These opinions do not reflect the views of The Oberlin Review staff. However, we are amazing and knowledgeable about many things, so we’re glad that you trust us to settle these debates.
Question: Is water wet? If so, are fish wet?
Here we go. Khalid and Zoë, about to tackle a question that has stumped even the greatest minds. Lucky for you, we are not among the greatest minds and so we can provide you with an answer. Kind of.
Let’s get the easy part out of the way: Fish are wet.
Wet, according to Google, describes something that is “covered or saturated with water.” So, considering that they are submerged in water, fish are wet.
Now for the hard part.
One could argue that scientifically, water is not wet. A lot of very smart people have decided that while it’s not itself wet, it has the ability to make other things wet. This should be very simple.
When you touch water, you say, ‘Hey. That’s wet.’ And you’re right. For some people, that is enough.
Science has a lot of answers, but it doesn’t have all of them. Sometimes, things are not black and white. Sometimes, they’re a shade of gray. Sometimes, you just have to go with your gut.
VERDICT: DEPENDS. ARE YOU A HUMANITIES OR STEM MAJOR?
Question: Do you brush your teeth before or after breakfast?
So, we understand why this is a question. Really, we do. That said, there is a very clear answer here.
Our mothers once told us, ‘If you wait to brush your teeth until after you eat breakfast, you’ll forget’ — and they were right.
This question is super similar to the morning vs night showers question from our last edition. The main goal of showering or brushing your teeth is to clean yourself. If you are not doing that, then you are failing.
Brushing your teeth after breakfast makes sense. You’re probably saying, ‘That way, your breath is minty fresh when you go out into the world for the day.’ The caveat is that, like our mothers told us, if you wait to brush your teeth, you’ll probably forget. Trust us: The world would rather smell your bacon and eggs breakfast than your morning breath and your bacon and eggs breakfast.
Also, in the world of COVID, we all have started smelling our own breath a lot more frequently than before — shoutout to masks and face shields for that. Wouldn’t you rather have brushed your teeth to spare yourself from the stench?
Brushing your teeth after breakfast just carries too much risk. Besides, you deserve minty fresh breath first thing in the morning.
VERDICT: BRUSH BEFORE BREAKFAST.
Question: When is it appropriate to not wear shoes?
Honestly, not often.
If you are in your own space, like a dorm room, do what makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. If you are in someone else’s space, like a friend’s house, observe the rules of the house.
For the sake of transparency, we want to admit that we smushed two submitted questions together for this entry. To be fair to those readers, we will answer those individual questions directly.
One of them asked if it was okay to drive without shoes on. Technically speaking, we guess there is nothing wrong with this, but it is a little odd. There are definitely reasons why you might remove your shoes while you drive, like on a really long road trip, but for your day-to-day travel it just doesn’t seem right. Still, your car is your space, so do as you please.
The other question is, we hope, an issue that is very specific to Oberlin: Is it okay to walk around without shoes in public?
Right away, we want to make it very clear that we understand there are people who cannot afford shoes and that this obviously affects whether or not they wear shoes. We are not talking about this and want to be respectful.
Okay, that said, Oberlin students, if you are able, you should be wearing shoes in public. We understand that it can be quite titillating to feel the grass between your toes. That’s okay. What we don’t want is to see you clomping around campus, through the Science Center, through a polar vortex, with your toes out.
Honestly, we’re a little surprised we have to say this — but then again, we are the school that had the outbreak of Hand, Foot, Mouth disease.
VERDICT: YOU SHOULD PROBABLY JUST WEAR SHOES.
If you’d like to be a part of Khalid and Zoë Decide Everything, you can submit a question to this form. If you submitted and didn’t see your question, stay tuned for the next installment. You just might make the cut.