Editor's Note: Ask Eric is an advice column published every Tuesday. Anonymous questions are taken from this Google form. Questions are also taken from both The Collegian's Instagram, @thecollegianur, and via email, collegianaskeric@gmail.com. 

Hello all,

Since this is my first column, I thought I would take a minute to introduce myself. My name is Eric Bossert, and I am a senior at the University of Richmond. I am a biochemistry/molecular biology and history double-major, and I am a member of Off the Cuff a cappella group. I enjoy long walks on the beach and even longer books on the historical effects of Orientalism on Middle Eastern policy. 

The purpose of this column is to give advice to those who ask for it and generally answer questions that are given to me. My goal is to be entertaining and informative, but I am not perfect and what I say should be taken with a grain of salt. 

With all that out of the way, let’s get to the questions.

How anonymous is this forum? I have my hesitations.

This forum is very anonymous. I will never give your name unless someone asks me to in their question. 

Is mayonnaise an instrument?

I too very much enjoyed SpongeBob as a child. However, the canonical answer in the show is no, but I feel that there is not enough in that answer. For example, if the mayonnaise comes in a squirt bottle, then it would make a sound, and I believe that it could be used as an instrument. However, if it comes in a jar and one uses a knife to spread it, depending on the type of bread, the scratching of the knife against the bread could make a sound. Therefore, if one uses their imagination and is talented, mayonnaise is indeed an instrument.

What’s your favorite album of all time?

I am a sucker for Ed Sheeran. I really liked "divide." "Nancy Mulligan" makes me want to shake it. Also, there are a lot of good memories tied up in that album for me, so it has a very special place in my heart.

What can you tell me about Turkish history?

This question is rather targeted because I research the area of Turkish history. It is also the topic of my history thesis. So, the short answer is quite a bit if that history falls in the area of late Ottoman Empire to early Turkish Republic. For a more in-depth study of Turkish history, I would recommend Erik J. Zürcher’s "Turkey: A Modern History." It is very well written and covers topics as far back as the Tanzimât reforms and well into the modern-day. 

Also, our very own Dr. Yanikdağ is an excellent resource for those looking into the subject. If, like me, you are interested in medical policy, Dr. Evered has many papers on the history of health in the region.

Can you please review the top three most ordered Passport sandwiches?

You are going to have to give me until next week, so I can seriously assess the flavors. Personally, I prefer the Caprese. Alongside the watermelon "hint" water and BBQ chips, this sandwich makes up what honestly is too much of my diet.


That’s all for the questions this week. I will restate that I am not an expert, and if you have a serious problem, I urge you to seek help from CAPS and/or other campus resources. Thank you all for your questions, and I’ll see you next week.

Sincerely,

Eric

If you wish to submit a question, use this anonymous Google form or send an email to collegianaskeric@richmond.edu. 

Contact columnist Eric Bossert at eric.bossert@richmond.edu.