Hey there. It’s me, Igor, your friendly neighborhood advice columnist. If you have a tribulation a-brewing, write to me at opinion@nexus.com, or drop your question in the opinions box in the Nexus office under Storke Tower. Now, let’s make some people’s lives better.

Dear Igor,

I hope you accept questions from graduate students. I’m a TA, and while I’m used to helping students, now it looks like I’m the one that needs some help. Here’s the deal: I’m extremely attracted to a freshman. “Jack” is unbearably cute. He has big strong arms, he’s energetic, and he loves to participate. He tries so hard to understand what I’m talking about, and I love the way he believes his own BS in section. I had Jack in History 4B last quarter, and after seeing which section he signed up for, I rearranged my schedule so that I would have him in my History 4C section this quarter. I’m so excited! The only thing is, he has no idea how I feel about him. How do I make my intentions known while still maintaining my professionalism as a TA? Also, I’m 25 while he’s only 18; is that weird?

Thanks for your help,

TA Heartache

Dear TA,

Weird? I don’t see what’s weird. Frankly, I’ve always had a thing for older women. Nothing too crazy, just a few years my senior, but I’ve noticed that like fine wine, women become only better with age (they’re also excellent paired with steak). But enough about me, we need to place Jack under your post-graduate spell. This is what you should do: On his first assignment, no matter what the quality of his work, give him a failing grade. On his second assignment, do the same thing. On his third assignment, give him an F and write “Please see me in office hours” at the top of the page. When Jack comes in, he’ll probably be pretty upset, but that’s OK because you’ll tell him that the professor has said that if Jack does private tutoring with you, he can redo his first three assignments. Say, “I’m really busy, so you’ll have to come to my apartment. Trust me, I’m not thrilled about the situation.” But you’re lying, because you’re mega-thrilled about the situation. When Jack comes over, have the lights dimmed and offer him some wine, saying it helps you study. Because he’s a freshman, he will never refuse alcohol. Pour him some merlot, sit close to him on the couch, and soon you’ll be having a mer-lot of fun. Stop halfway through and say, “I really shouldn’t be doing this.” This will maintain your professionalism as a TA. Then pull him back on top of you and let his Alexander the Great conquer your Mesopotamia.

Dear Igor,

I’m freaking out. I’m a business economics major, but I got a D in Econ 2 last quarter. How do I tell my parents without them killing me and/or making me go to community college next year?


Freakout Freddy

Dear Freddy,

Mmm, probably shouldn’t tell your parents. Think of yourself as an elected official, and your parents as the electorate. Like the electorate, your parents are sensitive, emotional and sometimes dangerous, so you should be extremely careful not to upset them. Pretend you’re a press secretary and spin the current events in your life to reflect a more positive view. For example, my parents think I’m writing a legal advice column, which I tell them will look excellent on my law school applications. They’re thrilled, and they say it will really set me apart from the other applicants. When they asked to see an article, I told them that at a subscription price of $150 a year, the Daily Nexus was prohibitively expensive, so unfortunately I didn’t have any copies. Now they’re happy that I’m saving them money. Freddy, you need to learn these skills. Another tactic politicians employ is diversion. When your parents ask you about your grades, maybe tell them you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. Admittedly, this is really messed up, but the upside is that that they’ll stop caring about any econ classes you may have failed. It’s foolproof!