A to Z: Advice from the Hill

Anonymous: How many chicken tenders are too many chicken tenders?

A: It’s past three but I’m not sure how far past three. Definitely less than six, at least for one sitting. Not knowing for sure, I investigated this question at The Cage this week by ordering two orders of chicken tenders. Before I move on, we must understand that there are many factors that come into the decision making process: heat, breading quality, time of day, sobriety, the presence of waffle fries and mood are all important in considering how many chicken tenders are too many. Taking all of that into account, I found myself wanting another chicken tender as I continued through the basket. It was after I finished chicken tender number five that I felt a satisfactory feeling – probably an intervention from some higher force – that told me that five chicken tenders was the perfect amount. So I ate chicken tender number six just to be sure, and I was right the first time. Five chicken tenders is the optimal amount, six chicken tenders is too many. The research suggests that The Cage needs to increase the amount of chicken tenders in one order. It should be noted that the chicken tenders I tested were very tasty.

Z: Honestly, there’s no way to know for sure. They’re addictive after just one, which is enough to send you into a dark, endless hunger frenzy for chicken tenders. You eat one and it’s so good that you’ll get a craving for a second one. You eat the second one and then you remember that you have a third one in your flimsy basket that you already paid for, so you might as well eat that one too. You eat the third one and at that point you’ve become so distraught with life that you regret every decision you’ve ever made. You tell yourself that you might as well purchase a second order of chicken tenders since every horrible decision you’ve made in life has led up to this. Therefore, if you think about it, one chicken tender is enough to be too many.

Anonymous: I’m worried about finding a job after I graduate from Jewell. How do I go into the job market with a liberal arts degree?

Z: As a theatre major, I sometimes panic that I won’t be able to work sustainably in the field I like. In times like that, one thing I like to keep in mind is that Jewell’s best marketing strategy is your professional success, which means they are determined that you graduate with a clue about where to start. Also, utilizing Jewell’s financial and accessibility resources (i.e. Journey Grant, Summer Hall Grant, Student Travel Grant, Study Abroad Program, KCASE) is a huge way to prove to future employers that you have the initiative to conceive and realize projects, even when they’re hard or time consuming. Plus, wherever your project takes you is obviously going to be a huge credit for your resume, which will be valuable to you for years to come. These will definitely give you a leg up on the competition and help with developing professional networks, which can be just what you need to get a job doing what you like.

A: Retweet.

Anonymous: I’m about to go on my first date. What should I know? 

A: Safe sex! Free condoms in the Health and Wellness Center under Ely Hall make it 100 percent worth your time and energy to care about sexual health. With the downfall of the Affordable Care Act coming close to fruition, it might be your best way to combat sexual-related infections.

Z: Ah, yes. The “Horizontal Mambo.” The “No-Pants Dance.” The ol’ “Lust ‘n Thrust.” If you’re single and trying to mingle, here’s what you need to do.

Consent. Get on the same page. Ask them straight up about going down. Believe me, if your partner is really into having sex with you, asking The Question verbally and clearly won’t change their mind. That being said, asking for consent doesn’t have to be so extremely forward that it feels unpalatable to your partner. Michael Kimmel writes in his book “Guyland” about Antioch College’s policy regarding sexual activities. In short, the college writes that there must be the presence of a mutual and verbal “yes” to any kind of sexual activity, as opposed to the absence of “no.” The campus’ response was ultimately positive, substituting, “Would you like to have sex with me?” with “Would you like to implement the policy with me?” All funnies aside, the fact is consent is necessary to verbally obtain; it’s too easy to misconstrue passive behavior for implied approval. But the best advice I can think of is to view The Question more as a friendly proposition with a yes, no or “yes, but” response option, not as a dreaded obligation. As a critical thinker at a private liberal arts college, I am certain you can think of a way to balance the two conditions. After getting consent, you’ve got to communicate with them. Sex gets too much hype for being this “rite of passage” for a relationship, with a right and wrong way. But so long as partners are comfortable with what they’re doing, it should be an experience both of you cultivate. It can’t always be the steamy, sensual experience like it is when you hear about it. It’s weird, it’s funny, it’s oftentimes not well rehearsed. But the “right” way to do it (and here’s where I sound like a counselor) is when it unites two people in a conversation about trust and partnership.

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