"If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers
Question #92340 posted on 06/10/2019 7:12 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm currently working on my teaching licence, and have decided that before the end of my career I want to start a private school. I know the laws will change between now and then, but what are some good places/keywords to search requirements for a small or large school?

-Miss Frazzled

A:

Dear Frazzled,

Like you said, rules will most likely change by the time you are ready to start your own school. I found two resources that are good springboards: this handbook from the US Department of Education and this link to the Utah Administrative Code. From what I skimmed (and from my experience in the public sector), Utah is VERY lax with education so it appears to be easier to start something here than it would be in other states. Also, a lot of this information you can get if you're getting a Masters (or higher) degree in educational leadership/administration. 

I also found this article about someone recounting their story of starting their school that may be of interest to you! Happy reading and best of luck bettering the system!

-Ms.O'Malley

Question #92339 posted on 06/10/2019 5:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Hi there, former writers! I’d love to hear what your experiences were with the HCO when you were attending BYU—positive or negative.

What changes do you think should be made to the honor code? What parts do you think should be maintained? What role should the honor code play in students’ lives?

-Lefty

A:

Dear Lefty,

I self-reported a violation of the honor code that I had committed in the interest of being honest with myself and true to the honor code which I had signed. Given that this action was totally voluntary and that I came for the purpose of self-improvement, you'd think that they would have treated me with a little more trust in my intentions. Instead, I was asked a series of questions sounding out the precise details of my issue to a fairly high degree of specificity. I cannot, after all these years, imagine what use that amount of specificity has in their inquiries. I was then treated with doubt and skepticism in my several follow-up meetings and felt that my eventual resolution and release from further HCO contact or discipline was met with reluctance rather than joy at my progress.

The Honor Code is only the Honor Code if we operate under the assumption that people are following it rather than on the assumption that people will break the rules if not properly supervised. The Stanford Honor Code, for example, specifically forbids academic dishonesty in all of its forms including plagiarism and giving or receiving help during an exam. However, it also states that, "the faculty on its part manifests its confidence in the honor of its students by refraining from proctoring examinations and from taking unusual and unreasonable precautions to prevent the forms of dishonesty mentioned" (source, emphasis mine). Did you catch that? Faculty may not proctor exams or cause them to be proctored by another person. When my dad was a grad student there, he would go get his exam from his professor and take it back to his office to take the exam with the full knowledge and consent of his professor. To me, this is the way an honor code should work. BYU has every right to declare an honor code describing a set of behaviors expected by its students. That said, I sure wish they'd treat their students like they plan to follow the code that they have agreed to follow.

I think the general argument is something like, "we want to make sure that the code is being respected, so we inquire after the behavior of our students." But do the people serve the code, or does the code serve the people? My counter to that is that students at BYU still cheat, they still have pre-marital sex, they still drink alcohol and do drugs. The assumption that their investigations are keeping these behaviors to a minimum are patently absurd. The reason I strove to follow the code (and even to self-report) was that I, myself, was committed to the honor code and wanted to follow it. There are others who will break it whether or not there are investigations. Instead of punishing the vast majority of students who do their best in favor of "catching" the minority in their various acts of breaking the honor code, why don't we assume that students are, by and large, committed to the code and react to incidences of breaking it when they naturally arise (and only then with the attitude of helping people get back on a track they presumably want to be on)?

As a final word, I'd like to say how much respect I have for the current honor code protests that are happening. In the past, they have largely missed the point ("we should be allowed to have beards! Midnight is a stupid curfew time!" and so on). This protest is about the method of enforcement rather than being about the details of the code itself. While I do actually think that beards are no longer counter-culture in the way that they were when the honor code originally prohibited them and find that many professional, mature men in a variety of highly respected careers have beards, I also think it's a little childish to protest about them. That said, protesting in the way that students did this time was spot on, and I hope they make some headway.

Best,

The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear Lefty,

I have no personal experience with the Honor Code Office, because aside from letting anyone stay at my house as late as they wanted, I never felt inclined to do anything that would attract their attention. However, I have heard about several of my friends' experiences with it, and they were not good.

I think the HCO should be abolished or have its scope reduced to academic honesty. Anything else can be dealt with through the already existing ecclesiastical endorsement system. I believe that having university administrators with no priesthood keys investigating and disciplining students for issues that are mostly spiritual in nature - especially in cases where the transgression has already been confessed to a bishop - is incompatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Adding additional rules on top of what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints requires of its general membership has a tendency to create a Pharisee/Zoramite-like "we're holier than everyone else" attitude, and in my experience doesn't actually do a great job at preventing transgression. It would be better to treat students like the adults that they are and leave it to their bishops to determine if they are living in a manner consistent with the restored gospel.

This approach runs into a few hiccups when you consider non-LDS students. I think the choices boil down to either ignoring the Word of Wisdom-type restrictions for students whose religions don't have those restrictions, or requiring that all ecclesiastical endorsements come from an LDS bishop.

-The Entomophagist

A:

Dear friend,

I'm lucky in that my one run-in with the Honor Code Office was more bizarre than it was traumatizing. When I was still an RA, I decided to get a buzzcut. My supervisor reported me to the Honor Code Office because apparently, buzzcuts are an "extreme hairstyle" and "my residents' parents might be concerned if they saw that their child's RA has a buzzcut." Which... I have opinions about but I respect my former supervisor and don't want to talk badly.

But I had to attend a disciplinary meeting with my boss's boss, promise that I wouldn't buzz my hair again when it grew out, and report to the HCO to... show I was sorry for buzzing my hair, I guess? I don't know. But if you knew me in mid-2017 and was wondering why I wore beanies all the time for a solid month, that would be it.

As far as the HCO itself goes, I think it has the potential to be much better than it is. I feel like the point of even having an Honor Code is to inspire people to do better. But right now, it seems like it just intimidates people and influences them to develop a fear-based perception of morality. Which doesn't strengthen anyone's testimony and pressures students into reporting on each other

Overall, I agree with Ento–ecclesiastical endorsements should determine spiritual or personal integrity. In my opinion, the HCO should be focused on academic honesty and redirect students with most other issues to the counseling center or maybe encourage them to talk to their bishop.

-Van Goff

A:

Hello Kitty,

My only experience with the HCO is that I decided as a lark to see if I could get a beard card. Long story short, I did, and I had a beard for a year while at BYU.

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Dear Lefty,

I had a bishop who once said the HCO would "hang their own mothers at the first offense."He was about 70 years old at the time. Incidentally, he was also very good friends with an apostle, which admittedly made me feel even better about his comment.

You know that part in Inside Out where there's like "core memories", where you can't forget something for the rest of your life? This is one of them for me.

-Adequate Adam

A:

Dear you,

My overall view is that changes to the Honor Code Office are quite necessary, and that the recent protests and changes are moving in the right direction. I agree with MWaM that past complaints were mostly about things like curfew and beards, but these protests have actually been quite supportive of the honor code. Instead they are focusing on the way that the HCO enforces the honor code and the effect that has on students. I have friends who have been present in conversations with the administration and they've said things have been quite constructive.

I have not had any personal experiences with the honor code office, but once I read stores from the Honor Code Stories Instagram page i realized that changes were necessary. This got talked about a bunch in my classes, at my apartment complex, with my friends, and I learned a lot from my friends experiences. There were 3 big things that jumped out to me as problems:

  1. From what I saw LGBQT+, women, and minorities students typically received harsher scrutiny than men. I've heard some ridiculous stories about LGBQT+ students getting in trouble with the honor code for saying something on Tumblr, or for just hanging out with their friends. I've heard countless stories of a couple crossing the line and the guy getting off easy while the girl was expelled. This systematic unfair treatment needs to be avoided at all costs. HCO reform is needed to assure that these people are being treated in an honorable and fair manner.
  2. We need to stop having vigilante attitudes toward the Honor Code. Personally I think that reporting people to the Honor Code should only be done in pretty harsh circumstances. People have been hurt by wild and false accusations. I don't get why it seems like the HCO is more willing to believe any accusation than the people themselves. That's not even the worst part. The worst part is when sexual abusers use the threat of reporting people to the Honor Code Office to silence victims. I know that changes have been made to how the HCO handles people these cases, but we still have a lot to go. The Honor Code should not be used as a fear tactic, and the fact that it can be makes me sad.
  3. Past practices of the Honor Code during investigations have been way out of line. They have been far too harsh and invasive. Some of the stories I've read have talked about investigative practices that were cruel at best and illegal at worst. Even if people are lying and cheating, and doing anything else they still need to be treated with respect and given the benefit of the doubt. Fortunately recent changes will increase transparency, give students more advocacy, and hopefully decrease a lot of the anxiety that comes dealing with the Honor Code Office. I think that policy could be changed some more, and that we definitely need a cultural change, but the recent changes have been very positive. Please go and read them if you haven't already.
I'm really glad these protests have been going on because they were needed and I feel like they have helped bring the BYU community together. I would however, like to address the response given to me by nearly every adult over the age of 30 when talking about the honor code. Almost every time I talked with someone of the older generation they said "If you don't want to live the Honor Code, then don't come to BYU". Here is my response:
  1. There are people that get in trouble with the HCO that are living the honor code. I feel like this especially applies to LGBQT+ students. I've heard of them getting reported for things that would be totally fine if straight students did them and are fine if they do them, but they get put under a microscope and are often unfairly judged.
  2. I don't think people come to BYU planning on breaking the honor code. Students are typically at BYU between the ages of 18-25. Those are maybe the most volatile years of people's lives. Expecting people that age to never make mistakes is honestly kind of ridiculous. People this age are learning so much about themselves, and dating, and their faith, and everything.
  3. We believe in repentance. It's fundamental to the gospel. When people self report they should at least get a little bit of mercy.
  4. Getting expelled from BYU can be pretty damaging to people's lives, especially for those from poorer economic backgrounds. It is awful for international students and can end up with them being deported. BYU is probably the only college that many students can afford. I've got a cousin who's parents are ex-members and are sending him to BYU-I because everything else in-state is uber expensive and they want him to go to a school with good values. Telling people to just not go to BYU is often times pretty similar to telling the poor to "eat cake".
Okay, soap box over. I get where people with the opinion "If you don't want to live the Honor Code, then don't come to BYU" are coming from, and most of the time when I've shown people the Honor Code Stories Instagram they've changed their tune. This is just something that's really important to me so hopefully some reader out there that needed to read that got through this whole dang answer to read it.

I love being at BYU where we have an Honor Code. I love being in a place where people live the gospel and I don't have to deal with all the drugs and alcohol and stuff that happens at other campuses. The honor code itself is one of the most valuable parts of BYU. I feel like it helps us have the Holy Ghost on campus which creates an atmosphere of love and learning.

That being said, I think the HCO needs some reform to maintain that very attitude and spirit. I feel like we're going in the right direction, but we are still a few policy changes and some big cultural changes away. I don't know what else to add except gratitude that we're having this conversation so that we can help make BYU a safer, happier place for us all.
 
Peace,
Tipperary
A:

Dear Lefty,

No personal experience with the Honor Code Office. But my brother went to BYU-Idaho and once he was summoned and accused of drinking alcohol because they found out he went to a New Year's party where his friend drank alcohol. My brother had not drunk any alcohol but they told him that they had evidence from a "very good source" that he had done so. He figures they were lying to get him to confess. 

I think the Honor Code Office should be abolished or limited to issues of academic honesty. I am fine with the existence of an Honor Code that goes beyond academic honesty, but I don't think it should be enforced. The consequences of potential enforcement errors are too severe, and the current Honor Code Office has proved itself incompetent.

I would also like to see the Honor Code rewritten to be less legalistic and more about actually being a good person. However, given the cultural factors at play, I seriously doubt it will happen.

-Pessimistic current student

A:

Dear,

My freshman year, some guy, maybe the EQP? rode the elevator up to my floor of the women's dorms during non-visiting hours to ask a question of one of my neighbors. He didn't step foot off of the elevator, just asked the first woman who passed to go get her (cell phones were less common, then). At the time, I was outraged that he had put me in a position where I had signed a thing saying I would rat people out for breaking rules, but I really didn't want to be a rat. Now, I'm outraged that the school would put me in that position, where to keep my word, I would have had to put people's educations in danger for a comically chaste interaction. 

Hanging out with members of the opposite sex after hours was the instance that came up the most during my time in Provo. While I was a student, I generally stuck to the letter of the law, and if I was out late with male friends, we mostly wandered around campus or chatted on porches, etc. It was often the subject of joking scolding among my friends, though one of the most caustic roommate fights I was ever unfortunate enough to be forced to overhear was where one was demanding that the other leave her boyfriend's house (where they had just been talking, nothing sexual was going on). After I graduated from BYU (but was still in near-BYU housing), I thought it was idiotic that I was still supposed to follow the Honor Code, just because I lived in places that BYU students might also choose to live. At that point, I did some back-and-forth visits after visiting hours with a (mostly-, since I'm generally a rule-follower) clear conscience. 

I dated a guy who didn't go to BYU, but whose family predicated their financial support on him being clean-shaven anyway, because they saw the Honor Code as a higher law than even the temple recommend questions, which I think is absolute baloney. They also tried to get me to convince him that beards were gross, when my father has had one for most of my life, and I actually quite like them on men, due largely to my time dating their son. It didn't go well for them. (His eventual solution was to drop out of college, because he wanted to grow a beard (and he should have: it looks great on him!) but didn't want to lie to his family, and because he was already in a well-paying job without a degree, so finishing college didn't feel urgent or necessary). 

I like the idea of students being honest in their academics and other dealings, and using common sense in their interactions with others, but I think the culture it promotes is downright dangerous (since serial predators can, and frequently do, manipulate their victims by pushing them to break small rules, and then push them far past that point, and know the victims are unlikely to report them because it will hurt the victim's reputation, education, and church standing to do so, and the predators generally get off without any punishment at all). Plus, a lot of the rules (well, the ones I remember) are outdated and stupid -- like beards still being forbidden because the church wanted to distance itself from hippies back in the 60s, and being barefoot in public is banned because ... I don't know. Because people find it gross, I guess, which I get, but that's no reason that someone's degree should be in jeopardy. 

-Uffish Thought

Question #92338 posted on 06/10/2019 3:12 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm in need of some podcasts of a different sort. Not the kind where they "address something different each episode" but rather do a whole story over the course of episodes. I'd prefer it if they were already finished, too. (I know I can do audiobooks, but let's just limit it to podcasts for now.)

-just finished serial season 3

A:

Dear Cereal, 

Because you liked Serial, here are some more crime-related ones you might like: 

The Shrink Next Door - Going to a therapist has never been so manipulative. (P.S., it's almost over, so by the time this posts they might be done with it.) 

To Live and Die in LA - Wow. I was floored by this story and their investigative skills. Amazing. The incredible story of how Google data can solve crimes. 

Cold - In case you've ever wanted to know everything about the Susan Powell case. This is done by KSL and it's very good. 

Up and Vanished - It's been out long enough that I feel like I can assume you've listened to it already, but if you haven't... please do. This is what got me hooked. Season 1 is the best.  

Crimetown - Get to know the mob! Charming, informative, and interesting. 

Other podcasts you might like

S-Town - Also by NPR, it starts as an investigation into a town that's supposedly corrupt but turns into a very different kind of story about a man who lives in that town. I really enjoyed this one. It made me think a lot. 

It Could Happen Here - Exploring the ins and outs of the "Second American Civil War" - theoretically, anyway. Pretty interesting. 

Mission To Zyxx - It's a comedy storytelling podcast. My brother recommended it. Not my flavor, but it's pretty good. 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse

A:

Dear Elodin,

If you have an interest in terrorism or ISIS, and have a strong constitution about hearing hard things, might I recommend the NY Times podcast, Caliphate

Or if you prefer to hear about the horror of the patriarchy and sexual abuse, I would recommend Believed

If cults are more your jam, and you want to hear about what the former stars of Smallville are up to, check-out Escaping NXIVM

Finally, if impeachment is on your mind, or if you want to get really angry about consent and Bill Clinton or the corruption of Nixon, I would recommend Slow Burn.

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger

A:

Dear friend,

We seem to have a similar taste in podcast formats! I also prefer long-form storytelling to short-form in podcasts. With that in mind, here are a few recommendations:

The History of Rome - The rise and fall of Ancient Rome as well as, y'know, all the interesting events in-between

Philosophize This - The history of philosophy from pre-Socratic Greece to the present

Ear Hustle – A series of stories about prison life produced by the inmates of San Quentin State Prison

The Bright Sessions – A sci-fi audio drama following Dr. Bright, a therapist whose patients have super powers that connect to their personalities in fascinating and sometimes dangerous ways

Not By Accident – A podcast documentary about a woman who chose to become a single mother and how her daughter Astrid changed her life

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text – Theological and philosophical chapter-by-chapter commentary on that one children's book series about a wizard

Hopefully this helps! It occurred to me while writing this that since I'm too much of an anxious nerd to enjoy true crime podcasts like Serial, these might not all be a perfect fit. If you're looking for a similar feel to that, The Bright Sessions or Ear Hustle are probably your best bets.

-Van Goff

A:

Dear Just, 

LIMETOWN. I don't listen to podcasts very often (read: basically never) but I could NOT stop listening to this one as soon as I started it. According to their Wiki page, some people have compared it to Serial so it's right up your alley! It has two seasons (both of which have been completely released) and apparently has been signed on with Facebook Watch to be produced as a TV show so you should listen to it before it gets too cool.

-Ms.O'Malley

A:

Dear,

For true stories, Hardcore History does fairly long episodes (usually an hour each, but sometimes 5-hour episodes when he's promised to wrap a story up) in series (of varying numbers of episodes--some are singletons, some are 5ish) that come out at lengthy intervals (which makes it An Event when a new one finally hits).

(Sorry for my parentheses overuse: I just like asides, dang it!)

But there are several completed series that you can binge from start to finish and even when I lose the thread of who's who and so on in longer ones (like the one on the fall of Rome, which I've listened to twice and will probably listen to again, soon) I find them riveting. Dan Carlin does a great job of reading ancient texts in a way that sounds like current breaking news, and framing decisions and events like they are the juiciest celebrity/political gossip or various war-based experiences like they're the absolute mind-breaking apocalypse. 

I didn't think I liked history when I was in high school and most of college, until Optimistic told me some historical anecdotes and I finally realized that I do like well-told history for much the same reason I like literature--I like stories and imagining what I might do in various situations. I just don't like memorizing lists names and dates that go with historical stories. 

-Uffish Thought

A:

Dear Just Finished,

I have enjoyed the following short-form podcasts:

The Dropout - Podcast about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. (Also, I highly recommend reading or listening to the book Bad Blood by John Carreyrou.)

Making Oprah (rebranded as "Making Obama" for the second season) - Podcast about the history of Oprah Winfrey's rise to fame.

The Dream - Podcast / exposé about MLMs.

Slow Burn - Podcast about the history of the Watergate scandal.

I'm also listening to White Lies (about an unsolved murder during the Civil Rights era), which isn't yet finished, but I think it's only got an episode or two left.

- Katya

Question #92336 posted on 06/10/2019 1:12 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I pulled my old Texas Instruments TI-89 graphing calculator out of storage where it had been out of use for almost a decade and replaced the four AAA batteries and the coin backup battery with new ones. There was no corrosion around the battery spring terminals. I didn't even have old AAAs in there (though there was an old backup battery in there) and it's been in a climate-controlled area all this time. Everything looked good.

Immediately after I put in the new batteries and hit the power button nothing happened, but a couple of hours later, it came back to life and is currently working normally.

What are your theories for this need of a few hours to warm back up after a long hibernation?

-Sir Cut

A:

Dear Sir,

Sometimes it just takes a while for your brain to really get going after you’ve been asleep for a while, y’know?

-Frère Night Owl

Question #92312 posted on 06/10/2019 1:12 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In the mode of Board Question #91311, what would you tell yourself from a year ago? What would you say to the version of yourself who will be around in a year?

-Quill

A:

Dear Star-Lord:

  1. Is this a The Good Place situation and can I reboot? A year ago I was attending what would turn out to be the last Writers@Work conference at Alta. I feel like I did my usual thing of socializing and doing great stand-up routines but lost my momentum due to a really intense downward mental spiral. Don't?
  2. Congratulations, you are healed!

---Portia, omniscient

A:

Dear Quill,

Please see blow.

 

Dear past me,

Is the hope more than a pinprick now? Have I got news for you: we're doing it. Right now.

Your year is going to have big ups and big downs. Your summer is going to bring you something you have wanted for a long time, and then it's going to end, and that is going to be hard. You're going to have big whopping trauma reactions. You're going to wonder if you are just crazy and slip, again and again, into existential despair. There will definitely be times where you wonder if it is worth it and feel that you are incapable of getting better.

I'm shocked at how capable we are of getting better, so prepare yourself.

You, you marvelous weirdo, you are a great case manager. You are going to figure out how to turn those skills on to your own life. You're going to start figuring out how to manage the panic that eats your brain constantly in ways you aren't even totally aware of yet. You are going to start to figure out how to push through the moments around relationships that feel like life and death. You are going to learn how to feel and harness anger, first for validating and believing yourself and then for maintaining your boundaries and motivating change. You are going to make some hard changes. You'll end up back in intensive outpatient treatment and it will feel like a failure, but then you will realize that for the first time you are adequately and proactively meeting your own mental health needs and you will feel like you have super powers.

Darling, when you treat yourself like a time bomb that might go off at any moment, you behave like a time bomb that might go off at any moment. You have an almost infinite ability to feel compassion for others, despite whatever terrible things they have done. You are going to start learning how to give yourself grace this year, and then you are going to cry like a sap writing about it. (Get used to crying; we do it all the time now.) You are going to start learning how to treat yourself like what you are: a person who didn't get (as Anne the wondertherapist calls them) enough emotional goodies growing up. You are one of the children you worked with with attachment problems, but all grown up. Let yourself see yourself as you are, and give yourself the compassion and grace you need to start moving forward. You can do it. I happen to know you can.

I am so proud of you. From here I don't know how you've made it as far as you have. Tenacity and brainpower and compassion that honestly came out of nowhere I can think of. I know you feel like nothing. Your needs and emotions matter just as much as anyone else's. You have that written on your blackboard right now. You're going to learn how to feel it. I am so excited for you. I really think this has been a big year for us.

Oh, and making a decent living makes a WORLD of difference. Pro tip.

2019 TBS

 

Dear future me,

Girl if you drop this ball we are going to have WORDS. But I don't think you will. I hope you kept pushing. I hope you kept surprising Anne. I hope you have an apartment and a cat or something. I hope you have been promoted because otherwise you are probably wicked bored by now. I hope you have a girlfriend but that you aren't just enmeshed to all getout. I hope you are telling people the truth better than we can right now. I hope you look in the mirror and know exactly who you are. I hope the turbulence is more manageable. We are worth all those things. Keep fighting the good fight.

2019 TBS

 

- The Black Sheep

A:

Dear TARDIS,

Past me: Yeah, you don't get to eat eggs any more. I'm sorry. Also, you're going to be trying a bunch of new meds over the next year, so get ready for that. I'm really sorry that taking care of Lil' M. is so hard.

Future me: I hope you've settled into Ohio okay, and that you've maybe made some new friends. Keep remembering to focus on what sparks joy in the long term as well as in the short term, and be okay with when something no longer sparks joy.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Quill,

To "Past me and literally all readers and writers who have had a bad medical experience":

Doctors are not perfect and you should absolutely question their recommendations and consider your options. You may still come to the same conclusion with the same terrifying results but at least you will be slightly more prepared. Everyone and no one is to blame. Bad things not only happen to good people (almost exclusively, if you believe like I do that we are mostly all good), but bad things happen to prepared people and innocent people and people with the best intentions. 

To "Future me and literally all readers and writers with children":

We don't know what weird thing we do today will be a treasured memory and which one will give our kid some weird baggage. Be thoughtful and try your best. Also I read that parents who do less housework and play with their kids more raise happier children, so I will keep on not sweeping.

-Mico

A:

Dear Year-ago Guesthouse, 

1) Go to bed on time, please. We need more sleep. 

2) It's okay to cry. This summer is going to be hard... like, really hard. And honestly, crying helps. Take as long as you need.

3) "Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight." It gets better... just wait. 

4) Don't let other people tell you how to feel - you're a big girl and you will be so much happier when you make choices for yourself. 

5) Please stop buying candles. You need to stop. I'm serious. 

 

Dear Guesthouse 2020, 

1) I'm proud of us. 

2) I know that was stupid. But you wouldn't be where you are without me so gimme a break. 

3) Life is full of changes, and that's okay. You don't have to try to preserve the way things were, because you can still be happy in a different kind of world. 

4) Only one more year... and then 2 more years after that. You've got this. 

5) Why are you still buying candles? I swear we talked about this. 

 

Cheers,

Present Guesthouse

A:

Dear Quill,

To past me: "Bet all the money you possibly can on Tiger Woods to win the 2019 Master's."

To future me: "Are you okay? Did you survive the past two semesters? I'm sorry I put you through that but you're done with your undergrad so you're welcome #SorryNotSorry"

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Quill

To Past Yay: Don't stress out too much about finding a permanent job, because things are going to work out. But also don't just sit back and do nothing, because things can't work out if they don't happen. Just apply for every job in your specialization within 100 miles and you'll be fine.

To Future Yay: Life is looking pretty stable right now. Is there anything unexpected on the horizon that I should know about?

-yayfulness

A:

Dear you, 

I'm going to first answer and ask questions in the style of that question, then give advice. 

Answers from last year: I have sort of figured out grad school/gap year more. And I cannot sing along to those parts of those songs, but I did learn the bridge of this Enrique song and a somewhat-passable Shaggy impression thanks to Sr. Surf, so we'll take it. 

Questions for next year: What other songs have you learned? Did you stick with embroidery? I really hope you do. Are you still embarrassed about the same things? 

Advice for last year: You're still not great at being a student, but that's okay, just maybe don't overload yourself too much. Also you're phone isn't going to work during one of the most stressful weeks of the year but no one dies so it will be okay. 

Advice for next year: Make more time for people that are important. Keep your house looking generally respectable so people can come over whenever. Watch Community one more time and then try a new show; it's good but there are other shows, ya know? 

Take care, 

-Auto Surf 

A:

Dear 2018 Soulful,

Life is kind of rough right now, and to be honest, the next couple of months are going to be terrible. Your eating disorder is going to get much, much worse; that Ukrainian guy is going to follow you to Boston then immediately crush your heart between his hands; you are going to start working 70 hour weeks again; you're going to get really pissed off at God. 

But 2018 Soulful, it will be okay. Keep on keeping on. The light at the end of the tunnel is coming in just a few months. You are going to start a new job that you actually enjoy and that doesn't make you hate life. You are going to have some really fun and weird dating experiences as you try to get over that Ukrainian guy. You'll get over him. You're even going to meet a super awesome fellow. You'll be less pissed off at God. And best of all, in one year's time, you are going to be seven months eating disorder free. 

So keep moving forward and double-check that you bought that plane ticket to New York before the week that you are supposed to be there. It will save you a good chunk of cash.

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger

Dear 2020 Soulful,

Mostly I just have a lot of questions! How did our first ultra-marathon go? Which grad schools did we get into? Are we going to Georgetown? How do you feel about moving away from the mountains to live in a city? Do you think we'll be able to survive that? Or did you decide to scrap the career dream and decide that you want to live a life that is fulfilled outside of work? What does that look like? 

Can we lead climb yet? 

Just remember that you are amazing and even if you feel like you ultimately had to decide between follow-your-dreams route or the enjoy-life-to-the-fullest route, I believe in your tenacity and determination to have both of them. Because you're amazing. 

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger

A:

Dear Past Rubik,

Please, whatever you do, do not forget where you put your car keys. 

Dear Future Rubik,

So, uh, where did you eventually find those car keys?

-The Once and Future Frère

A:

Dear Past Goff,

Well, you weren't wrong.

Dear Future Goff,

Keep going to therapy.

-Van Goff

A:

Dear 2018 Dragon Lady ~

New [Dragon Lady] is, unfortunately, not still a thing. At least not in the way you were so excited about. I'm still much better at housework. But I did not replace the kitchen floor by myself. I'm not super confident in DIY stuff anymore. However, I am super into discovering more about myself and learning more about who I really am. That, in and of itself, has been transformational. I am extremely thrilled about all 3 kids being in school every day, even if one is only half day. I did get a job, and just got an extension for another year! My life is not still simple. That was a blissful time. In fact, I just made it more complicated by opening an Etsy business (finally). Family History has been much better in the ward, but taking away my ability to do a Family History Sunday School put a serious damper in that. I have not yet taken another girls' trip, but I have one scheduled for this fall. My first cruise! 

2020 Dragon Lady: How's your Etsy shop? Have you learned to navigate being an Obliger? What are your plans for full day freedom this fall? Work more? Make more t-shirts? Volunteer more? KonMari your house? Something else? Did Take Home Library survive the 3rd grade expansion and digital upgrade? Anything I should be aware of to prep myself for this coming year?

~ 2019 Dragon Lady

Question #92319 posted on 06/10/2019 9:24 a.m.
Q:

Dear friends,

What's one thing you've changed your mind about in the past year?

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear El,

For most of my time as a grad student, I assumed that working in government would be a stepping stone towards my ultimate goal of working for a nonprofit affordable housing developer, but now I realize that I might actually want to keep working in government for my entire career. Granted, I'm not sure if I've ever gone two years without a change in career goals since I left home eleven(!) years ago, so I could have a totally different answer at the next reunion. Who knows! Adult life is weird.

On a much less consequential level, in the latest edition of Latent Dad Traits popping up in adulthood, a couple months ago I finally completed the last leg of the journey from "sauerkraut is something my dad eats to gross me out" to "sauerkraut is an essential component of my diet."

-yayfulness

A:

Dear Amy,

Breastfeeding.

Yeah, there are lots of benefits, but it also can have some major detriments to a mom's mental health, and ultimately it's better for the mom to be happy. In fact, there's actually evidence that breastfeeding can actually cause extreme sadness during letdown. I switched to exclusively pumping after getting mastitis, but the time spent pumping was also a drain on my mental health. I was so happy when I switched to a medication that I couldn't take while breastfeeding. Formula was so much easier for me. (Side note, formula is so regulated that buying the cheapest brand is perfectly fine. We used Kirkland.)

I don't think I'll breastfeed with any potential future children. 

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Elmo,

Buying food from vending machines. This time last year I had maybe spent like $3 on the campus vending machines. This last semester I probably averaged more than $3 per day. The engineering program broke me and I caved to the convenience despite knowing full well it’s a terrible financial decision.

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Granny,

I used to have a desire to have 4 kids. No more after this, please. We currently have 2 toddlers running around the house (ages 2.5 and 1.5), and after baby #3 I am DONE (mostly because pregnancy is a Killer).

-Az

A:

Dear El-ahrairah,

I used to be a social worker type making beans and I mean beans. I made more the one year I taught seventh grade math by a long shot than I ever made there. I was good at it and I felt like I was having a really positive impact, which is important. A huge part of that, though, relied on a belief that one's income doesn't really have an impact on their life if they are getting meaning from their work and coping and whatever.

MONEY MAKES EVERYTHING EASIER. I cannot stress this enough. I'm still not even making the median income for my area but everything about my life is so much easier. Seriously. Make money.

- The Black Sheep

A:

Dear friend,

Video games are fun and not necessarily a waste of time (as long as it's in moderation).

-Van Goff

A:

Dear El,

I've changed how I view myself, several times. I used to define myself by my hobbies and interests, and then it changed to my career and goals, and now I more define myself by the relationships I work on and my personal growth. I'm excited to see which direction I'll go next!

Love,

-the Goose Girl

A:

Dear El, 

For the longest time I've been dead set against having kids for a variety of reasons but I'm slowly coming around to the idea of maybe having a one or two. 

-Ms.O'Malley

A:

Dear El,

The biggest thing I've changed my mind about this year is entrepreneurship. I used to think that I didn't want the responsibility inherent in running my own business and that I would be happier working for someone so I didn't have to make those kinds of risky decisions. But last December I realized that the most fulfilling thing I could do with my life would be to have my own bakery and maybe expand it to have a cafe and/or pizzeria. I'm fairly financially stable at the moment, but not enough that I can just quit my job and put everything toward this dream right now, so I'm trying to figure out the best path to it, which might involve waiting for my sister to graduate so we can do it together.

-The Entomophagist

A:

Dear Kvothe,

I don't know when it happened exactly, but it would seem that I have made a complete 180 in my views relating to abortion legislation #dontlegislatethewomb.

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger 

A:

Dear EA,

I used to put all my faith in doctors. I've always been somewhat afraid of things like medicine interactions, but I trusted that my doctors knew what they were doing. After a Very Bad Experience With a "Safe" Medicine, I'm just much more aware of how they can be wrong and don't actually know everything (how could they? It's literally impossible). This has resulted in me asking about 9,000 times more questions when I do need a doctor's help as well as saying "no" when I'm not sure about a recommendation.

-Mico

A:

Dear El ~

Applesauce on pancakes is at least equally as delicious as syrup.

I am not actually lazy, as I once thought. I am an Obliger and naturally struggle meeting my own inner expectations. 

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear El,

Bob's Burgers is a really good show. I don't know why I thought I wouldn't like it, but Sr. Surf convinced me to watch it and it's incredible. 

Take care, 

Auto Surf

A:

Dear,

I'm more okay with the idea of dating people who know nothing about Mormonism (though they'd probably learn some because it's been so much an influence on me), and more okay with the idea of moving away from Mormonism, myself, though probably very gradually on the adding-forbidden-behaviors-front, because man do I have some hangups.

-Uffish Thought

A:

Dear El,

Elizabeth Warren's viability as a presidential candidate. She seemed...odd to me at first, but the more I hear from her, the more I like her. Warren cares about women, she wants to save the planet, and she's a policy wonk, so I am on board. Let's make 2020 the hindsight election.

-Genuine Article

A:

Dear Enoch,

Overall, I've become a lot more liberal in my views. Healthcare, food, and housing are human rights and should be provided by the government at a basic level. Abortion access is important and I disagree with legislation prohibiting it. I believe LGBTQ+ people deserve equal rights and that their love is just as valid as any heterosexual relationship. 

-Adelaide

Question #92334 posted on 06/10/2019 9:18 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What do you call your pets when you're not calling them by their given names? Please illustrate with pictures!

-definitely not yayfulness

A:

Dear you,

Baby.

Buster.

Bucko.

Bad cat (he has a terrible affinity for getting on top of counters and scratching the couch, unfortunately).

Good kitty (this one is probably the most common, actually usually in the context of me scratching his head and crooning "Are you a good kitty? Who's a good kitty?" in a sickly sweet voice.)

Best,

-the Goose Girl

A:

Dear not yayfulness,

This is Jet.

B700F766-433D-4E7E-8FB5-72ED3BA401F5.jpeg

Aka Jet-jet or Jetters.

E7A94BE8-E24D-44BB-9123-C8CC4EA5F217.jpeg

Or Jetterson Airplane or Thomas Jetterson.

cat 1 rotated again.jpg

Sometimes known as Jert or Jert-jert because he is a doofus.

cat 2 rotated again.jpg

Fuzzbucket, Catloaf, Flatcat, or Yelly McYellerson, depending on what he's doing.

EAA9733D-3C52-4654-8266-5F177C75B96C.jpeg

Sir (usually when he's doing something Foolish or Bad).

D5FC23E6-169B-4480-9498-3837A925F01D.jpeg

And my personal favorite, Zap Meowsdower.

cat 3 rotated again.jpg

He recognizes several of these names, he's just really selective about when he cares enough to respond.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear Definitely Not Yayfulness,

IMG_6120.jpg
"Cagerdoodles" or "Cags." Real Name: Cagney.

IMG_7230.JPG
"Jijjjj" or "Jiji-zilla" or "Kira-Kira Killer." Real Name: Jiji.

IMG_7991.JPG
"Yo Girlfriend." Real Name: Epona.

IMG_5787.JPG
"My Boys." Real Names: Tree Sap and Pine Needles.

IMG_8083.JPG
"The Girls." Real Names: I can't tell them apart, though my kids can, but there's a (Queen) Boots, Scrambled Eggs, Speed, Chicken Fingers, Feathers and Pecker.

IMG_6192.jpg
"My Sweeties." Real Names: Too many to count. Plus they only live 6 weeks.

I haven't had much time to participate in Alumni Week but of all the questions this is the one I wanted to answer the most. I just adore my pets.

-Sky Bones

Question #92291 posted on 06/10/2019 9:18 a.m.
Q:

Frasier Question 3.0:

It's time for the annual Frasier Question! This year, we look past the regular cast. Who are your top 3 (or whatever) favorite one-off characters? For the sake of this question, "one-off" refers to characters who appear in exactly one episode (to-be-continued episodes may count as one if that's relevant).

Also, begin your question with the first quote that comes to mind as soon as you read this sentence.

-Inquisitive Idiot

A:

Dear II,

"Don't be silly, Big Willie" (note: I have no idea why this popped into my head, but it was the first thing that did.)

3) Steve from anti-nervosa: His dead-pan kills me every time. "Damn. Every time I open my heart."

2) Michael Moon: Daphne's brother who speaks totally unintelligibly.

1) Victor Garber as Frasier's butler: "If I may... take the liberty?" (Also, "Send yourself something!" even though that's Frasier's line)

Best,

The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear Inquisitive Idiot,

"While Frasier is a Freudian, I am a Jungian, so there will be no blaming mother today!"

Apparently again this year I came to the question just to drop a quote and leave. Cheers!

- The Black Sheep

A:

Dear Inquisitive

"What it lacked in spontaneity, it made up for with resonance!"

Please keep up this annual tradition, it's fantastic.

After a lot of debate, I nailed it down to these three:

3. Victor Garber as Ferguson

2. Rita Wilson as Hester

1. Patrick Stewart as Alistair Burke 

-Humble Master

P.S. If you're interested in any of my other thoughts about Frasier, feel free to buy a book I co-authored, Frasier: A Cultural History.

A:

Dear idiot,

"Yes, for once you are right, for a disquisition is indeed at hand! And may I suggest you roll your eyes back into the forward position, as I may actually employ some visual aids!  Now, our story begins with a young Greek woman of the name Clytemnestra..."

1. Alistair Burke, NO CONTEST. Patrick Stewart as a flamboyant opera director courting Frasier? Instant winner.

2. Jackson Hedley, played by the surpassingly talented Derek Jacobi as a ridiculous version of himself. I love Shakespeare and I love classical Shakespearean actors who don't mind admitting how silly it can be. To this day, "I die, Horatio!" will get a laugh out of me.

3. Guy, from the Ski Lodge episode. His breathless delivery of "Really?" when he thinks Niles is flirting with him is hysterical.

-Cognoscente

P.S. Go buy Humble Master's book, it's awesome.