Brave New Cafeteria

It’s 13:00 at the feeding center. Before the meltdown, the center’s windows allowed in sunlight. Now, the windows are walls. We each line up six feet apart on our designated floor positions. Like newly manufactured widgets under inspection for defects, we are summoned towards the checkpoint. The feeding officer motions for me. I tap my proximity card onto the reader, “Welcome A160038**,” she vocalizes. “Brave new world,” I remark. “Mhm,” she murmurs from under her mask. Robotically, she administers an isopropyl alcohol solution onto my hands. Mercilessly, the hydroxyl groups “shred apart” the phospholipid bilayers of my resident microbes—my hands rendered devoid of life. Having executed this brutal scorched earth policy, I follow the red arrows into the main chamber. It is different here; the new quietness and impersonality is discomforting. Once my selection of hermetically sealed rations has been made, I’m efficiently directed out of the center. The whole process takes no more than three minutes. It’s painless, but nothing more. In and out, we’re processed, allotted rations, then expelled.

Revisiting The Cafeteria

Since my last article about the cafeteria, major changes have occurred in the Marketplace both gastronomically and socially. The new changes to the food offerings, food positionings, and Cafeteria policies enacted by the Aramark Corporation have surely impacted the student body but are minuscule in comparison to the cafeteria’s recent social shifts.

In Defense of the Cafeteria

The cafeteria isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s wonderful, marvelous, and terrific. A cornucopia like the Marketplace, as it is officially called, deserves to be appreciated. I can name no other place where I can get rigatoni topped with tomato sauce and mushrooms then drop tens tongs worth of broccoli on to it.