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How do I connect with my siblings? Why do some cereals falsely claim nuts? Is it okay to call a professor by their first name? Are coffee machines a kitchen necessity? How do I format a scholarship essay? John Green and Hank Green have answers!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

 Intro (00:00)

[intro music plays]

Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John.

John: Or as I prefer to think of it, Dear John and Hank.

H: It's a podcast where two brothers answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. John, to all the people out there about to graduate college with a degree in accounting, but worried about entering into the job market, might I suggest getting a second degree in dentistry! Then, you can crunch numbers, and, numb crunchers! 

J: [laughs] That's good, man! I like a pun where the consonants get switched.

H: Yeah. A spooner--spoonerist puns.

J: It's very common in the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, and it always delights me, whereas, I think because Sarah grew up with a spoonerist father, who loves a spoonerism, whenever there are those puns in the New York Times, she's always like groaning, but I'm like, "Oh it's a delight, it's not Ned Flanders, it's Ned Flounders!"

H: [laughs] It's weird to me, if you like that, I don't know how you hate any of my jokes here on Dear Hank and John. They are all positive gold.

J: They are not all gold. That's a factually inaccurate statement. Speaking of factually inaccurate statements, how 'bout Twitter?

H: [sighs] Indeed - 

J: That's the end of the joke. Alright, let's answer some questions from our listeners. 

 Question One (01:29)

H: Oh, wow, we're going to jump right into it today John. This first one comes from Leanna (?) who asks: Dear Hank and John, I'm home with my three brothers for quarantine. I get teased by them for being a bit of a recluse and being in my room all the time; the thing is, I don't know how to participate in a lot of their conversations. They really enjoy video games, and Star Wars, and a lot of the time, that's what they talk about, and I just don't know how to relate. I have different interests. But even still, I want to participate and laugh along with the jokes I don't understand, but I don't know how to do that.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

I'm worried this disconnect will continue into when we're all proper adults, but all I want is to be close to them. Any dubious advice is appreciated, I don't live in Montana, Leanna.

Thanks for helping me figure out how to pronounce your name correctly. 

We've had a few questions like this, people who are newly with friends and family and are trying to find ways to connect with them and to feel like they are part of a community with them. Because of course family is a very important piece of community, when we can have it.
And, like, this sounds especially hard because you have three brothers who are all into video games and Star Wars, and there is one Leanna who seems to be less into those two things. And so it's sort of hard to break in.
But, but my guess would be, you gotta try and chisel one of 'em off. Like don't try to appro--like get them as like one solid group that's all sort of in the--into the same things, but be like, like, Matt, and Steven, leave them be, but be like you, Jeremy, I want you and I to do something, and we will have a shared interest, and then they, they will get--they will get interested in whatever you have decided to do with Jeremy, and I don't know if that's going to be video games or Star Wars or if you're going to be something else, but that--that is my only way, you have to approach this problem not as a monolithic block of brothers, but one brother at a time. 

J: I think all of that advice was terrible. 

H: [laughs] It's all I got.

J: I know, and I thought it was - what I liked was that you talked for a long time, and that you didn't say "um" very many times, but I thought the content of the message was awful.

H: You don't like it?

J: No, no.

H: Well what, tell me! I like it.

J: Your solution to this division among siblings is to create yet more division and I think -

H: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly.

J: - that's a bad solution.

H: Yeah, you need to create teams. You need to--need to be on your own team, but you need to have somebody on it.

J: No. I also think every part about it is unrealistic. Like, I, I think you have to have an honest, earnest conversation with your brothers, where you say, "Look -"

 (04:00) to (06:00)

H: Yeah, that sounds way more realistic. 

J: I, no, I think it is realistic! I think you say, "Look, when y'all talk about Star Wars and Fortnite and nothing else, it doesn't leave a lotta room for me. Are there things that we could watch together? Is there a movie we could watch together tonight, that's from a new series, that none of us has seen, that - can we watch Star Trek: The Next Generation? Can we watch, that, uh, one movie that had Mila Kunis in it?

H: [laughs]

J: In space. You know the one.

H: Yeah, yeah. [laughs]

J: Let's watch that, because if we don't have all of us together a thing, I'm gonna be in my room, because I can't, like, get your jokes about podracing, and I don't really have, like, five thousand hours to devote to like going to Reddit's list of prequel memes so that I can become fully versed in your language. Instead, we need to build a new language together that includes all four of us."

H: Yeah, I, yeah. I just think that's a lot. I think it's hard.

J: I don't think it's a lot. I think you say, like, the next time they say like, "Hey, you're in your room all the time," just be like, "You want to know why I'm in my room all the time? It's because you guys converse primarily in Fortnite gibberish.

H: In prequel memes.

J: Like, I, I don't understand the words that you're saying. Like, I don't know what a "John Wick skin" is. And I also, like, don't have a burning desire to learn.

H: Mhm.

J: So let's find a language that we can all be part of.

H: Right, and I agree with that, to find some thing that's - maybe not Mila Kunis' space movie or Star Trek: The Next Generation, maybe something a little more in the present tense. Or, I don't know, maybe you do want to go and watch a bunch of like, old movies from the fifties and sixties and that'll be the thing. But. Find a thing, and that would be great, if you could say, "Okay, you want me to be out of my room, then you're going to watch Drag Race with me. Boom. Ha. Let's do it. I'll watch a prequel, but you gotta watch--you gotta watch some Drag Race."

J: Are we talking about the Courtney Force kind of drag race, or are we talking about the RuPaul kind?

 (06:00) to (08:00)

H: Uh, no we're talking about the Courtney Act kinda drag race. 

J: In the same way that I don't know who that is, I think that you probably don't know who Courtney Force is.

H: I definitely don't know who Courtney Force is, and I'm, I'm devastated that you don't know who Courtney Act is.

J: Well, I'm a little hurt that you don't know who Courtney Force is, so it, it, you know, w--suddenly we're in the same boat, where it turns out that we didn't have anything in common all along, and I'm just going to spend the rest of this time inside of my--my room, forget you, I'm moving on! I'm only hanging out with people who know who Graham Rahal and Courtney Force are now. 

H: I wonder if Courtney--Courtney Force and Courtney Act know each other, they, they look like they might.

J: The Venn diagram of people who get both sides of our joke is - that connecting point is very small.

H: [laughs] Yeah. Please, write us an email, if you are that person.

J: There's a fair number of listeners who are like, I get half of that joke, and there's a fair number of listeners who are like, I get the other half. Almost nobody gets both halves. 

H: [laughs] You gotta be both Hank and John, to know who both of those people are.

 Question Two (07:05)

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