The frozen truth about respect

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October 28, 2010

11:20 PM

There’s nothing quite like a delicious bowl of ice cream to beat the heat of summer. But who am I kidding? This tantalizing treat is enjoyable all year long, and no one knows understands this better than the soft serve ice cream dispenser in the Sadler Center. Over the past few muggy months of early autumn, this hard-working machine has withstood the wear and tear of constant daily use. But just recently, students across campus, including myself, have been shocked to discover that this veteran of a foodservice appliance has thrown in the towel and will dispense its creamy confection no longer.

Upon my first encounter with this dastardly realization, I felt a gaping recess in my heart, mirroring the empty spaces on the front of the machine where those gleaming, silver levers should be. At a liberal arts school where students are encouraged to fit courses such as Multivariable Calculus alongside Art and Architecture of Colonial Latin America into their schedules, we have certainly learned about balance. And when you feel like treating yourself to a sweet cup of cool custard after your spinach, the balance-oriented student may feel a little cheated in regard to this philosophy not carrying through to mealtimes. In fact, comment cards en route to the dish line passionately proclaim, “Ice cream, please!” in all capitals. I was determined, not just for my sake but for the insatiate sweet teeth of my fellow diners, to determine the reasoning behind this suspension of all things chocolate, vanilla and swirl.

Contradictory to my hypothesis about the dining facilities tightening up their budgets, an ironic twist surfaced during my investigation: As explained by a Sadler Center associate, the ice cream dispenser is out of service because one of its parts was found to have been broken. The machine’s manufacturer has been contacted to reorder this part. Aside from the fact that the source of our craving’s salvation is located outside of Virginia, the particular piece needed to fix the machine is currently on backorder, which means it will take even longer to obtain. And the ironic twist, you ask? That’s right, you TWAMP. The desecration of the ice cream machine was our fault.

This relationship between man and machine, which should be one of tender love and bountifulness, has been hollow and one-sided all along. The physical abuse our ice cream dispenser has endured can be justified by no excuse or explanation, so now we must learn that we must pay the price. Let this hiatus of a once-beloved dessert be a lesson to us all: Treat our dining facilities and their equipment with care. Be nice to the coffee station and the hot chocolate machine. Push in your chair after meals.

Don’t leave dirty plates and napkins for others to pick up. Dispense your silverware properly, as the dish line instructs. Be kind to employees, and keep in mind the hardships they face dealing with the high volume of college kids they serve each day. In fact, allow this behavior to transcend all relationships you have on campus. It is an important thing to keep in mind, amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy day. Be respectful and courteous toward the people and things around you, whether it be your professors, your fellow classmates, or most of all, the College of William and Mary’s other great dining facilities — and their ice cream machines, of course.

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