Thursday, September 22

No Such Thing As A Free Cookie

My old job was at a Big Research University. And, as with most math departments at Big Research Universities in Big Cities, our department had lots of speakers coming through to give talks on various subjects, and just about everyday there was some seminar or other happening around the department. For this nominal reason (and other unspoken reasons), our department was like many others in that it had a daily tea. And every day one of the graduate students would dutifully set out cookies and teabags and hotwater and coffee and some dried fruit for the one faculty member who complained that the cookies were not very healthy. And we would mingle and play games and chat, but most importantly we would get that burst of caffeine and/or sugar that one needed to propel oneself to the end of the work day.

Now I am at a small liberal arts college, and one thing I have noticed is that there are ample opportunities to get free lunches. It seems like several times a week I have the opportunity to go to a meeting or listen to a talk or just hang out with students and someone on campus will give me all the pizza and/or chicken salad I can eat. Not only this, but every Friday afternoon there is a happy hour for faculty and staff where I can not only stuff my face, but also drink above-average beer and wine to ease into the weekend. And I don't mean to complain about all of this wonderful free food, but still.

There are no cookies. There is no tea. There is a coffee-maker in my department, but I am the only person who actually drinks coffee and I never have the initiative to make a pot just for myself. And every day around 3:30 my body starts screaming out that it needs its sugar and/or caffeine in order to propel me to the end of the day. Sure, I could walk across campus to our Faux-Starbucks, but that takes a lot of time and energy, not to mention the fact that spending $1.75 each day on my afternoon coffee seems like not such a good idea as all of the Lowe's bills roll in.

I know that in the long run either my body will eventually adjust or I will figure out a way to get through the day without that late afternoon tea, but in the meantime I find myself fantasizing about Pim's Pear Biscuits and Le Petit Ecolier... mmmmmm


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