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Nutty B

By Nutty B

Features columnist

Nutty B is currently a graduate student at MIT. Please e-mail him with whatever question you would like someone to listen to, and help him have an excuse to procrastinate at 3 a.m. Please send all questions to

Dear Nutty B,

There is this guy friend of mine that I have known for quite a while now. We hang out all the time but always do so with a group of friends. I have just begun to realize I like him more and more but I am not sure if he feels the same about me. I am a shy girl and there is no way I will go approaching him and ask him if he has feelings for me. Now I just act funny around him and he has told me I have been sometimes cold and sometimes warm towards him. What should I do? I am so confused!

-- C.G.

Dear C.G.,

You aren’t one of my friends, are you? If so, come to me and identify yourself. I promise you we will start going out now and get married in June and live happily ever after!

At any rate, I must say, “congratulations!” Although you must be feeling butterflies in your stomach, I bet it’s a nice feeling. Perhaps I am just old-fashioned, but I’ve always believed a relationship built upon a gradual friendship is the most romantic and is the most likely to last a lifetime.

While you think you are shy, have you thought he may be, too? If you can’t handle approaching him directly with the question, how about dropping some subtle hints? Ask if he would like to have lunch with you to hang out and tell him more about yourself gradually (don’t dump all the info in one day, or he is going to think you’ve gone insane).

It’s always good to get a little personal first, and I don’t mean your sizes. Just subtly start to tell him more about your family, what you like, and what you don’t like and I am sure he will open up to you, too!

Give it some time, and once both parties open themselves up to each other, it will be obvious to you what kind of bond you two really share. Then it will be easier for you to know how to take the next step. Good luck!

Dear Nutty B,

I am very worried about my future as a graduate student. Could you please predict what type of research I should do now, in order to be rich and famous later?

-- Dying under laboratory languor

Dear Dying under laboratory languor,

If I knew the answer to that question, I wouldn’t be here talking to you. I would probably be sitting in my mansion in Beverly Hills, promoting world peace! So I am going to say, “No, I cannot predict any type of research that will make you rich and famous.”

Um... you don’t seem too interested in your research right now. It’s not important whether your current research project will make you rich and famous, it’s more important that you like what you are doing. Perhaps the reason you are dying under laboratory languor is because the project and you aren’t exactly a match. If so, perhaps you should look around and find something you really like. Or perhaps you just haven’t discovered the essence of your project. If you just started it, I’d recommend you to stick around for a bit and see how it goes.

Or maybe you just discovered that you simply don’t like any type of research. If that’s that case, ask yourself what makes you happy. As one of my profs back in college said, “you’ve gotta do something that makes you get a woody just thinking about it” (no gender discrimination here; it was merely a conversation he and I had).

Have you found that something? If not, it’s not too late to start looking!

Relax, and while the future reward is important, it shouldn’t be your sole goal of doing research. Otherwise your life is going to be quite tough and boring here!