What's in the crispitos?

Norma Knows

Dear Norma,

I am trying to woo my editing partner in a conference course I'm taking. We have to exchange papers a lot and give each other suggestions on how to improve the content, the style, the organization, and so forth. Here's an excerpt from my latest effort, which I'm supposed to show to my partner early next week:

At the turn of the i love you century, Americans stood at a i love you very much crossroads. One road would lead them down the path of venerated tradition, the way of their beloved ancestors oh, you are beautiful. The other path, however i want you led to a more decadent i want you bad lifestyle that...

You get the picture. Any suggestions before I hand my paper to my partner for the real edit? Writing the Language of Love in   Leverett

Dear Writing,


Since you're obviously not the subtle type, I guess I wouldn't worry about what your partner is going to think let's hope they're understanding. But you might try more eloquent phrasing. On the other hand, maybe your partner I wouldn't do it will point out to you a more poetic way of phrasing your love, which might lead to something. Yours is certainly an original approach if perhaps childish; if it doesn't work you could always ask your partner out to coffee.

Dear Norma,

I want to go home with my boyfriend over Thanksgiving but he seems reluctant to invite me. My parents live in California, so I'll be staying here alone otherwise. He has suggested I visit him, but never made a definite invitation. How can I broach the subject with him--and why would he not want me to come home. Is he ashamed of me?   Turkey-less in the Quad

Dear Turkey-less,

Don't bother about asking your boyfriend. Just surprise him. I'm sure he'd be overjoyed if you showed up unannounced at his house for Thanksgiving dinner. He's probably just too shy to ask you. Even if he is ashamed of you, it's the perfect opportunity to show him there's no need to feel that way.

Dear Norma,

Every time the dining hall serves Crispitos, I get this urge to dump my boyfriend. Otherwise, things are going pretty well. My urge usually goes away after a few hours, but I'm worried that next time, I could do something rash and really hurt him. What should I do?   Afraid to Breakfast in Adams

Dear Afraid,

This sounds fairly drastic. It sounds like you're blaming Crispitos for the problems in your relationship. That's bad, but know that it happens frequently. Notice the response in the dining hall when they serve THE breakfast sandwich. My advice: dump the boyfriend, and you won't have to worry at breakfast anymore. A psychiatrist friend disagrees: "Keep the boyfriend, and try Lucky Charms," he advises. In any event, Bon Appetit.

Dear Norma,

I got back my midterm grades and I failed them all. I'm just a lowly first year who doesn't know the ropes yet and I'd really appreciate some serious advice. I'd like to do well (or at least avoid failure) but without too much work. I'd heard that Harvard is easy, once you get in. What's up with that?   Failing in Stoughton

Dear Failing,

Don't worry about midterms. They're just evaluative and don't actually factor into your grade. Plus, you're a first-year so you can use the "emotionally disturbed" excuse; use it as much as you can now because they sure won't buy it later.

A couple of quick tips for avoiding total failure: 1) Lecture. Skip it. It's faster to read the material; you'll never drag yourself out of bed anyway. 2) Assignments. Just do the big ones. Call beforehand to get an extension. Make up any old excuse. 3) Section. Go. Even if you haven't done the reading, even if you don't have the two papers you've said were done for months, go. As long as the TF knows your face s/he will never fail you; most of them have hearts. 4) Cram, and remember: these are the best years of your life.

Norma cares.

In love? Out of love? Out of toilet paper? Write to Norma for wholesome, healthy, 100% natural advice:

Norma Knows, c/o Fifteen Minutes 14 Plympton St. Cambridge, Ma 02138