“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: My neighbors love to play loud music at all hours of the day and night, and I’m getting sick of it. Now I like the fresh beats and jam slams as much as the next person, but when it’s playing at 2 a.m. on a school night I get annoyed. Plus, they keep playing the same five songs on repeat and if I have to hear Lou Bega’s "Mambo no. 5" one more time I’m going to lose it! I’ve tried leaving notes and having the RA talk to them, but nothing’s changed. What’s a good way to get the music to stop without being "that guy"?
---Your Music Sucks, Please Stop
DEAR SUCKS: First and foremost, I’m appalled you would come on to my (MY) advice column and besmirch the name Lou Bega in such a way. It’s all I can do to not dox you on the Bega fandom subreddits and chat rooms. Fortunately for you as of the publishing of this article I am now being paid for my contributions to TechNews and I desperately need the money, so my rage will have to be abated (for now). To get back to your question: instead of looking outward to solve your problem, perhaps you should look inward. Yes, the music isn’t your fault per se, but who are you to impose your will on your neighbors, even when what they do is annoying? So, to give you concrete suggestions: cut off your ears. Deafness isn’t the impediment it used to be, and with movies like “A Quiet Place” being released you don’t even need to be able to hear media to enjoy it! Now you might be asking yourself: "but df, if I cut off my ears how will I wake up in time for my class?" To that I have four words: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
DEAR df: I’m a new student to IIT and one of my favorite things is biking around the beautiful south-side neighborhoods that surround the campus. It’s not only good for me physically, it helps me feel better on emotional level. I’ve had this bike for the last five years and it means a great deal to me, so when I hear about all the bikes that get stolen from our campus it makes me really nervous. I keep my bike inside at night, but there’s lots of times I need to chain it up outside for a couple of hours at a time and I end up sweating bullets the entire time. Is there anything I can do to make my bike safer than I already have?
---I Want To Ride My Bicycle
DEAR RIDE: While your concern is understandable, the first thing you should do is to realize the likelihood of your property being stolen is minimal if you remain on campus. In fact, the Illinois Tech Mies Campus was recently voted “Least Safe for People Who Steal” by University Security Quarterly. That being said, it never hurts to assume the worst of people, so you might as well be prepared for the possibility of thieves and/or brigands. So, to answer your question: the best way to not have your stuff stolen is to have stuff not worth stealing. Now I can’t be sure what your bike looks like, but I can be sure that it needs to look worse. Protip: the liquid that accumulates in the bottom of dumpsters (commonly known as leachate) makes an excellent crime disincentive when applied liberally to the bike seat.
DEAR df: The fire alarms keep going off in my dorm. I moved buildings but they start going off here now too. I hear them all the time, even when people tell me there’s nothing happening. It was quiet at first but it keeps getting louder all the time. It’s become so hard to hear, it’s become so hard to sleep, it’s become so hard to function. Endless ringing, ceaseless cacophony, no moment for silence. What is there left to do?
DEAR HELP: Sounds like you’re having a rough time. I wish I had something more to offer you than my condolences but sadly there’s absolutely nothing to be done. I, too, hear the ringing, and have heard the ringing for years now. Sometimes it’s more noticeable, sometimes less so, but it’s always there. At this point, the ringing is like an old friend, a perennial companion I can rely on no matter what else is going on in my life. Some say the resonance has existed here before the school, a shard of some platonic entity forever oscillating in perfect harmony. There is wisdom in that timeless tone, carrying whispered secrets from time immemorial. Let it guide you in your decisions and you will never want, let it fill you with its vibrations and you will never hunger, let it be your voice and you will speak forever. Only the weak have anything to be afraid of. Only the immersed will be saved.
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