"df demystifies" is TechNews's singular advice column, offering students the opportunity to access 13 years of undergraduate experience to help make the decisions that will or break your time at Illinois Tech.
DEAR df: The day I heard Sudexo was being replaced was, and still is, one of the happiest days of my life. Food at the Commons has always been a challenge for me because I’m not only vegetarian but I also have an onion and garlic allergy! There was basically nothing for me to eat except for french fries and I was hoping that with Chartwells coming in there’d be more options. However, now that we’re a few weeks into the semester and, if anything, I have even LESS to eat! It’s so bad, in fact, I’ve resorted to eating rice and canned beans for every meal because it’s the only thing I can afford to buy myself while my food plan sits totally unused. What, if anything, can I do about this situation?
---Hunger isn’t a Game
DEAR HUNGER: It really is such a tragic irony that the much anticipated ouster of Sudexo did nothing to help your situation. Unfortunately, much like politics, sometimes change is really in name only. To quote Peter Townshend: “Hello to the new boss, same as the old boss.” Now, to address your question, what you need to do find a way to take advantage of your unused resources (your meal plan) to make some liquid assets (cold hard cash). How do you do this? The black market of course! The internet has made illicit transactions so easy to accomplish there’s really no barrier to finding the less-than-scrupulous people who would be happy to give you cash to access the university's food. Granted, you’re probably going to be losing 50 percent or more of the actual value of the meal plan, but it’s better to make something off of what you’ve paid for rather than nothing, right? One thing to keep in mind, however, is scammers are widespread in the underground meal plan market, so try to find someone you know or someone your friends will vouch for. After all, the last thing you want is to lose your meal plan AND your only valuable assets. Good luck!
DEAR df: Let me apologize up front if this letter reads a little strange, I’ve lost a lot of blood and feel pretty faint. To keep it brief before I pass out again: every winter I get chronic nosebleeds but this winter has been way worse. I’m talking about entire days where my nose doesn’t stop bleeding, entire tissue boxes burnt through in hours, I’ve even completely ruined some of my homework just trying to take it to class! I’ve gone to the Student Health and Wellness Center, but all they can do is refer me to an off-campus clinic to cauterize my nostrils which not only sounds incredibly painful but incredibly expensive! I’m at the end of my rope and ’aifgew’og’pihiffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff
DEAR FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF: Oh my! You really weren’t kidding about being faint. I hope you’re awake by the time this gets published but if I know chronic nosebleeds (and I do) you’re probably still trying to recover in a pool of your own face blood. Now there’s a long term solution and a short term solution to your problem; let’s start with with the latter. Short term you’re going to be bleeding out your nose, that’s a forgone conclusion, so what you need to do is try and get that blood back into your body. “Well how do I do that?” you might be asking yourself (assuming you’ve regained consciousness) and to answer that: surgical tubing and a syringe. Run the tubing from your nostrils back into a vein, preferably one that’s somewhere where it won’t get jostled like your back or inner thigh. Now, to the former point: long term you’re better off just getting the cauterization, but make sure to spring for the professional job, back alley cauterizers can be sloppy and the LAST thing you want is a sloppy cauterization.
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