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Ask Hole goes back-to-school 

How to break your nap addiction, dealing with dead weight in group assignments and what to do when last night's make-out partner sits next to you in class.

click to enlarge Comedian, musician and overworked student Cheryl Hann answers all of Halifax's back-to-school social dilemmas in this mega-sized edition of Ask Hole. Send your questions for future columns to askhole@thecoast.ca - JESSICA HARTJES
  • Comedian, musician and overworked student Cheryl Hann answers all of Halifax's back-to-school social dilemmas in this mega-sized edition of Ask Hole. Send your questions for future columns to askhole@thecoast.ca
  • JESSICA HARTJES

Dear Ask Hole,
I'm afraid to talk to other human beings, but I know absolutely nobody in town. How do I make friends?
Easy: 1. Head to a karaoke night. 2. Do a truly rippin' rendition of "The Boys Are Back In Town." If it does indeed truly rip, literally everyone will think you're cool and the night will end with 20 of your new best friends carrying you out of the bar on their shoulders chanting, "Hot butt! Hot butt!" (This will be your new nickname because now everyone also thinks you have a hot butt.)

I'm addicted to napping. Is there any way I can avoid falling asleep in class?
I'm a bad person to ask about this because I am also a TA at a university. If you fall asleep in my lecture I will draw a penis on your face with my whiteboard marker. And not a nice penis either. Like, a gross, old man's penis with a wart on it. Also hairy balls. DO NOT FALL ASLEEP IN CLASS!

My professor hates me and I hate them right back, but I need this credit. What should I do?
The best way to get revenge on a prof is actually just to be smart and productive in class. Hand your assignments in on time; give thoughtful answers to their questions; study for your exams; never miss class; use semicolons correctly, but also a little too much. They'll be SO PISSED.

How do I have a social life if I don't drink?
OK, this is about to be the realest advice I've ever given. Don't worry that you don't drink! Some of the most fun I've had has been sober fun, and I don't just mean hikes and shit (though I love hikes). I mean going out dancing! Straight up, the feeling of choosing to lower your inhibitions beats the hell out of forcibly lowering them with booze. You will feel so friggin' free. You will feel like five angels, and people ALWAYS want to be around angels.

Is there any way to creep on my crush's social media without being a creep?
You just used the word creep as both a noun and a verb in the same sentence, so no. If you wanna creep, you gotta embrace it! Listen to that awful Radiohead song while you look at their profile pictures from 2008 (scary!). Be the weirdo you want to see in the world. But actually don't be gross, please.

How do I deal with the dead weight in our group assignment?
The best way to deal with someone who won't pull their weight is to assign them a specific task. It can be small, like printing off copies of your presentation. I think often people who come off as dead weight are actually just scared of messing up. A nice, small specific job can be a good confidence builder and a step toward bigger jobs. That, or tell your teacher like a baby in a diaper.

Is there any way to bring a backpack full of books onto the bus without obstructing the aisle and knocking over other transit riders?
This just helped me come up with maybe the world's best invention: Book jacket. It's a jacket with—I don't know—40 pockets? Twenty? Between 20 and 40 book-sized pockets. You. Can. Wear. Your. Books. BOOM. I'm leaving school to retire with my millions. Billions? MAYBE.

Are participation marks worthless or should I just ask any old dumb question every week to get an easy 10 percent?
I mean, this depends on what you want to get out of the class. Class participation is your chance to clarify questions you have about the material, test out theories or theses for future projects and literally get your money's worth. Each lecture/tutorial you attend costs around $80. That's insane. I guess many of you have your parents pay for school. But for those of you who don't, please please please get what you need!

Is it better to walk in late and face the scorn of interrupting a lecture, or should I just go chill in the library and take the absence?
When I was in third year, I took a class on romantic literature from a prof who hated me. Like, haaaaated me. I would say something super-smart and cool and he'd be like, "Yawn!" But there was this guy in class—I didn't know his name, so I called him Chad because, WOW, what a Chad. I'm pretty sure he was a yoga instructor AND he wore a giant pinky ring.

Anyway, whenever Chad said anything, this prof would be like, "Oh, wow, Chad. Bravo! Can you show me how to do downward dog?" He loved him.

So, one day I was suuuuper-late for class and got caught in the WORST downpour. It sucked. I walked into class 20 minutes late and somehow everyone else was completely dry. Also, all the seats were full, so I had to walk DRIPPING WET to a seat at the very back of class and Chad snickered at me. He SNICKERED.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: If I can endure that, you can too. Just show up.

Turns out the stranger I made-out with last week isn't such a stranger and I committed classcest. Can I avoid them forever?
Probably not. But they probably want to avoid you too.

Just sit at the back of class, and if they ask you to hang out say your grandmother died and you have to wash her hair or something.


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