Advice Column

Dear Sara,

I’m having this problem. I keep making these very childish and immature sexual advances towards a girl who may or may not be spunky and may or may not be from Texas and may or may not be blonde. Of course she keeps rebuking these advances. My sex life is really in the toilet right now.

What’s a man to do?

-Depraved in Dunster

Spunky blonde Texans, read no further; there are spoilers ahead. Depraved, I’m from Texas myself, and I’ll let you in on a little secret: Texas girls are hard to please. We like rodeos and malls, small towns and big cities, barbecue and sushi…we pretty much want it all, and within thirty miles please, because our SUVs only get twelve miles to the gallon. And the search for a significant other? Wow.

Let’s just say my future spouse had better like Big Twelve football, be able to order at a Mexican restaurant with confidence, and really know how to pull off boots occasionally without looking like a total idiot.

Since you’ve got your work cut out for you, it’s a good thing you recognize your shortcomings—acting like a fourteen-year-old isn’t attractive to anyone (even other fourteen-year-olds). You haven’t provided me with details, but my guess is that any of the following may or may not have been involved: a) cheap alcohol, b) ogling of various body parts and/or other random objectification, or c) the phrase “Hey baby, want to come over and watch Party of Five at my place after school—uh, I mean, class?” Hardly appealing, at any age.

Depraved, if you want to pursue your Texan (and I recommend you do, we’re worth it), you should realize that while she may eventually be interested in a roll in the hay…er, rather, your extra-long twin, it might take more than a “How you doin’?” to get there.

I could give you a feminist shpiel about getting to know her as a person and yada yada yada, but really, all you need to do is present yourself as a decent person and let her know you’re interested in her. You have to lay the groundwork if you want to reap the benefits, which means acting your age and practicing a little respect. Don’t imply you’re interested in a serious relationship if you’re not, and don’t treat her poorly if she does decide you’re worthy of her time. Practicing good hookup manners is key.

That’s pretty much all I can tell you, Depraved, so get out there and try again. Game only gets better with practice.

Good luck,


Dear Sara,

AHHHHH! Today’s the dreaded Fifth Monday, and I still need an extra class. Can you recommend some classes/professors you think would be worth my time? I’m looking for an elective, and all of my friends are taking boring requirements, so I really don’t know what’s up this semester at all. I’m open to anything—I just can’t take another semester of boredom.


Bored in Barker

Hey Bored, luckily for you, there are some great offerings in the course catalog this semester, from religion to VES...actually, just kidding, it’s way too late to get into a VES class. But don’t despair! You can spend your life in the studio next semester. For now, here’s what I know and what I’ve heard. My recommendations might be a little heavy on the humanities side, but really, who takes biochem classes for fun? Let’s go by department:

African and African American Studies: If you haven’t taken an Af-Am class yet, this is the semester to start. Glenda Carpio’s two new classes, Af-Am 112: “Black Humor” and English 176x “Black Women Writers” are garnering rave reviews, and word is, she’s developed quite the following on campus. Tommie Shelby’s Af-Am 128 “Black Nationalism” is also supposed to be quite good, but may be intended for the more serious scholar (read: no watching Richard Pryor standup in class).

English: The big name courses are all next semester (hello, Faulkner), but there’s still some gems to be had this fall. Try Philip Fisher’s English 178x “Modern American Novel” on for size; it’s welcoming to students from all backgrounds, and has a reading list that spans the century, from House of Mirth to Lolita to White Noise. Anything Matthew Kaiser is teaching is always worth a semester (or five) as well; this time it’s English 154 “19th Century English Poetry” and English 90yx “Gay and Lesbian Fiction.”

History: New courses include Hist 1733 “Cuba: Culture and Society” and Hist 1469 “The Holocaust: History and Memory,” although the latter looks to be a poor man’s Anthro 1710 “Memory Politics” (offered next fall). Hist 16909 “The US and Imperialism” certainly seems timely, for those so inclined.

Mathematics: Quite a tempting department, I have to say, especially Math 122 “Abstract Algebra I: Theory of Groups and Vector Spaces.” Wait, I have no idea what I just typed. I only know it was dripping with sarcasm. Math + Sara = danger.

Music: Music 2 is a nice segue way into the music department, or so I’ve heard…particularly if you enjoy hands-on projects, like making your own musical instrument.

Religion: Reverend Gomes is one of the best professors I’ve had at Harvard, and any class with him is a good idea. Try Religion 42 “The Christian Bible” this semester, or hold out for his famous Harvard history course in the spring.

Sociology: Soc 129 “Education and Society” certainly sounds appealing on paper, as well as Soc 165 “Inequalities in Health Care,” the perfect course for pre-meds looking to add a little variety to their academic careers.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality: Be honest, you’re already in WSGS 1122 “Chick Lit,” aren’t you? Good for you. Now round out those secondary field requirements with WGS 1154 “I Like Ike, But I Love Lucy” and WGS 1402 “Body Sculpting In Modern America,” and you’ll have a transcript that shines and parents who’ll wonder if you’re making this stuff up.

Happy studying,


—“Dear Sara” will run on Mondays this semester. Send letters to Letters will be published anonymously.