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Davis, California

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Trying to understand… The DC experience

For some, walking into one of the dining commons (DC) is the equivalent of walking into a candy shop as a young child: a delightful journey full of a plethora of possibilities. For others, it simply means a meal.

Getting to experience the DC on a daily basis can be overwhelming for some newcomers, which is probably why I see people feasting off of six different plates every day. What makes me curious is whether or not this bliss will start to wear off. Will the constant joy of having buffet-style meals start to disintegrate or will this trend last all year?

All I know is that it will be one fun ride as I sit back and creepily observe people in the habitat that is the DC.

For me, the DC is a mystery. I hadn’t been officially diagnosed until approximately a week of eating at the DC, but apparently I’m a “flavor hater.” I score the driest, blandest, most un-flavorful food on a daily basis and you know what? It tastes delicious.

So, when I walk into the DC, I’m always unsure of exactly how much bland food they’ll be serving. Sometimes, and this hurts to say, there is none. On one occasion, I resorted to eating Lucky Charms for dinner. The thing you need to know is that I have Frosted Flakes (the king of cereal) in my dorm … and I ate Lucky Charms? There was nothing else that interested me and the people I ate with that night looked at me like I was crazy. Even though I technically am, for reasons unrelated to food, they just couldn’t fathom that not one other thing looked appealing.

As someone who can’t stand anything spicy, I’ve noticed that a great deal of food served in the dining commons is heavily spiced. It’s heaven for those like my roommate, but for me it’s a struggle to find flavorless food.

When I do manage to find such highly delectable dishes, the DC Gods rain on my parade, forcing my freakishly slippery utensils to casually slide off my plate and crash on the floor with a noticeable bang. The heavy plates are a worthy opponent for my rather weak phalanges, and have won many a battle against me, ending with something dropping on the floor.

However, I’m not the only one who this happens to. I’ve been enlightened with many embarrassing stories, with one common factor: they all occurred in the DC.

It’s really just one big, hungry clumsy family in there.

Cuarto’s DC, unlike Segundo’s and Tercero’s, has an obstacle that some people must face: the stairs. Walking up that long flight of stairs with extremely heavy plates and a full glass of liquid is a challenge that some are not bold enough to face. One time, I fell up the stairs and proceeded to spill my drink everywhere. The yellow cleaning cone remained on the stairs for the next hour to remind me and everyone else of the incident.

Then there are the people who balance three plates of food and a bowl in one hand while carrying a drink in the other, like they’re practicing for their circus act. It still shocks me when they successfully make it to the second floor. After my first graceless spectacle on the stairs, I never know if the food I put on my plate will safely make it to the table.

The suspense is hard to handle but the feeling of sheer talent and skill I get when my plate lands on a table unscathed is like nothing else, forcing my fist up in the air into a victorious fist pump.

When dinner rolls around, people go HAM. We all know that UC Davis is an extremely sustainable campus when it comes to the food that’s grown and served on campus, so naturally many healthy plates are prepared in the dining commons. But oftentimes, people head straight for the pizza and burgers. Personally, I wish dragon would be served once in a while because think about it — it would be fairly epic to feast on dragon.

The purpose of this isn’t for you to question my sanity; it’s for you to question the overall sanity of all who eat in the DC, and for that matter, all humans in general.

The DCs provide students with an array of meal options and it looks like the plate balancers and spicy food lovers are enjoying themselves.

If you want to be publicly embarrassed at one of the DCs, SAVANNAH HOLMES can be reached at skholmes@ucdavis.edu and can easily make that a reality for you.


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