Michael Pollan ‘77 on Coffee Hour

I just found this catalog written called “Students on Bennington” that students in the seventies made for admissions. I was amazed to find this titillating piece by The Omnivore’s Dilemma author Michael Pollan of the class of 1977. What a crazy place this was.

-Ezra ‘13

George catered Coffee Hour last night, and, in typical fashion, really outdid himself. He served four kinds of cheese, bagels, Wheat-Thins, Triscuits, sardines, funny hors d’ourvres of tomato and cheese welded to saltines, tuna salad with far too many onions, and Almaden California Red Burgundy (an unfortunate staple at Dewey House).

Shortly after ten, Deweyites begin to drift into the living room with customary deliberateness, everyone doing their best to conceal the eagerness which has been mounting since last Sunday. You see, it’s hardly de rigueur to display enthusiasm for Coffee Hour, or for that matter, any event which is less than spontaneous. Then, as though this were the very first Coffee Hour at which food was ever served, people begin to notice George’s tastefully appointed banquet table and saunter towards it, a bit faster than usual because tuna salad is a favorite.

Everyone settles down to a Dewey Coffee Hour. Someone says to Hardy, “Say something funny, Hardy.” Steve engages some unwitting transfer student in fierce debate, deftly alternating sides on the issue. Michael Stern hunts futilely for someone who has yet to hear about his transcendental meditation lessons, his expertise in the martial arts, or his Gestalt therapy group. Hardy says something funny.

Suddenly, a cry of “STREAKER!” erupts and a few curious types look up to glimpse Betsy, Dewey’s gregarious house chairperson, streaking through the living room, appropriately unattired in bright yellow rubber boots. Diane, quintessentially cool, lifts her eyes a few degrees. Hardy mumbles, “What was that? Was that a streaker?”

Everyone returns to their food, and George returns from the kitchen with another plate of his funny hors d’oeuvres.

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