Dear Ephelia

Ephelia Ephelia

Dear Ephelia, is my fear of the Hoosic River justified? 

The Hoosic is classified as a Class B river, which means it is suitable for secondary contact activities and fishing. For context, the East River, one of the most heavily trafficked, polluted rivers on the eastern seaboard, is also considered a Class B river (well, the New York State equivalent)! The fact that they made a Seinfeld episode about Kramer, the blueprint for weird nextdoor neighbor, swimming in the East River goes to show that maybe swimming in a Class B river is a little odd. I wouldn’t keep yourself up at night over brain-eating amoeba, but disgust is certainly a fair reaction. 

Spring has sprung, and this school stinks. How do I tell a friend that they smell? 

Let’s just say if we drew a Venn diagram where one circle represents Williams students and the other represents people that don’t wear deodorant, there would be some serious overlap. If you have no issue with confrontation, tell your pal that they reek, should shower, and put on some deodorant while they’re at it. If you’re on the more passive side, gift them deodorant, body wash, body spray, or perfume  — “just because.” It makes you look like a considerate friend and provides your musty mate with the necessary tools to quell their smell — two birds with one stone.

I’m ready to upgrade my sneaky link to sneaky significant other. Tips for having a secret relationship around here?

You can hardly go on a walk without being spotted, let alone step foot in any restaurant within a four-mile radius of campus and not run into someone you know. Functionally, then, what is the difference between a sneaky link and a clandestine relationship? In addition to hooking up in each other’s rooms, will you now go on dates in your room? It seems like your options are either to invest in a tiny dining setup, a robot waiter, a projector, and perhaps some games — pretty much all the supplies needed for every possible date in the confines of your 100 square foot room — or, dare I say, take it public. It might come as a surprise, but you can have a private relationship without it being totally secret. The more you know. 

There’s this girl who sits next to me in one of my classes. She writes erotic fanfiction on her laptop all class, and I don’t know whether I should be impressed or concerned. Is it weird that I looked up her Wattpad after class and read some of her work? 

I’m sorry, did you mean: “Try as I might, I couldn’t avert my gaze from the glow of her screen. Her fingers deftly jumped from key to key, creating an entire world with a series of swift clicks. The voice of my professor was drowned out by my own thoughts. I couldn’t make out any words; instead, my mind circled around the question, ‘Is this what true genius looks like?’” 

To answer your question, it’s certainly both. To have the writing chops to produce something of that length is impressive, but the impulse to craft an elaborate story about how *insert conventionally attractive male celebrity* is in a wildly passionate, secret relationship with one of his female fans is mildly concerning. With respect to you, it is a little strange that you went so far as to actually read her completed works. She must be a master of her craft to have captured that much of your attention.