The Plight of the Hungry Sophomore
Vanderbilt is a lot like the witch in Hansel and Gretel. When first you arrive as a freshman, Vanderbilt (heretofore known as “she“) begins to fatten you up, stuffing you with both numerous orientation and get-to-know-you events and a wealth of free food. The meal plan does not activate until the Monday before classes start, and the dining halls do not open until the same, which is not much of a situation when almost every meal of the weekend is provided, free of charge, to the residents of the Commons simply for wandering into the witch’s hut.
After a year of events on the Commons and three meals a day provided in the underappreciated Commons Center, Hansel and Gretel (me) suddenly find themselves sophomores. The meal plan is reduced to 14 meals a week (still a respectable sum) unless you are willing to pay a lot of money for an upgrade to 19, and meal money is bumped by a small amount to offer some semblance of recompense. The devious nature of the witch’s plan, however, begins to show when Hansel and Gretel are forced to move in early for things such as ROTC (myself and my friends), job training, or VUcept. I arrived (Hansel and Gretel arrived, that is) on Wednesday of last week, only to find that the dining halls would not open and meal plan would not take effect until the following Monday. In my efforts to not blow all of my Commodore Cash, Meal Money, or REAL LIVE MONEY, I was reduced at the end of last week and over the weekend to a wretched, Gollum-like creature, checking the Hustler and the boards on the Commons to find out when there would be free freshman food, then devising a series of increasingly complex plans to use this food for my own devices, namely eating. Over the course of the past several days, I have eaten or taken the following (this is what I can remember) at the Commons (or at Engineering orientation), all of which was intended for freshmen:
1 Mango Chicken wrap, 4 Sprites, 15 4 oz. cups of Haagen Dazs (dulce de leche), 2 muffins, 1 Hamburger, 1 serving of squash casserole, 3 cookies, 1 water bottle, 2 cups of juice, 1 deli sandwich, 1 bag of chips, 1 pickle.
For this… I want to apologize. To The Brothers Grimm, for using their story as a metaphor without asking. To the Dining Staff, for telling you that my name may or may not be Hugh J’Appetit (this never happened). To the Commodore, for undermining his views of free market capitalism by not paying for this food. Most of all, though… to the freshmen. If any of you went hungry these days, were left eating the grass of the Commons and sobbing as your friends laughed and threw their free Haagen-Dazs at you, I am so, so sorry for eating your food.