Students dine with faculty, staff

After the series of articles I have written surrounding coffee (see for example, “Java Jack strikes back,” May 5, 2015) were overheard being described as “pretty decent” by a recent patron of Goodrich Coffee Bar, I recognized the time had come to branch out and discuss other food-based experiences in the Record. Thus, with the conclusion of the semester soon approaching, I decided to take my “talents” back to Spring Street and celebrate this paper’s final issue of the fall semester with one of the greatest humans to ever grace the presence of this institution, Pamela Richard of Facilities, at the first ever Logceum Dinner. In spite of a trip to Pittsfield, Mass., on Richard’s end and a tutorial scheduling conflict on mine, the two of us got to snag a spot in the 6:30 p.m. round thanks to the magical powers of Assistant Director for Student Organizations and Involvement Benjamin J. Lamb. Although there were no paparazzi awaiting our arrival, the evening proved beyond glamorous.

The Logceum Dinner follows in the tradition of other events the College has sponsored in recent years (such as the Lyceum Dinner and “Why Liberal Arts?” events at Sloan House) where students ask a faculty or staff member to a catered meal for which Uncle Ephraim picks up the bill. I have engaged in this special experience before when Grace McCabe ’18 and I headed over to the Faculty House last December for a three-course meal with Professor of Political Science Nicole Mellow as part of the Lyceum Dinner series. What distinguishes the Logceum from other -ceums is that students and their respective guests dine one-on-one at the Log, while students gather in groups of two or three to join a staff or faculty member for a meal in the other programs. Twenty pairs may sign up for each of two dinner times and are covered for their meal at the Log up to the $30 mark (excluding any alcohol purchases), thanks to the generosity of the Szykowny Fund. This fosters the potential to produce an awkward situation in which you do not know whether you or your professor is expected to cover any excess but, if you happen to maintain somewhat more frugal tastes, the Log’s 30 percent student discount should help to keep the tab under a Jackson and a Hamilton.

Admittedly, the Record has not served as the strongest supporter of the Log’s most recent iteration (“Splitting the Log: an identity crisis” and “Log leaves much to be desired: Examining student accessibility of revamped Log,” November 11, 2015). However, I aimed to go into the evening free of any bias and ready to embrace the event. This author could not find any source of disappointment. After the Log hostess promptly seated Richard and me, strong service continued throughout the night. As conversations about embarrassing graduate school experiences and anecdotes regarding the College of yesterday bounced between the Log’s newly renovated walls, Richard and I found much delight in discussing our families and our shared love of Mark Hopkins House and this community over the “Logburgers” and duck fat french fries we each ordered. I was nearly moved to tears as Richard explained to me how she is continuously motivated to work as hard as she can out of her love for the students who reside in the buildings to which she was assigned, taking care of the space we are occupying for the year “as if [her] own children resided there.” I came into the meal already a devoted fan of Richard and her trusty partner-in-crime Mark Kimball; this event, though, served as a meaningful reminder of how much I owe to our wonderful Facilities staff and how dedicated they are to their work. Thank you, Szykowny Fund, for making this possible.

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