get them later in the day. They won’t be happy if they find that someone has taken it.