Dear Upstream- CVHS’s first advice column

Welcome to Dear Upstream, Carnegies first advice column.

Photo courtesy of Noah Mohamed

Welcome to Dear Upstream, Carnegie’s first advice column.

Welcome to CVHS’s advice column.  Meet your wise advice-givers:

Tom- Noah Mohamed (Satire)

Jerry- Nicki Anahita (Satire)

Noble Knight- Jahrel Noble (Real)

Gossip Girl, Grade 12

Dear Upstream, 

Help! I have not dated anyone for my whole life! Please help! Help me! 

XOXO Gossip Girl

Die a virgin. Mary did it, you can too!

All the best,

xx Tom and Jerry

Although it may seem like the end of the world because of the theatrics and stereotypes of high school dating, there is nothing wrong with not having dated anyone yet! There is no need to force things or think that there is anything wrong with you, just continue to be your true and authentic self. We are only teenagers with full lives ahead of us and there are infinite possibilities to find the right person in the future. 

With love, 

Xx Noble Knight

Ellen Drewby, Grade 11

Dear Upstream, 

My best friend and I each started dating a s/o a while back, but she and her s/o broke up while my s/o and I are still together. When we were both in relationships, we didn’t hang out one on one as bffs as much as we did before starting to date, but now that she is single and I’m not, it feels like she wants to go back to hanging out just as much as we did before, but I don’t really want to because I really like spending time with my s/o. However, I still enjoy hanging out with my best friend and don’t want to hurt her feelings. How can I balance these relationships?

I would love any possible advice ;( thank you

Set up your significant other with your best friend. That way, you both get significant others AND you can have more time hanging out as sister wives while your collective beau is away. The Mormons have been incredibly successful with this. Plus, you can prove every psychologist wrong by embracing multitasking: hanging out with your bestie and bae at the same time… while your bestie hangs out with her bae too! There’s no way to go wrong, because you’re always getting a group dynamic out of the way.

Let us know how this goes,

xx Tom and Jerry

Balancing relationships and friendships can be difficult, but one of the best things you can do is be honest and tell your friend that you would like to spend more time alone with your significant other. Of course, do not neglect your friend completely and never hang out with them again. It is just as important to maintain friendships as it is to maintain relationships, so ensure that you and your friend’s friendship still thrives. Your friend knows you well, so they should understand that you and your significant other want more alone time. 

Communication is always key, 

Xx Noble Knight

Anonymous, Grade 11

Dear Upstream, 

I sincerely request your sagacious advice. I’ve been sitting next to this guy in a few of my classes and I think I like him, however, I’m not sure he likes me back. I think we’ve become good friends over the course of the year and I definitely don’t want to lose that. I keep receiving mixed signals, so acting on a half-baked theory might end up backfiring. Things are getting more stressful in general with APs, tests, and other activities that I don’t want what may be real or imaginary tension to distract me. If it’s real then it would be nice, but if it’s imaginary and I took action or obsessed over it then I might ruin a stable friendship making classes awkward for the both of us. What should I do?

Please bless me with thy words of wisdom.

Forget about it and hit the books. Think about it: studying for your APUSH exam will definitely give you some insight on what America’s historical lovers (e.x. Grover Cleveland and Helen Keller, or JFK and Abraham Lincoln, or Richard Nixon and The Wright Brothers). AP Lang should give you a hand too – look to love stories like A Tell-Tale Heart or Brave New World to inspire the communication skills for a successful romance. Plus, there’s just something really sexy about knowing literary devices. AP Research will teach you how to lie stay committed to something/someone for a long time. AP Physics will help you maximize the effectiveness of your grand gesture involving catapults and two tons of roses. And if you opted to take AP Psych, you can even Pavlov your crush into loving you if all things go wrong. Education is the key to everything, even love!

Hoping for some 5s this year,

xx Tom and Jerry

If you are okay with having to maintain a bit of patience, wait until school gets less stressful. After the plethora of exams: AP tests, STAAR tests, finals, your mind will be less packed and you will have more time to think about if you truly like this person or not. If you realize that you do in fact like them, then you will have much more free time to explore the relationship during summer and heading into your senior year. 

Don’t overwork yourself, 

Xx Noble Knight

AzianBbyGir14, Grade 11

Dear Upstream,

One of my dear dear friendz is having a bit of a conundrum… long story short, she can’t decide whether to put a name to the thaaang between her and sOmEoNe because apparently, he reminds her of her brother. But liiike that’s like saying Chris Rock looks like Will Smith, I mean, they have the same general appearance, but it’s what’s underneath the surface that matters obvi. But ahh I can’t seem to get to her, so can y’all please lend a sista a hand?

Please, she nEEEEd help, oh wise writers…

Tell your friend you’re getting a genetic test to prove that sOmEoNe isn’t related to her brother. When you inevitably find out that they are long lost brothers (come on, how could she be wrong about her own brother?), fake the results and give her your fake proof. Science never lies! And a HUGE plus side to this method is that if either of them ever wrongs you, you have the perfect ammunition to ruin their lives. 

Hope that helps, 

xx Tom and Jerry

From the description of the situation, it does not sound like the two actually resemble each other to that extent. So if she truly likes him, then just go for it. Looks aren’t everything anyways!

On another note, perhaps tell your friend to thoroughly examine these connections she is forming with this man and her brother. Does it speak to a deeper issue of commitment overall and is she looking for excuses to avoid a relationship? Is her brother overly protective of her and has he unknowingly created a unique bond where every other man reminds her of him? I am no psychologist, but there seems to be a bit to explore here. 

May Cupid strike both of y’all (your friend and this “sOmEoNe”),

Xx Noble Knight

I_have_14_exes_ha, Grade 11

Dear Upstream,

Lemme just cut to the chase – what do you do when you have a lusty crush on someone but then hear about a gal friend of yours gettin friendly w an ex that you’re not quite unattached to yet?

Exhilarated to hear back! (Asking for a friend!)

Hi I_have_14_exes_ha, this is honestly a Defcon 1 situation that requires IMMEDIATE attention and careful precision. The first thing you need to do is get back with your ex because, as everyone knows, high school relationships are meant to last. This has 2 (two) benefits. One, it’ll make your new crush jealous and make them start developing feelings for you and two, it’ll show your rat of a gal “friend” that you are NOT to be messed with. Next, you need to make your ex-ex partner and your crush fight over you during lunch in front of your “friend”. My tried and true method of accomplishing this is by putting an open bottle of mayo in one of their back pockets and making sure they sit in front of the other. This will make it so that when they sit down, it will squirt onto the other, causing a ruckus. Finally, you will need to be the one to stop the ensuing brawl, I’m talking pulling a full on “I know them! I know them! C’mon [redacted], this isn’t you! C’mon, it’s me, it’s I_have_14_exes_ha, talk to me, it’s alright! This isn’t you!” If this works, it will show little miss rat and anyone else that dares encroach on your lovers, that YOU are the one they need, NOT them. However, if it doesn’t work, the entire situation will be the most humiliating experience of your entire life (ESPECIALLY if someone records it and puts it on TikTok).

I am not liable for any damages,

xx Tom and Jerry

First, I would evaluate if you actually have feelings for this “someone”. The fact that you are not quite unattached to your ex may mean that you are simply looking for someone to try and get over your ex— a “rebound” you might call it. If you determine that this new crush of yours is not genuine, then that solves one problem right there. 

As for the other problem, I think you should talk to your friend about getting together with your ex. A situation like this is not always a problem, especially if the relationship ended on good terms. However, it seems you would prefer for your friend not to get together with your ex, which is completely understandable. If they are a good friend, they will realize your concern and hopefully back off a bit. On the other hand, if they ignore your concerns and brush aside your feelings, then maybe they should not be a person you consider your friend anyways. 

Ex marks the spot, 

Xx Noble Knight

N.M., Grade 11

Dear Upstream,

I’ve liked this girl at my school for over 2 years now. I have no clue if she likes me back. How can I tell? Does anyone have any advice? 

Please, I’m desperate

Tell them you are moving to Canada. If they react poorly they either like you back and want you to stay or they hate Canadians (which is of course a deal breaker). Either way, you’re learning something new about them which is a GREAT way to start a new relationship!

Justin Bieber loves you,

xx Tom and Jerry

Of course, there are the typical pieces of advice that most middle schoolers (including me) embarrassingly looked up at one point in time: she plays with her hair when talking to you, her friends know a lot about you, or she smiles a lot around you. However, I do not think any of these are ever surefire signs, especially if it has been 2 years and it is not obvious yet. At this point, the only way to truly know would be to confide in one or her closest friend (and hope that they are honest with you) or to tell her how you feel and hope for the best. 

Be brave, 

Xx Noble Knight

Marie, Grade 12

Dear Upstream,

How do I convince my parents to let me go to UT instead of A&M

Please help I don’t want to gig ‘em

The best advice for you right now would be to design, host, and be the only model in a fire-themed fashion show (the more avant garde, the better) to convince them you look better in burnt orange than maroon. I mean, not that anyone really does look better in burnt orange than maroon, but it’s a great opportunity to show them that:

1. You suit the longhorns more

2. You have the drive and know-how to make your own decisions

3.  You could have a career in fashion!

Gig ‘em,

xx Tom and Jerry

In order to sway your parents to the Longhorn side of things, prove to them how passionate you are about the school: bring up programs you are interested in, opportunities that UT will provide for you, how you plan to use your degree from UT, and how going to a school like UT will help prepare you for the future. A&M is an amazing school just as UT is; so there is really no “wrong” choice”. However, if your heart belongs in Austin over College Station, let your parents know just that. 

(Hopefully) Hook ‘Em, 

Xx Noble Knight

Ms. Frizzle, Teacher

Dear Upstream,

As the wise student that you are, what do you think is the most effective way for a teacher to get the undivided attention of their students? 

Or as the wise student that you are, what do you think are effective disciplines a teacher can impose on students who cheat?

Your humble listener

Well, psychologists have long proved that multitasking is fake, so first things first, only ever ask one question at a time, and try to keep things separated so they don’t make connections between the two questions (that would be too much like multitasking). I can already see why your technique is poor just from this letter! Students would be far better suited focusing on one single question for a full 45 (or even better, 90) minute class period at a time.

Students who cheat are a major problem, Ms. Frizzle, and it’s terrible that they would do such a thing to their significant others! It’s selfish and downright wrong (unless one of them was ugly, then I get it). But the problem is that as a teacher, you really can’t interfere with these personal issues of your students. I would recommend referring them instead to the joint Debakey/HSPVA/Carnegie mental health counselor. She should have plenty of time and sanity left on her hands from dealing with the three most normal HISD high schools.

Please don’t fail me,

xx Tom and Jerry

As a student myself, I do not believe there is no single way to get the undivided attention of all students every single moment in class. Unfortunately, a lot of our brains are not wired to do so all the time and we all learn in such different ways. So, appealing to different learning styles throughout your lessons may be the most effective way to get attention from your students! Mix things up—- do lectures and notes one day and then a group activity the next.

As far as effective disciplines a teacher can impose on students who cheat, I do not believe I am wise enough to handle such an issue. However, I think one potential remedy is to remind students that continuously cheating is going to set themselves up for eventual failure ( for example, not learning the material and therefore not being ready for the AP test). 

Stay wise teacher, 

Xx Noble Knight

Nacho Libre, Grade 12

Dear Upstream,

I am a senior who’s recently developed feelings for a junior. I’ve never liked a junior before and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to like them (they are a little bit ugly) but I just am at my wits end. I get butterflies when I see them. How do I move on/ ignore the feelings? 

Help a sister out

True love can’t be denied! In order to make the most of your feelings, the best course of action will be to figure out a way to get held back a year. Stop turning in those AP gov packets and don’t do your HUB discussions. Maybe even create a disturbance at the senior trip so you can’t walk at graduation. That way, you can repeat senior year with your boo thang, without even having to worry for a second about them being a junior (because that’s gross). A senior liking a senior is perfectly normal. If you guys really hit it off, you can even go to the same college, and be freshmen together.

Actually, wait, that’s worse than a senior and a junior. Scratch that last part.


xx Tom and Jerry

If you do not have serious feelings for this mysterious junior, then you should let the feelings dissolve over time. As a fellow senior, we are going to college so soon and you will likely not be worried about a minor high school crush. Similarly, this can help you get over this person if that is what you really want. In less than 5 months, many of us will be in different environments and there will be hundreds of new faces to help you get over this junior. 

Although it may seem “embarrassing” to have a crush on a junior as a senior, there are worse things in the world. 

Find love,

Xx Noble Knight

Mr. Ussy, Grade 12

Dear Upstream,

Recently my friends have been calling me an extremely mean name (for example, if my name was Johnathan, they’re calling me Johnussy). They won’t stop and it makes me upset because I just want to be called by my name. What do I do?

Help! I want to be called my name again!

Mr. Ussy, this is genuinely the worst thing I have EVER heard, I am on my knees sobbing for you, rolling around on the floor, banging my head against a door, bawling my eyes out; I am DEVASTATED. I am throwing up, peeing in my pants, pooping on my bed, drooling into my mask and sneezing on my best friend’s lunch. I have been tossing and turning in my sleep for WEEKS. I am absolutely so incredibly distressed that it’s causing me to have a nose bleed onto my Scantron, I am quite literally sweating through my undergarments, I am shaving my sideburns in solidarity with you. Anyways, everything happens for a reason, sometimes bullying is necessary!

Hope it works out for you,

xx Tom and Jerry

As my partners pretty much said, this news is breaking my heart. If your friends are borderline bullying you, stand up for yourself! Do not let them disrespect you and tell them how you truly feel. If they are true friends, then they will understand the way that you are feeling and stop the name calling. You are not Johnussy. You are Jonathan. 

P.S. You are great no matter what names people call you. 

Stay strong, 

Xx Noble Knight

Your Mom, Grade 12

Dear Upstream,

Some guys think I have a crush on them but I do not, how do I clarify without being direct that I don’t like them.

Waiting for your expertise oh wise one.

The only answer here is to marry yourself (Dennis Rodman style) and stop showering (just like our lord and savior Jake Gyllenhaal). You might be turned off by this concept but it will help you in ways you can’t even imagine by making them realize that you are unavailable (as you have fallen in love with the only person you need, you) and your delicious, natural, oozing musk will dissuade them from henceforth pursuing you any further. Gatekeep those yummy pheromones just for you, you’re the only one who deserves them!

Stinky is stink-key,

xx Tom and Jerry

If they are close friends of yours that you trust, try talking to them about another person you are interested in. Then, they will realize that you are actually interested in someone else and that you trust and view them as a friend you can seek advice from, not a crush. Once again though, this only works if they are someone you can completely trust and feel comfortable with. 

If they are not friends of yours, change the way that you interact with them. Still be yourself of course, but if you are worried about your actions being misconstrued then be cautious about the way you deal with them. 

Crush those crush rumors!

Xx Noble Knight