Shirley chimes in on french fries, sweatpants, and more

Knight Crier

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Dear Shirley: Every day, I can’t decide whether I should buy a school lunch or bring a lunch from home. While it’s certainly cheaper and healthier to pack a lunch, most mornings I find it too difficult to get out of bed a few minutes earlier than usual to make a sandwich. However, the health impact of a cafeteria lunch is starting to take its toll: I’ve gained 15 pounds since September from eating nothing but fries for lunch five times a week. Any advice? –Conflicted in the Cafeteria

Dear Conflicted: It’s certainly unfortunate that your lunches consisting exclusively of fried potatoes have caused you to gain weight. Perhaps you could mix up your diet by buying a slice of pizza a few times a week. The cafeteria offers a multitude of healthy options on a daily basis, such as salads, deli sandwiches, and ten different types of chicken served with a grain and/or starch. Given this plethora of federally-sanctioned daily choices, there is absolutely no reason to continue taking precious minutes out of your morning routine to make your own nutritious meal.


Dear Shirley: When I look around the hallways in between classes, I see two distinct types of girls: girls who take the time to do their hair and makeup and put on a cute outfit, and girls who are wearing a sweatshirt that they may or may not have slept in last night. How do I decide on a daily basis whether to put in effort or to just bum it? –Potential Fashionista

Dear Potential: Ah, the daily conundrum of every girl: to try or not to try? There are a few factors that affect your decision: What’s the weather like? Do you have swimming/gym today? Are there any boys that you’re trying to impress? Are they worth it? (the answer is always no.) Do you have a class presentation today? Do you have any after-school activities that would allow you to show off a cute outfit to a greater amount of people than usual? How much sleep did you get last night? Do you have a clean pair of nice pants? Could you possibly wear those pants for the third time without washing them and still consider them clean? By the time you’ve run down this list of questions, you’ve probably already made your decision to wear a sweatshirt and sweatpants.


Dear Shirley: I’ve noticed a few changes in the lunch line this school year. In addition to taking away the Cookie Corner, salt, sour cream, and, most importantly, honey mustard are no longer available in the cafeteria. How are fries acceptable as a meal while these very important condiments no longer meet nutritional standards? –Hankering for honey mustard

Dear Hankering: Michelle Obama.


Dear Shirley: I have a hard time staying awake in math class. Any advice on how to stay awake in class? –Dreaming through Derivatives

Dear Dreaming: What I find really helps me to stay awake in class is repeatedly banging my head against the desk: not only does it prevent me from falling asleep, but it gives me the same feeling as actually paying attention in class.

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