The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Arts May 5, 2006

Good Eats - by Maya Silver

Applying edible therapy
to reading period
The Great Period of Reading is upon us. Only a week remains before we all embark on the noble pilgrimage to the libraries and computer labs of Oberlin. We will vacate our dorm rooms and erect new, quieter homes in the corners of Mudd. Like wide-eyed children before Christmas, we will sit in the laps of study carrels and wish for good grades. Others will shutter themselves off from the world, building walls of binders and textbooks around themselves and safeguarding their fortresses with moats of potently caffeinated drinks.

We will develop unusual maladies that prey exclusively on the weak and sleep-starved. Heads will ache, lunches will be lost and carpal tunnel syndrome fingers will be amputated. And what are you, poor student, to do? Stock up on illegal prescription drugs? Hope that alcohol will facilitate the writing process? Fake a psychological breakdown to be rewarded with a generous extension? Sell your sweaters and conservative blazers, move to Cleveland and become a sex worker? Convince an old man at Kendal that you are his grandchild and hide out in his apartment until the coast is clear?

While these are all equally pedomorphic solutions to the problem of unwanted stress, other options do exist. Instead of turning to illegal substances, illicit sex or the elderly for a way out, it may be wise to turn to food instead.

In the up-and-coming field of Edible Therapy, led by the Norwegian professor and intellectual Dr. Albin Gunnar, a great deal of research has been conducted which points to one thing: Food may, in fact, be a viable treatment for high levels of stress and anxiety. Below, I will detail some different methods of treatment promoted by Dr. Gunnar.

- Purchase stalks of celery and arrange them around a particularly stressful space (i.e. a desk). Pretend that the celery stalks are actually enchanted trees in an evil forest of essays and exams. Slowly eat away at the foliage and watch your schoolwork fade into extinction.

- If studying with friends is your cup of tea, but you can’t seem to stop gabbing away when you should be doing your work, use crackers (or some starchy equivalent) to fill your mouth to the point of immobility.

- Don’t stop at cucumbers on your eyes. Invest in some zucchini, refrigerate and then lay out the slices all over your face and neck. Tension in your facial muscles will dissipate immediately under the vegetable’s natural healing capabilities.

- If you are having trouble with the divide between your soaring intellectual capabilities and your rather mundane appearance, melt chocolate and spread the treat on your face to resemble a beard. Once it hardens, stroke away as you think up your thesis.

“But what about all of the time I spent on the elliptical this semester?” asked chemistry major junior Ed Frommers.

For the weight watchers out there, ask yourselves this: would you rather look good for the pool this summer or succeed academically and go on to a top-notch graduate school? I think the answer to that question is obvious. And so does Dr. Gunnar.


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