1. It’s Sunday evening. You’ve just spent the weekend in Brooklyn, hanging with friends and hitting up bars and going to gallery openings. Unfortunately, you also have a paper due in 12 hours. (The essay prompt includes the words “dialectic” and “materiality.”) What do you do?
a) Delete your Facebook. Or consider deleting your Facebook. Put on your residential college sweatpants and head to Bass. So college!
b) Pop an Adderall and lock yourself in your room. This is why you chose Yale: for the stressful, fruitful moments. You grow stronger as the deadline approaches. Ah, yes!
c) I cannot answer this question because I have never been to Brooklyn and I have never written an essay the night before the deadline.
d) Ask the professor for an extension! She likes you because you make a lot of jokes in class and clearly have a funky, fresh creative streak.
e) Freeze. Play dead. Call your mom. Hang up on your mom. Pull an all-nighter drinking black coffee and listening to sad, crooning music.
2. It’s Monday afternoon and you’re recovering from that crazy all-nighter! You’re a star! You’ve also just received the following text message from your ex: “Dear [Name], I’m thinking about the time we spent together last semester. I miss you: your presence in my life, your hands on my body. Can we meet?” You respond:
a) “Sorry, but I can only meet with you as a friend. Trust me. I know you’re going through a rough patch, and I would love to help, but you know we can’t be together.”
b) “Ours was a beautiful relationship, fresh and tender as a flower. However, I cannot stand by as you trample the past, deliberately flouting a decision we came to out of mutual respect and careful consideration! Your histrionics exasperate me.” And then—“Meet in 20 mins?”
c) “You have the incorrect telephone number. I am [Name]. I am a human being.”
d) You actually forget to respond because you’re busy integrating the text message into your newest play. The material is just so fresh!
e) You actually draft seven different responses, but then fall asleep holding your phone and listening to crooning music. The next morning you delete the message.
3. You’re in class Monday evening, sipping tea and snapchatting your friends from under the table. Suddenly, your TA says: “I’m handing back your papers!” When she gives you your essay, she screws up her face in polite discomfort. You immediately look at the comments:
a) “Unfortunately, you have made the exact argument Professor Adams proposed in lecture last week. While this isn’t a textbook case of plagiarism, come talk to me after class. Best, Esther.”
b) “Unfortunately, you have made the exact argument Michel Foucault proposed in his seminal work “The Order of Things.” This is a textbook case of plagiarism. Come talk to me after class. Best, Judith.”
c) “Unfortunately, you have made an argument that is not relevant to this class. You have argued that all literature is obsolete and that books encourage irrational thinking. Come talk to me after class. Best, Hagar.”
d) “Unfortunately, you have made no argument. This essay, ‘some thoughts on meaning in the bell jar by sylvia plath,’ is a bewildering, sickening work of free association. Come see me after class. Best, Delilah.”
e) “Unfortunately, I found your essay illegible due to tear stains. I would be happy to read a clean version. Come see me after class. Best, Jezebel.”
4. It’s Tuesday morning, and you’re ready to take on the day. You get up, drink some coffee and hop in the shower. While you’re lathering up, you discover a huge, hairy spider hanging from the showerhead. The spider has one million eyes. What do you do?
a) Freak out (!) and take a few deep breaths. Swat at the spider with your shampoo bottle and then tell your friends about the whole thing over froyo. So college!
b) Bellow a few profanities in your most commanding tone of voice. Then squish the spider between your index finger and your thumb. Leave the corpse by the sink.
c) Eat the spider.
d) Turn off the shower! Immediately! Cup the spider in your hand and let it out into the frosty December air. Post a status about the incident.
e) Scream, but then spend the next few minutes entranced by the arachnid. Hum crooning music and wonder, “Are spiders sad creatures? What is sadness?”
5. It’s Wednesday night, and you’re ready for Woad’s. You’ve already been enjoying “subtle tannins and a heady bouquet” — you’ve been drinking wine from a box. Unfortunately, your cronies don’t want to hit up the sexy, sweaty New Haven nightclub. They’re all doing “homework.” How do you end the night?
a) You stumble back to your room, put on your favorite jammies, and watch your favorite “New Girl” episode. Then you fantasize, picturing the Whiffenpoofs in quick succession until they become one single, glowing face: The Whiffenpoof.
b) When your roommate’s in the bathroom, you take a sledgehammer to his computer. He returns, and you say: “Are you still going to do homework tonight?”
c) You scrounge around the WLH basement looking for spiders. You consume them.
d) No big deal! You have a Google spreadsheet called “people” — you open it up, pick a name at random (“girl from fractals?!”) and ask “girl from fractals?” if she’s DTF. (Down to Frolick.)
e) You stumble back to your room and cry yourself to sleep. During the night, however, you fuse with your bed. Congratulations — you are no longer human.
Mostly As: You deserve an exciting but practical gift! (You also asked for a practical gift, so this is great news!) You’re grounded, kind, and mature, so you don’t need baubles or accessories. WKND recommends: a nice pair of jeans, new snow boots, a new copy of Microsoft Office. Stocking stuffers: Mechanical pencils and candy canes and A Life.
Most Bs: You really don’t deserve anything. This is self-explanatory. Look at your answers. (Who even knows what you asked for?) WKND recommends: coal. Stocking stuffers: coal.
Mostly Cs: You don’t believe in surprises. You also don’t believe in celebration or human emotion. You are possibly a robot, a character from “Atlas Shrugged,” or a dead rat hiding under some trenchcoats. WKND recommends: Seven meaningful touches a day. Stocking stuffers: Soylent packets.
Mostly Ds: You deserve an artsy, cool, impractical gift! (You probably asked for a weird animal-print sweatshirt or a plane ticket to Berlin.) You’re hip and hilarious, but also quick to help a friend in need. WKND recommends: the new Lena Dunham memoir or studded leggings or blue hair dye. Stocking stuffers: parti-colored condoms and Sailor Moon stickers.
Mostly Es: You deserve love. (You probably didn’t ask for anything.) You’re actually way sadder than that spider in the shower, in case you’re still wondering, because that spider doesn’t even have a brain. Just a small knot of neurons. WKND recommends: A copy of “To the Lighthouse,” probably? Stocking stuffers: none, because stocking stuffers would trivialize your despair.