The Onion Has it All Wrong
Wesleyan and Bard have been neck and neck in college surveys for as long as anyone can remember. These surveys and articles range from serious– Princeton Review (although even they cited both colleges as having high rates of “birkenstock-wearing, clove-smoking vegetarians)– to humorous– the Onion.
It’s not that I mind coming second to Bard in certain categories– in fact, I’m still completely baffled as to why we beat them in the Huffington Post’s list of Top 10 Hipster Schools. But with the Onion’s most recent article, Bard College Named Nation’s No. 1 Dinner Party School, I knew I had to take a stand and speak up for Wesleyan students everywhere.
I realize that the article is a joke, but the more I read, the more freaked out I got, and the more I started to wonder how The Onion gets their information. All jokes have a basis in fact, and it wasn’t so much the school they chose as what they said about it. To quote from the article:
School officials said Bard has made a number of positive changes since 2005, when a student was sent to the hospital after ingesting in excess of three poached tilapia fillets in less than an hour. Steps taken to manage the dinner party scene on campus include freshman orientation classes encouraging students to eat alone in their dorm room at least three times a week; banning the use of fondue kits on campus; and contacting the parents of students found using vegetables or tofu from the school’s dining hall in their homemade stir-fries.
“using vegetables or tofu from the school’s dining hall in their homemade stir-fries?” Have you read my guest post on dorm cooking at the Breakaway cook? Are these people hiding under my bed (where I stash my induction burner)?
So in defense of Wesleyan (or maybe just myself), I bet these Bard students have kitchens, at the very least. I have a couple friends at Bard and one of them lives in a wood-frame house as a freshman. I bet none of them cook meals at which at least 3 dishes are present IN THEIR ROOMS. Oh, but according to the article,
“That’s why we have a strict policy that any student attending a dinner party with more than four courses will be immediately suspended.”
Just this weekend I threw a dinner party. Unfortunately, the dishes were nothing new, but the company was, and I wanted to treat them to some old standbys: Star-Anise Spiced Eggplant, Stir-fried Eggs and Tomato, a variation on Bok Choy with Soft Tofu and Glass noodles with spinach, and brown rice.
I have special chopsticks reserved for guests, octopus plates, and a nice little coffee table. I put a lot of effort into dinner parties and the relaxation and gustatory pleasure they provide.
I’ve been in touch with people from Bard and I have yet to hear anything about dinner parties. So props to The Onion for a scarily accurate representation of American liberal arts schools and their hippie dinner parties– just don’t discount Wesleyan.