Timing

Steven, traveling solo through Berlin, wants to post an Instagram of his ravioli. However, Germany is 6 hours ahead of his normal time zone, so he risks his picture bombing if he posts it now. If he sets his alarm for 4 AM, his post will succeed, but he might have trouble getting back to sleep. This will be especially difficult because his 4 hostel roommates took MDMA and are having trouble comprehending language, let alone the phrases “shared living area” and “appropriate time for sex.” If he can’t sleep, he will have baggy eyes for his Berlin Wall picture in the morning. How much more praise would his parents have had to give him to avoid this being an agonizing dilemma?

The Hitchhiker’s Dilemma

Charles is hitchhiking across Germany. He is currently on the outskirts of Heidelberg, approximately 160km north of his destination in Tubingen. The journey normally takes two hours by car, but Charles is uncertain he’ll be able to flag down a ride that can take him the full route. He stands at an unthreatening five feet and eight inches. Charles finds himself to be a safe bet for drivers to pick up, but he is a tad cocky about his ability to defend himself against physical danger. He is at the ready with his hitchhiker's thumb. How irrelevant is this entire scenario if you’re a woman?

The Chad Grads

Brad, Thad, Vlad, and Chad embark on their bucket list European backpacking tour. Each group member brings different strengths and conditions to the journey:

  • Brad’s parents have generously funded all air travel. Brad graduated with a double major in Econ and ‘having a good time’. He has a penchant for saying, “It’s Europe, there are no rules!” Ever since he was a child, Brad gets on people’s nerves.
  • Thad, a business major, took some German in high school and is confident he could order food and ask to go to the bathroom in case of an emergency. His Snapchat stories are notoriously two to three minutes longer than socially acceptable. He’s dating Brad’s ex-girlfriend. Brad reports that he’s “totally chill” with this, but…yikes.
  • Chad graduated with a philosophy degree. He acts as the group’s researcher, having booked all the hostels in advance and found the chillest areas to experience different European cities like a local. He’s looking forward to this trip as the last quality time he spends with “the boyz” before cutting them out of his life for the foreseeable future.
  • Vlad is the group's “bad boy.” Campus rumors suggest that he might be part-vampire. Otherwise, there’s little explanation for why he’s never been seen in the daylight. He rarely speaks. It’s significant that Brad really gets on Vlad’s nerves, since this often leads to overall group tension.

Please find the only logical arrangement for bunk and seatmates to maintain peace throughout their trip. Note: Vlad might genuinely harm Brad, so choose wisely.

The Knapsack Problem

Jenny’s backpack is too heavy to make it through the airport as a carry-on. She must determine the most valuable souvenirs to bring back home. Out of the following, select the top three (3) valuable items to memorialize her trip, and which two (2) items to leave behind:

  • All the coasters she stole from bars. These thin, beer-stained scraps represent the forging of new friendships in new places. They further represent petty theft.
  • Fancy wine labels. Originally, Jenny purchased the wine for her parents. The wine itself is long gone, but she figures it’s the thought that counts. Plus, the labels symbolize her need for more money in preparation for her move to NYC.
  • Her foreign “boyfriend,” Rodrigo. He represents the idea of “carpe diem”—hence his ass tattoo. Perhaps Rodrigo was just a fling. Jenny never managed to properly roll her Rs, anyways. Also, how did he get into the airport without a shirt on?!
  • The life lessons she learned along the way. This choice represents Jenny’s refusal to let this trip change her for the better.
  • A cool rock. This one represents a really fucking neat rock. From Europe!

Influencer Reasoning

Michael, a micro-influencer (93 followers, high engagement) wants to visit North Korea for the clout. He DMs the official Pyongyang account, asking for a visa and 2 free meals in exchange for tagging them in a shoutout on his close friends story (Mom, Dad, 2 former girlfriends). After getting left on read, he decides to sneak over the border in the middle of the night, getting captured after tagging his location on his story. If the Pyongyang government asks for $5 million for his return, and America has 330 million citizens, what are the odds of his rescue GoFundMe being successful? In hits of dopamine, how much comfort will Michael get from his 7300 new followers if he spends the rest of his life in a work camp?

Newsworthiness

You’re on a post-grad trip to clear your mind after four years of college. You’ve decided to unplug from the insanity of the 24-hour news, mute political keywords on Twitter, and live in the moment. You’re sipping a 2 Euro beer in the hammock outside of your hostel in Berlin, reading the first Harry Potter book that gave you your love of reading, which led to your pursuit of an English degree. All is well. Someone else in your hostel says hi, recognizes your American accent, and asks if you heard about today’s shooting. Please select your response from the choices below:

  • Go home and vote.
  • Go home and vote.
  • Go home and vote.
  • Go home and vote.
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