How the elite college students eat

Steve the hasher was serving our table in the college dorm dining hall.”Hey, Steve,” said one of my table mates. “You’ve got your thumb in the mashed potatoes.”

Steve said, loudly, “I’m the only guy here who will admit he masturbates.” Then he plopped the bowl on the table.

I skipped the mashed potatoes that evening.

Dining at Stanford has gone upscale, according to How Students Eat Now in Stanford Magazine.

During the past decade, Stanford has built one dining commons and renovated older ones, replacing “cook and park” steam tables with stations where items are made to order. They’ve recruited chefs with a flair for vegetarian and ethnic cuisines, as well as experts in food safety, nutrition and allergen-free cooking.

At one dining area, students can watch their meals being prepared through a glass wall, then go upstairs to browse “an expansive salad bar topped with white ceramic bowls of organic oranges.”

On the back wall, a pizza oven blazes. Whole chickens, rubbed with pungent fresh oregano, twirl slowly on the rotisserie.

The executive chef, David Iott, worked at Ritz-Carlton hotels before coming to Stanford.

There are no plastic cafeteria trays, except upon request. Instead, diners stroll around holding china plates, as they would at a hotel buffet. Hormone-free skim milk, fair-trade Starbucks coffee and Crysalli Artisan Water are on tap. A Pepsi machine is tucked away in a corner. “We have to have that,” Iott says, a bit sadly. Then he brightens as he points out roasted organic carrots and an array of miniature decorated cheesecakes.

An elite university needs high-quality food service, says Eric Montell, executive director of Stanford Dining. The magazine adds, “From New Haven to Berkeley, American universities are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into environmentally sustainable residences and dining facilities.”

I thought universities were trying to control costs so college will be financially sustainable for students and their parents. All that overpriced organic food and Artisan Water will turn into student debt.

Stanford undergrads pay $1,700 to $2,000 per quarter — up to $6,000 a year — for their miniature cheesecakes and Starbucks coffee. That doesn’t cover the full cost. Of course, most students receive financial aid to defray the cost of tuition, room and board, but fancy eats means the aid won’t go quite as far.

The greatest food in human history is the McDouble cheeseburger, writes Kyle Smith in the New York Post, quoting a Freakonomics commenter. McDonald’s McDouble is nutritious (390 calories, half a daily serving of protein) and usually sells for $1.

From Hamburger U to a degree

At McDonald’s Hamburger University, Jiffy Lube University, the University of Farmer’s and other corporate training programs, employees can learn business skills and earn college credits that start them on the path to a degree.

Gainful employment” regulations will be revised, after being thrown out last year in court. The U.S. Education Department has announced plans to use the regulatory process — not legislation — to advance its college aid and affordability agenda.

You don’t need a BA to work at McDonald’s

Job seekers don’t need a bachelor’s degree and experience to work at McDonald’s, reports the Boston Globe.

An independent job search site inaccurately claimed the McDonald’s in Winchendon, Massachusetts was looking for college graduates with one to two years of experience to work as cashiers.

McD’s ad seeks 4-year degree for cashier job

McDonald’s cashiers need a bachelor’s degree and one to two years of experience, according to a want ad for a McDonald’s in Winchedon, Massachusetts. ”Get a weekly paycheck with a side order of food, folks and fun,” says the ad.

Degree inflation gone wild or a cruel joke? It’s hard to say.

“Permaterns” — permanent interns — are working for low and no pay through their 20s and sometimes into their 30s, reports The Week.  ”For many in Washington, the American dream starts with a highbrow internship that pays $4.35 an hour — then another, and maybe another.”  Graduates with poli sci degrees are a dime a dozen — or less.

Good trip, bad trip

NY Teacher took her second and third graders from their Brooklyn school on a field trip to the Met to see the Egyptian collection. The kids loved it so much, many are “pressuring their parents to take them back . . . with the free family passes the museum gave us.”

Then the third graders were taken on a field trip to Toys ‘R Us and McDonald’s in Times Square. She asks: What was the point?

Via Gotham Schools.