THOUGHTS ON SUCCESSFUL WOOING STRATEGIES
There are three major signs as to whether or not you are living the student life: First, you repair broken plastic hangers with duct tape rather than spend the 99 cents required to buy a new five-pack. Second, the number of times you (don’t) do laundry every semester appalls your mother. Third, you spend most of your waking hours in the same baggy sweater and pair of pajama pants, especially around final exam time. Given these habits, it’s not surprising that most students are notoriously bad at the art of seduction: although we might procrastinate from work by strategizing about how to woo that potential significant other, our grandiose plans often fail, since most people are unimpressed by the clutter of repaired hangers and dirty laundry that epitomize students’ lifestyles.
Even so, in the highly unlikely case that someone out there in the world is strategizing about how to seduce me, I figured it would be helpful to provide step-by-step instructions on how best to do so. To start, I want to make clear that it will take a lot more than an overabundance of papers, books and soiled clothes littered on the floor to faze me. Moreover, I tend to look fondly upon those who share my passion for consuming greasy, salty or otherwise preserved snack foods during stressful times; I have a special spot in my heart for Easy Mac and buffalo chicken pizza Continue reading
Here’s the second of a monthly series of columns I’ll be writing from abroad, as originally published in my hometown paper, the Barrington Courier-Review.
I started having trouble sleeping a few weeks ago. I don’t know if it’s late-onset jetlag or something in the water here, but my dreams have been super-vivid, my back and legs ache in the mornings and most times, I wake up expecting to be able to fly or thinking that I own a horse named Padre. (For all you dream interpreters and psychoanalysts out there, make of that what you can and let me know what you conclude.) I’ve since proceeded to rearrange all the furniture in my room according to the basic principles of feng shui and, perhaps most importantly, I’ve replaced my university-provided plastic mattress with a foam one I found on Oxford’s local version of Craigslist. Although my sleeping has gotten better and my dreams less dramatic, the muscle soreness persists. In a recent moment of brilliance, I realized that the aches probably have less to do with feng shui and more to do with the fact that, for the first time in six years, I’ve started riding a bicycle again.
Living in Oxford generally requires that you own a bike and that you use it often, because several centuries of history and development have resulted in a bit more urban sprawl than on a lot of American college campuses. Despite constant protest from my legs and thighs, I’ve committed to the way of life here and insist on cycling around town on a colorful, Schwinn-like secondhand road bike that screams “American trying to fit into the local scene.” Continue reading