Advice For Awkward People

Dear Sarah,

Carnegie Mellon is such a mixed bag. You never know what you're going to get when you set foot on campus each day. Perhaps you'll run into two people in a camel suit to celebrate hump day, or maybe a bike will nearly run you over, or someone will even offer you a free condom.

These distractions are tolerable. They keep me on my toes or make me laugh. They are a familiar part of my daily campus experience, a small detail in my journey that reminds me that I'm at Carnegie Mellon, and I'm happy about that.

But one part of the Carnegie Mellon experience that I can't get behind is the bagpipes. Last week some guy held the entire Cut hostage with Scotland the Brave and pop culture covers like the Game of Thrones theme. While I respect the bagpiper and his hustle, he was basically the most annoying thing I encountered that day. All the way from my classroom in Baker, I could hear the horrific screech of the bagpipe. How am I supposed to focus on the nuances of Proust's seminal work when it sounds like a cow is having its tail hairs ripped out, one by one?

I'm all for tradition and the unity that having school pride will bring, but why does it have to be in the form of plaid skirts and terrible music? Why can't we embrace single malt whisky and haggis with as much fervor? I think most students would agree, these are much easier to get excited about.

Bummed About Guy Playing Offensive Overtures Proudly


Carnegie Mellon is a place full of unsuspected surprises. It can be a challenging environment, far beyond the reach of your influence. News flash: you're just one person and you have no power to change anything, let alone 100 years of Carnegie Mellon tradition.

But I like your suggestion that we embrace Scotch and haggis. Heck, even throw in some quality smoked salmon. But lets not forget the Scotch though.

My advice to you is to blaze this new trail. Lead by example. If you walk around with scotch in your water bottle all day, I can pretty much guarantee that bagpipe music will stop making you want to to shove pencils into your ear drums. In fact, it might even make you want to get up and dance.

If you set this tremendous new example, I'm sure the ranks of Tartans around you will follow suit and finally we can stop being so uptight as a student body. We're sure to embrace the fun that we can have by living life like Ron Swanson.

Scotch is without debate the best thing to come from Scottish culture. By living it up, you're basically doing Andrew Carnegie a favor. He would want you to celebrate Scotland in the most exciting possible way. It's a gift to his legacy.

But don't forget to drink water.

Happy drinking,