So long, trusty chicken strips:
The "real world" lacks a UC
By Amy Pardini '99
Editor's Note: In honor of all the new freshmen experiencing UC food for the first time, we reprint an essay written by former Mooring Mast columnist Amy Pardini '99. This article first appeared on April 30, 1999.
Here I am, a senior, staring out into the great black abyss of my future without PLU. I
have less than a month of bliss left, and then I'll be catapulted off into the Great
Unknown that I've been warned about, encouraged to try and now forced to submit to.
This is my last column. This is my last month of college classes. In these next few weeks,
I'll buy my last steamed milk from the espresso stand, eat my last chicken strip . . .
Which brings me to the UC, the place I will miss most of all.
You see, ladies and gentlemen, I am not here to tell you how frightened I am to graduate.
I am here to tell you how frightened I am to enter a world with no UC waiting behind the
scenes to serve me.
I admit, I barely eat there any more. I have the 20-meal-a-semester plan, which somehow
has lasted me all year long. And yet, it has always been there: a constant backup in case I
burned the burrito or singed the soufflé, and a safety net and buffer from the outside
I relished the freedom of the UC when I came to college, fresh from home.
In the UC I could choose from a wide variety of things, not to mention being able to eat
as much as I wanted. I really took advantage of that part of it!
Twenty pounds later, in the middle of my freshman year, I realized that the all-you-can-
eat system wasn't quite working for me. So I made a rule for myself. I fit as much
selection onto my tray as possible and barred myself from having seconds.
"I will dream at nights of the UC, the place many of you freshmen now abhor. Appreciate
it while you have it; seniorhood is coming.
Amy Pardini '99
Those were the days, those lazy freshman days.
And now I'm a senior. I think I appreciate it even more at this point in my life, now that
I'm out in the quasi "real world" of cooking my own meals at my off-campus house.
It's not that I dislike cooking. I really enjoy it. And it's fun to make whatever you feel
like for lunch and dinner.
The only problem with it is that you have to keep the ingredients in your cupboard, think
ahead when you go to grocery shopping and actually make the meals and cook them
I don't mind any of those things all that much, except that they take up TIME. And if
you're anything like the average senior at PLU, you know that time is not something you
have a lot of.
So hello, Planet Burrito! Garfield Street comes in very handy to me much too often
lately. It's my crutch when I don't have time to make anything (or am sick of turkey
And then there's still the UC. What would I do without it?
No freshman can ignore the pitiful, puppy-dog eyes of a hungry senior standing
dejectedly at the cafeteria door.
And what a place of beauty the UC is to seniors: no dishes to wash, no pots to scrub
(when you burn the rice), and free dessert! No dishwashers to unload, no leftovers to
save, and as much pop as you can drink!
Next year I will be poor, married and hopefully going to graduate school. I am looking in
the eyes of a life that consists of Cup O' Noodles and instant oatmeal, which is not
exactly wonderful for the girl who really relishes variety in her food life.
I will dream at nights of the UC, the place many of you freshmen now abhor. Appreciate it while you have it; seniorhood is coming.
Graduation (and starvation) loom nearer than you think.