All questions below were written and emailed to Doolino. Pseudonyms were created at the discretion of the advice seeker.
As the Fall semester continues to blossom, the sun rises for the youthful fledglings of main campus and sets into a dazzling twilight (or sombre dusk for the now aged seniors). Whether you are taking off or landing, September is a time for restarting. Perhaps you are still meeting the people in your orientation group or hurriedly figuring out what the hell a credit score is. In the spirit of this season, I myself seek a rebirth as I transition to the next phase of my long, tumultuous life. So it’s time to clean out the skeletons in my closet.
Yes “Down in the Dumps in the DUC-ling,” I finally read my long-neglected emails. I am accustomed to receiving my questions via pigeon. It’s taken me so long to reply to you that your once rather clever pseudonym has faded into outdated obscurity.
So take five or 10 minutes (screw you, Associated Press style — that looks disgusting) of your busy day to see what sort of lunacy appears in an anthropomorphic skeleton’s Gmail inbox.
My friends will be the first to tell you that I love to give back to my community. I’m a people person and a leader, and nothing beats that euphoric feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself. As a skinny white guy, I see no better way to give back than to paint my body with four other guys to spell out EMORY at a football game. You can see why this is a problem. Imagine my chagrin — that first Saturday of school when me and four hallmates got all painted up, only to realize that there was no football game in sight! Even more shocking was the fact that we don’t even have a football team!
Doolino, how can I channel this overwhelming compulsion productively? I tried leading The Wave at a First Friday performance, but Dooley Noted’s security booted me. I attempted to hype up the crowd at the Barkley Forum, but apparently debaters feel that they’re too good for team spirit. And don’t get me started on Model U.N.! How can I show my face at home when all my friends know that I have never once gone to a game shirtless, with a painted ‘M’ on my chest, screaming obscene cheers with 28,000 of my closest friends?
Down in the Dumps in the DUC-ling
Three years ago, perhaps I would have scolded you for your blind patriotism. I would have shamed you for getting hyped up simply for the sake of getting hyped up. And I would have had every right to berate you; your actions display an almost scripted absurdity. But over the past few years — perhaps before your time — I have dealt with a chemical equipment thief who disguised themselves as a bronze eagle statue, a person who metamorphosed into a vegetable, an accidental coke dealer, a guy who uses Virginia Tobacco Juul pods and a crippling addiction to self-promotion.
After these experiences, I have no choice but to embrace the madness with my open, ossified arms. DDD, charisma will get you far in life. Inject the cheer in your heart into every mode of your being. The next time your professor makes the same passive-aggressive joke about how Labor Day messed up their schedule, stand up and applaud the sheer wit and snark necessary to compose such a quip. When one of your ukulele-playing hallmates plagues the hallways of Harris Hall with the deafening sound of Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” (because apparently Declan doesn’t know when quiet hours are) blow him a kiss to convey how swooned you are by his covers. Though forcing enthusiasm into these otherwise miserable situations sounds like an illogical endeavor, it is only through abandoning logic altogether and thinking instinctively that we can make our situations a little bit better.
Sometimes it might feel inappropriate. Often, it will be inappropriate. Always read the room at least a little bit.