A Wheaty Matter

I mentioned yesterday that I spent Friday at Kent State University with The Young One attending something called “Golden Flash Day.”  It was basically a recruiting event; an attempt to woo potential students that have been accepted by the school but haven’t yet decided where they want to attend.  If I’d known that, I think we’d probably have skipped it, although we did accomplish a couple of things, including a seminar on Financial Aid (I shudder every time I think about the $76,000 price tag – not including books – the next four years carries) and a tour of the particular college he’ll be attending (the university is divided into particular colleges, each dedicated to a general area of study – The Young One will be attending the college of Information and Communication).

The day started off with breakfast:  some vile swill they called “coffee” and about a half mile worth of tables covered with donuts and granola bars.

Guess who skipped the whole mess (The Young One assured me his cinnamon roll was awful).

Lunch – four hours later – was a sit-down affair.  I didn’t register for the event, so I had no idea that there would be different options for the meal; apparently there was a choice of chicken, fish or a vegetarian option.  If you didn’t choose the fish or vegetarian option, you were stuck with chicken.  Not that it made much difference.

When we sat down, there was a salad in front of each diner – low and behold, no cheese or croutons, just greens, a slice of cucumber and a cherry tomato.  The only options for dressing were ranch and Italian, but after no breakfast I certainly wasn’t going to quibble over a little soybean oil so I dressed the salad, inhaled it, gave my roll to the boy, and waited for the main course.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

If you’d chosen the fish or vegetarian option when you registered, they mailed you a card which you were then instructed you put on your plate.  The waitstaff – of which there was far too few – brought those out first.  The vegetarian option was some sort of alfredo lasagna – buried under breadcrumbs.  I couldn’t tell you what the fish was, because it was buried – yup – under breadcrumbs.

If you’re thinking this didn’t bode well for the chicken, you’d be correct.

As I looked down at my breaded piece of chicken breast smothered in some sort of cream sauce – that I’d waited more than half an hour to receive – I noticed The Young One was eying the roasted red potatoes on his plate with equal displeasure (the boy is weird about potatoes).

“Want my chicken?” I asked.

“Okay – you can have my potatoes.  Want some of my green beans too?”

So that was how we divided lunch, and I don’t think anyone would be surprised that I went back for a second helping of the venison I made for dinner that evening.

This has me a worried all over again about the food options that will be available to The Young One when he is living on campus, but more than that, I have to ask one question:

WHY?  Why was it necessary to entomb everything in bread?  You couldn’t serve baked fish or roasted chicken?  What would have been wrong (or difficult) about that?  I’ve worked in food service before and understand the logistics of feeding that many people – there were close to 1,000 attendees – but I still don’t understand the need for all the breadcrumbs.  If it was an attempt to prevent the entrees from drying out, The Young One assures me it was a failure, and if the remnants on the plates around me were any indication, he wasn’t alone in that assessment.  If this was part of the master plan to persuade those who are undecided about the university they will attend, I can only wonder about the success of the endeavor.

After all, if you ask someone to find a way to shell out $76,000 over the next 4 years, they’re going to need their strength.

For more “Why?” Spins, head on over and visit Gretchen at Second Blooming.  She might even have some answers.