Can’t you smell them already…?
Let’s be honest – the thoughts that run through a college student’s mind often fall into a pretty specific set of categories. They may vary in content and percentage depending on the person, of course, but you can almost guarantee that they include the following: homework, romance, various forms of inebriation, and of course, food.
Brown University Dining Services therefore has ambitious tasks to accomplish in feeding Brown’s hungry students. Aaron Fitzsenry, culinary manager of retail dining and one of our favorite food authorities on campus, sat down with me to discuss some of the exciting culinary ch-ch-ch-changes taking place across campus this year.
The Blue Room will soon be introducing a Mediterranean Bar a few nights a week. Fitzsenry dreamed up this idea this summer while he was strolling down Thayer Street looking for inspiration in the existing business models. Featuring fresh and local ingredients such as hummus, tabbouleh, chickpea salad, fresh Narragansett feta, and Sam’s Bakery Syrian wraps, the Mediterranean Bar will be joining the ranks of student favorites Kabob and Curry and the Naked Burrito Bar. As the Herald reported, the Blue Room will also be serving savory pastries of the leek-and-parmesan and cherry-Greek-yogurt varieties. And don’t worry – those muffins and cookies you dream about will continue to be baked fresh daily. Rotating soup and meal specials can be found on the Blue Room’s website, in addition to any and all ingredient information about which you may be curious.
The prospies are coming, the prospies are coming! No, it isn’t necessary to get your bayonets ready. Because this week is spring break for many schools and next week is ADOCH (!!!), you will be seeing many, many visitors around campus. These youngsters are fairly harmless, though their perfectly tailored suits might frighten you, and their not-yet-jaded spirits may be too much for your barren prefinals souls to handle. And remember, they’re bringing lots of company. In the upcoming days, Brown will be flooded with prospective students, and the parents and abuelitos and second cousins of said students. Look for them bumping into people at the bookstore, salivating over Blue Room muffins (alongside us), and taking selfies with Indomitable #GOBRUNO.
It’s important that Brown students are especially well behaved and accommodating when we have visitors. I mean, we’re not crazy party animals on the regular, but you surely don’t want to reenact your Spring Weekend behavior during these day (or just make sure to make that morning walk of shame extra discreet). Here are some etiquette rules to follow as we share our campus with future Brownies, and their economy-stimulating relatives, bless their hearts:
1. If a group of visitors clearly looks lost or is having a hard time making sense of the Faunce arch map, offer to help! Ignore the dad who says they don’t need directions and listen to the sensible mom.
2. Don’t be obnoxious and scoff when someone asks you where the Sharpe Refectory is. Kindly tell them it’s affectionately dubbed the Ratty, but there are no rats…we hope.
Eating in study spaces is a regular activity for every student; we all must study, we all must eat, so naturally these two activities will overlap quite frequently. Given the fact that this daily habit is not going to change any time soon, it’s time, I think, to set some ground rules for eating in shared spaces.
We’re all guilty of it – we’ve all had food that we know is too loud to be eating in the Leung Gallery or too smelly to be consuming in the stacks of the Rock. I’m not naïve enough to believe that this is going to stop, though I think it’s time to call attention to some very-necessary study space eating etiquette.
Abolition or revolution is not necessary, but all I ask is for a deeper consideration of how what you eat affects those around you. There is a spectrum of acceptable study snacks, with the priority placed on choosing food that is quiet and that does not give off an odor that can be smelled from 20 feet away (I’m looking at you Kabob and Curry, Soban, Shanghai, Chipotle – wow, Thayer Street has a lot of stinky offerings). In addition to the obvious distraction that comes with the deafening crunch of potato chips, the overwhelmingly pungent smell of your bibimbap from Mama Kim’s makes me a) hungry, b) nauseous, and c) unable to focus on anything other than the nostril flaring and stomach grumbling that my body subconsciously engages in.
Next time you’re strategizing your meals for your midterm study binge, consider the sensorial vulnerabilities of your neighbors. A Blue Room muffin, a bagel, an orange, a turkey sandwich, salad, just as some examples, are ideal – they’re quiet to consume and relatively odorless. Kimchi, on the other hand, is simply not appropriate for the library; it’s just a fact.
This Valentine’s Day falls on the eve of a long weekend, prompting what could well be a long, lonely bus ride through Winter Storm Pax, perhaps en route to one’s anxiously awaiting paramour. Between the curse (blessing for some… eh? eh?) of the Pembroke seal and the rather phallic buildings scattered around campus, Brown is clearly a place for love birds.
My parents met at Brown, and I have many friends whose parents did, too. It’s not uncommon for two like-minded students to fall in love in the cozy SciLi basement, or perhaps even in the upscale, romantic, and sweet-smelling Ratty. It would only be fair for Brown-born couples to name their future children after the alma mater that first brought them together.
If you and your Brunonian lover find yourselves bored this Friday, here’s a great conversation starter. Nothing says “I love you” like “Let’s have babies together and then name them after Brown-related things!!!” In case you’re stumped, here are a few ideas to get your brainstorm going:
This time of year is hard for everybody. Some are drowning in work, others are stressed about jobs; some are worried about getting through their holiday gift lists in time, others are worried about surviving the winter weather. We get it: everybody has something. And we all have different ways of coping with it. But one thing is unforgivable; one thing, we will not let you get away with: hogging up the precious sitting area that is a Blue Room booth.
The Blue Room is the epicenter of campus. It’s ideal for meeting up with people, for carbo-loading before a long night at the Rock, and for running into people you
have been avoiding haven’t seen all semester. But somewhere between the social butterflies and the enticing aroma of muffins, people forget basic etiquette. I could go on about messy tables, huge crowds around a four-seat table, and the 4 p.m. dinner rush—but I’m fighting a different battle. Continue Reading
‘Twas the night before Christmas…and your wishlist sucked. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you this year, we put together a list of the 25 most practical (?) Christmas wishes of all time. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s okay. Only one of us does anyway.
Stuff yo’ stocking.
1. Mandatory study guides for finals
Remember study guides? We don’t. The key to everyone passing high school has been stripped by many of our professors. Please bring them back. Please.
2. An actual idea of what is going on in the world
Yeah, we’re Brown students. We’re socially aware or whatever. We dabble in the New York Times. But life on College Hill can be so consuming that it’s easy to forget that the real world exists. Well, it does. Continue Reading