Back to School, Back To The Seductive Beckoning Of Frank Dining Hall

Laura Wolff

After hours of laboriously unpacking and realizing that aimlessly chucking everything I own into my car wasn’t such a good idea, I opened a window in search of fresh air – uncorrupted by the sirens of ambulances, the horns of taxicabs, and the sour stench of Manhattan. Hamilton, New York is a simple town. That’s probably one of the reasons why I like it so much. So, on a sunny August day, I opened a window of this simple town and breathed in the pure unadulterated air – or so I thought. No, it was neither the summer stench of bovine excretion nor the fetid odor of forgotten trash, it was a glorious smell – a smell that guides and unites students to a place where minds expand over collegiate discussions, and where bellies fill over collegiate appetites. Yes, the renowned, the abhorred, the adored: Frank. Frank and I go way back. I remember our first date together. He lured me in with sweet smells of seductive oils and stewing meat. It seemed like he contained everything I ever needed in a dining hall; he was so bright, so clean, so … new. However, like most of my past relationships, that novelty wore thin. For first-years who don’t yet know and for sophomores who are trying to forget, Frank is the main dining hall. There, meals are eaten, discussions are formed and friendships are fed. There are at least five dishes per lunch and dinner plus a salad bar, sandwich bar, cereal bar, grill, soup, bagels, breads, fruit, dessert, fro-yo, and ice cream. Frank offers a lot, which makes it easy to eat a lot without realizing it. If you try everything, you’ll end up with too much on your plate. Trust me, you’ll have plenty of time to try everything – if you have that sort of debauched appetite. Fortunately, Frank tastes pretty decent most of the time. The biggest complaint is lack of variety. Quite a paradox: Frank has a variety to choose from each night but lacks overall variety. No worries though, your favorite food will come again. Frank food always comes again! Don’t put yourself in the same position day after day (or night after night), make your time together more interesting. Spice up your life. Don’t let mastication bore you. Tickle your taste buds with curry, cumin, cinnamon (not all at once of course) or, if you are simple, salt and pepper can (to quote a mediocre yet successful cook) “kick it up a notch.” Your relationship with Frank will take a little getting used to. Your stomach may need some time to adjust, but soon those “butterflies” will pass and you will become intimate. As I said, it’s a love-hate relationship. However, I must now bid you “adieu” because it is lunchtime, my window is open, and his cologne is enchanting.

My Special Frank Recipe:Take four slices of “deli” turkey and two pieces of provolone. Break the cheese in half and place them atop the unfolded turkey. Go to the island where the microwave is and put a line of salsa on the slices. Gently add spices (e.g. salt, pepper, hot pepper). Roll up the slices and put in the microwave for a minute or until the cheese melts. Take out and enjoy.