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Junior Retreat, at the Mercy of Institutional Food

April 17, 2009

Because I have a huge blogging round up to do, I’m not going to dwell much on this. Because our grade is small (about 120), the junior tradition is to go on “junior retreat,” a three day long bonding experience culminating in a candle-lighting ceremony where everybody cries. Including the guys. In fact, I would venture to say that at least as many guys as girls cried, if not more.

I, being a callous and unfeeling person (or so I felt), did not shed a tear. I wanted to cry at some parts, but my eyes stayed dry. After the crying had gone on for a good three hours, we were served pizza.

The retreat was in Wisconsin (I think… I can never even keep track of which state we’re going to, whether it’s Michigan or Indiana or Wisconsin) at some Christian lodge, with Bible quotes on the walls to boot.

As seen from the bus: What is “broasted” chicken? Broiled/ roasted?

April 055

I came prepared, bringing way more food than would ever be possibly necessary: Kashi GoLean Crunch, two jars of peanut butter (my infamous Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and a regular Trader Joe’s crunchy to balance out all that sugar), trail mix, a big bag of apples and clementines, and graham crackers.

My friends provided the rest: Corn pops, Hersheys, Cheez Its, Japanese crackers and wasabi peas… you get the idea.

Here’s a view of the stash.April 039 April 042

Now that I think about it, cafeteria trays with those perfectly divided compartments are quite artistic. I was frequently mocked for taking photos.

Breakfast: THEY HAD OATMEAL! I ate two of these tiny little styrofoam cups and added trail mix and peanut butter. Also: eggs, coffee + skim milk, a disgusting Dannon lemon yogurt that tasted like detergent, melon, oranges, and eggs… at least, I think they were eggs.April 045

What everybody else ate… sausage gravy? Or vomit?April 048 

Sugar overload (NO, THIS IS NOT MINE, although I definitely drank my fair share of chocolate milk on that trip)

April 054

A lunch: veggie burger, some kind of rice mush, soy milk…. and I piled on the lettuce. Not too bad!April 049

On to dinner… what is that conspicuous brown object? Apparently, it’s a “veggie rib…” and when drowned in barbeque sauce, maybe manages to feebly imitate the real thing.April 050

The most disgusting up close shot of cornstarch pie (with a bit of cherry):April 053   

Also, I won’t neglect to mention that on retreat, I had my first s’more since 7th grade. I’ve been dreaming about them for years, literally. They had them at sophomore retreat, but that was when I was too health-obsessed. I didn’t have any and regretted it for days afterwards, which is completely ridiculous.

This time, I went for it—Hersheys, marshmallows and all. My only complaint was that I had this vision of melting chocolate, but the marshmallows weren’t hard enough to even soften them. Other than that, they satisfied my s’mores craving. My teeth were satisfyingly tingly from all the sugar, and I don’t think I’ll need another one for a few more years.

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