As I put my tray onto the conveyor belt to be cleaned after eating in Baxter the other day, I could not help but examine the silverware left on my tray. There lay the knife, which had been used to cut my meat, and also to butter my bread. A useful implement, indeed. Then my eyes came to rest upon the other pieces of silverware. Both the fork and spoon were only single purpose, not really as useful as the knife. Everyone takes a fork to eat the main course, and a spoon in case they get soup or ice cream or some such treat, but they often end up unused, and yet still get thrown into the wash.
I looked back at the silverware bins as I was leaving. There were piles of knives, forks, spoons, and soup spoons. Do we really need a special spoon just for soup? This only contributes to the wastefulness that pervades this campus. What we really need can be summed up in one word: Sporks.
Sporks are a combination of a spoon and a fork. They are shaped like spoons, but the front end has triangular teeth. Sporks would be an ideal addition to this campus, and I think it is about time that Dining Services begins to use them. First and foremost, sporks will cut down on wastefulness. No longer will students need to dirty a fork and a spoon at every meal. They can eat soup with their spork, and then use it to eat their pasta as well. This will reduce the amount of silverware soiled each day, thereby conserving precious water and reducing costs.
Also, there are many food items for which a spork is the ideal utensil. Small food like rice requires the points of a fork, but it always falls through the spaces in between the prongs. A spork would be able to first impale the rice, and then scoop it up. Likewise with any slightly unstable food item like scrambled eggs, where a spoon is insufficient to jab them, but if eaten with a fork, tends to cause the eggs to fall apart before they reach your mouth.
Certain meals cry out for a spork, in those cases where the food is a combination of solids and liquids, and neither a fork nor spoon will suffice. Consider an ice cream brownie. Spoons are insufficient for stabbing the brownie, as we are all aware. Yet when using a fork to eat this concoction, the ice cream all melts through the fork into a puddle that is thrown away. It is preposterous to expect students to use two utensils to consume a single food item. The logical solution is to introduce sporks into our dining halls.
I think that we can all learn a lot from sporks. After all, a spork is the embodiment of a liberal arts education. Instead of trying to specialize in one area, to the exclusion of all other abilities, the spork is well-rounded. It has some abilities in both areas, those traditionally designated to spoons and those usually reserved for forks. Isn’t this what Williams is all about, the importance of well-rounded abilities? Once sporks are introduced to Williams, I foresee a rebirth of the true ideals of a liberal arts institution. Let us all hold onto the image of Mark Hopkins sitting on a log, instructing a student, a spork grasped firmly in his right hand.