Lock Your Doors, Lock Your Windows

April 20, 2016, 3:15 p.m.

Dear friend,

I heard your laptop got stolen. My deepest condolences for your loss.

In the wake of a slew of AlertSUs about sufficiently convincing and personable R&DE impersonators and the outstanding burglary attempt of the week, suffice it to say that you are not alone in the phantom pain of reaching into your backpack and not finding that smooth metallic surface there, fingers tingling as you grasp vainly at the cold nylon. If that makes you feel any better.

But you must lick your wounds and stand strong — for a matter of even greater concern arises from these disturbances: The very essence of the idyllic, safe, paradisiacal, intellectually stimulating, and utopic haven of our glistening and polychromatic Stanford Bubble is under threat. Thusly, after carefully studying Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” and Freud’s “Civilization and Its Discontents,” I present to you these five foolproof strategies to protect yourself and your fellow dormmates from dastardly brigands and casual lost strangers:

  1. Get a PC. Seriously, from my experience, as long as it’s not a Mac, it’s not worth stealing. It also comes with a charger that can wrap around the Earth twice on a good day.
  1. Instate MCAT security measures in your dorm. Appoint someone as Doorkeeper, and force all who enter to sign-in, present valid identification, have their fingerprints digitally collected, and have a test-day photograph taken for reference. Supplement this with an infrared laser system and aggressively swiveling security cameras, and you’ll be set for the rest of the year. This is by far the most sensible way to spend dorm funds.
  1. Put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door knob. Either that or a sock — because everyone will respect these universal signals of your deep engagement with important work that will impact the future of humanity as we know it.
  1. Petition RD&E to build a Panopticon. Put the RFs in the watchtower. Install floor-to-ceiling windows in each room. Witness productivity levels increase exponentially (or not) as PHEs build suggestive sculptures from unused condoms and tea bags.

And most importantly:

  1. Lock your door (and your window). It’s as simple as that. As much as you love your neighbors, your expensive electronics and career fair swag comes first.

In the meantime, you can check out a laptop at the Tech Desk up until 5 p.m. the next day of business, or build yourself a nest in the 24-hour study room as you work until rays of the morning sun fall upon your wan face drooling on the keyboard. With an extended checkout fee of $10, this is an excellent exercise to foster gratitude for the convenience of being able to own a magical portable device, and mindfulness about society’s encouragement of your utter dependence on such magical portable device as you return day after day to Lathrop to get your tech fix.

Trust no one.

Sincerely,
“No, innocent unfamiliar freshman with small bladder, you cannot use my dorm bathroom”

Contact Vivian Lam at vivlam25 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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