Taylor Ivy column

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 12, 2008

Scheduling snafu omits mealtime; stomach growls

As I have before emphasized I’m sure, I’m getting more exercise now than ever in my life. My legs are exploding with unknown muscle and my back is more desperate for a chiropractor with every passing day. And despite the excess exercise, I always find myself with little time to eat food… And this is unacceptable. Not only is food necessary, I really like food. In fact, I get kind of hateful when I don’t eat. It’s bad situation for everyone.

In the first few days of college, getting food wasn’t a problem. Mostly I ate in my room and had a pretty good amount of downtime between classes and after the day was over. But then… things started to happen. The never-ending email told me that I had to have seven hours of study hall every week. Then it told me I had to come to meetings when I had planned time for eating or study hall. THEN it told me that I had mountains of reading and homework! And it doesn’t stop there!

Swim 500 yards a week for lifeguarding… Work two days a week at the Turner Center… Ten hours of community service a semester… Gasp! My time had disappeared like it was never even there to begin with. I began to obsessively map out my days in one hour increments, for fear of mismanaging my time and missing an assignment or work. It was tedious. It took up 30 minutes of a study hall. I was proud of my rigid schedule and felt very responsible, and I taped it to the inside of my assignment book so I could admire it all the time.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

However, what I discovered on the first day was that I had left out the most vital part of any schedule: the sitting and eating. Though I had timed my three million mile walk to classes and given time for them, I had failed to set aside even 10 minutes for a trip to the Union. I had to disregard my times and felt adrift once more in my busy college schedule. This week, I re-made the times on my assignment book to include time for the eating and sitting, and I have to say that it’s the best part of every day.

I went to high schools where I genuinely enjoyed eating the food. Make fun if you want, but after public school lunch, a private school tastes like home cooked meals. Plus I just can’t take a PB&J every day. That’s an insult to my taste buds. But even though high school food was good, college food has opened up a whole new realm: variety! Oh the choices!

Let’s start small. First of all, there is the wonder of the C Store. The C Store lives in the lobby of Martin and Stockard. I’m so glad it lives there. With a swipe of myOle Miss ID, the magic card that gives me passage into many a campus building, I can also buy such delicacies as fried chicken, hot wings, sushi, cereal… The list goes on. There is of course the Union, where you can partake of Chick Fil A (oh, delicious) and huge hamburgers with curly fries. Sandwiches, salads, and pizzas also abound in the Union. On down the way, near to the library (the home of study hall) sits the Johnson Commons. Doesn’t sound like a food serving place, does it? Oh but it is. Until this week, I did not know the joys of Johnson Commons.

By far my favorite food in the world is Mexican. There is a Mexican place in the Union, but I have yet to try it because it’s always crowded. The quesadilla serving counter at the Commons was an open beacon filled with sizzling chicken and melting cheese. I am in love. I took my quesadilla to study hall and it made me study more efficiently, I think.

I’ve actually heard people say that they’re having trouble using up their meal plans. Imagine that! I foresee no food buying problem in my future. I’ll even eat some of their meals if they want; I’ll just have to block out the time.

Panolian columnist Taylor Ivy of Batesville  is a freshman at the University of Mississippi where she is enrolled in the Honors College and studies journalism.