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This past weekend was Dad’s weekend at Ohio University, and like any other weekend when students’ parents visit them, the Ohio University students let their parents buy them groceries.
The cliché of being “poor college students” is often times an accurate description. When parents come, it’s a highlight of college for a lot of reasons, one of those being that students don’t have to worry as much about spending their own money. This past weekend, almost every student seen around campus was accompanied by their father. The dads were seen buying food for their kids at restaurants on campus and up town, and also buying them groceries.
“It helps me because I don’t have to use my own money on groceries, and I can use it on things like books,” said sophomore english major Emily Griffith. “A lot of things I need aren’t on campus and I don’t have a car, so my parents can drive me up town to Kroger.”
To clear the air, we as students don’t use our parents, but if they offer to buy us things, we aren’t going to say no. Sophomore journalism major Caitlin Harrison said, “I have a job, but once in a while when my mom is in town and she wants to take me out and buy me things, it’s a nice treat.”
My dad came up to campus for dad’s weekend, and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t basque in the fact that I didn’t have to pay for a single thing. And then it was a sad reality when he left and I had to go back to paying for things on my own again. We as students love when our parents visit because they always make good company and we like sharing this world of ours with them, but we do especially appreciate them taking care of expenses for the time they’re in town.
For those students at Ohio University struggling with grocery shopping, the markets are the equivalent of a Kroger that is actually within walking distance. Grocery shopping is one of the many struggles that college students face, and at Ohio University it is made a little easier with the markets.
There are three markets around campus (Boyd, Jefferson, and Nelson), one on each of the residential greens. On week days each market is open late into the night, with Nelson and Boyd Markets closing at midnight and Jefferson Market closing at 10 p.m. This makes life as a college kid a little easier already.
Why not just make the trip to Kroger or Wal-Mart? First off, the markets are a lot closer. But in addition to that, Ohio University has designed a nifty way to tie in the students’ meal swipes and the markets. If a student has one of the Flex meal plans, they can use their swipes at the markets if they don’t end up using them at the dining halls. Each swipe counts as $6.25 at the markets, and some grocery shopping can be done.
What about the students without Flex meal plans? They aren’t completely out of luck. If they want to, they can use their own cash to buy things at the markets. However, there are some students who work around this. As a student with one of the standard meal plans, having friends with Flex meal plans is advantageous for me. Sure, some students like to keep their swipes to themselves, but some don’t mind sharing. As an example, freshman publication design major Becca Ryan and her friends make deals over their swipes. She has a Flex plan, and she offers that if one of her friends with a standard meal plan swipes her into the dining hall for a meal, she’ll take the $6.25 worth of swipe that she would have used there and buy her friend groceries from the market later in the week. No meal swipes are wasted in the process of those deals.
As a student living in a dorm without a car on campus, the markets make any grocery shopping I need to do insurmountably easier. The markets are accessible, convenient, and offer most things a student would need. More importantly, there are ways, even if they have to be discovered by the students themselves, that the markets can be utilized by everyone.
Six out of seven days of the week, there is a line coming out of the Shively Dining Hall, tracking almost the entirety of Morton Hill. When it closes every Saturday, however, Shively residents are left scrambling to find a place to eat. They are filled with exhaustion, hopeless looks in their eyes and hungry bellies. What are they to do for food each Saturday?
For some people, the simple solution would be to just walk down the hill and eat at Nelson. Freshman biochemistry major and Shively resident Erika Stroh said, “I usually just go to Nelson.” Traveling to Nelson is not that simple of a task for a spoiled Shively resident. As a resident of Shively Hall myself, I can personally attest for how convenient it is to live directly above a dining hall. I am definitely spoiled as are my fellow hall mates. The trek to Nelson is seemingly short and effortless, but after a long week of classes, the thought of walking back up the dreaded Morton Hill after eating a big meal is entirely unpleasant.
If a fellow friend from Shively is feeling brave enough, it is a fairly common thing to walk up to Court Street for some food options there. Freshman Shively resident Katie Grace said, “I go to Nelson and [my roommate] and I usually eat out on Saturday nights.” Similar to walking to Nelson, it’s often too much effort for an exhausted college student. So if they somehow muster up the strength and desire, a Shively kid can be found with a Chipotle bag, pizza box or a drink from wherever they journeyed. Stroh also said, “If I’m feeling risky, I go to Chipotle.”
Another less popular but very real option is forfeiting the opportunity to eat a “real” meal on that one day. I know there have been a few Saturdays in which I’ve survived solely on saltines in my dorm. In a mix of being too comfortable in their beds to get up, not giving any effort to get food and not wanting to spend money, Shively residents can be heard rustling through their refrigerators and stashes of snacks for something to hold them over until Sunday.
There is a potential happy medium to all of these options: ordering food. Delivery, in my opinion, is one of the best inventions. My fellow Shively residents and I have found ourselves wondering what on earth we would eat on some Saturdays. But then someone in the group strikes genius and poses the option of ordering something. With this option, students can order their own things separately or split the total of a pizza to reduce the amount of money spent. It is glorious.
This coming Saturday, like all other Saturdays, my fellow spoiled Shively residents and I are going to be hunting for the best dining option since our beloved Shively Dining Hall won’t be operating. If a keen eye is kept, they can succeed in their search for food.
Under the mask of a relaxed, crooner playlist and baked goods, The Fluff on Court Street has become a sort of central hub for Athens residents. Included in their logo are the words “Kitchen. Bakery. Drinks.” It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t like at least one of the things included in that list.
On the northern end of Court Street between Pita Pit and the Red Brick Tavern, The Fluff is a pleasant place with drinks, food, and pastries that warm the soul. Their baked goods are made fresh every day and set out for customers to drool over and potentially purchase. Their chalk boards with the menu items colorfully written display the variety of options and fun environment that The Fluff offers.
When The Fluff opened, it was originally called “Fluff”, however, that name was added to in the last year. Why? The owners wanted to expand the definition of “Fluff.” In the past year, besides adding the word “The” to the title, the menu expanded. The little bakery matured into more of a restaurant scene with additions to the breakfast and lunch menus and the bold inclusion of alcoholic beverages to the beverage list. “It’s nice that they have a good mix of everything,” said junior biochemistry major and employee of The Fluff Emma Kessler. “I don’t know where else you can get breakfast and have a drink too.”
The menu is widely assorted with unique titles for the foods like “Mutha Earth” and “The Greenery.” But what items have customers hitting up the place so often? According to Kessler, some popular lunch items she has noticed are the “Mutha Clucka” and the “Thai Bowl.” The most popular, the Mutha Clucka, is a sandwich with roasted chicken, cheddar cheese, hummus, and their fresh, roasted vegetables all on rosemary focaccia bread. When it comes to drinks, Kessler said that lately the Irish Coffee has been a hit, and since it’s autumn, pumpkin spice lattes have been more in demand.
Personally, my favorite is the bacon, egg, and cheese bagel, which can be served on three different types of bagel or even a biscuit. Kessler said that this also is a very popular menu item, especially for breakfast. And for drinks, I love their hot apple cider, but of course I’m not the only Fluff-goer. Freshman publication design major Becca Ryan commented, “I feel like I haven’t been there enough to have a favorite, but I love their hot tea.”
The food is not the only charming thing about The Fluff. People who go there also love the atmosphere of the little restaurant and bake shop. “It’s a fun place to relax with friends,” said Ryan. “I love how you can just chill and do homework and listen to their good music.”
To fill my personal pastry and apple cider cravings, I head up to The Fluff a couple times a week and it’s always a good experience. Although The Fluff might not be someone’s first option when going up to Court Street for some drinks or a meal, the restaurant has adjusted its menu and motif to make it compete better with other Court Street dining options.
Like other sports organizations, Ohio University’s Marching 110 gets a small break every now and then during the season. Even though they can be seen rehearsing every day of the week and often times performing over the weekend, sometimes the members of the 110 are lucky enough to get some free time. This coming weekend is their first free one of the semester, so they have their uniforms hanging up and staying in their bags for this Ohio University extended weekend. What do they do with that free time?
- Rest: As an organization that practices a few hours a day every single day of the week, those kids need some time to relax. So of course, if they get a weekend that they don’t have to march, they rest.
- Study: Sure, that may not be everyone’s idea of what down-time looks like, but with this weekend off and the “reading day” for all OU students, some members of the 110 are indeed cracking open their books. It’s midterm season, and understandably so, it can be difficult to balance schoolwork and marching band. So while some of them might be taking this weekend just to relax, some of them are taking advantage of the time to crack down on some homework.
- Watch football: Although this may sound counter-productive, there are indeed 110 members who watch football if they get the time. Usually their Saturdays are filled with watching the Bobcats play, not that watching them isn’t exciting, but then they miss out on a lot of other big-deal college football games. This Saturday, they don’t have to miss out.
- Visit home: There are a lot of Bobcats going home for the extended weekend, even some marching Bobcats. This is especially significant for 110 members because they haven’t had a weekend free yet this semester in which they could go home, while other students at OU have. However, this weekend, all Bobcats get the chance to go back to their stomping grounds. Sophomore euphonium player Sarah Strinka said, “I’m spending time with my family and going to the high school football game.” She, like many other 110 marchers, is spending her time this weekend living it up back home.
Even though the Marching 110 won’t be seen out anywhere this weekend, they will be back in action very soon. Next weekend (October 9-11) is homecoming weekend at OU and the Bobcats will face the Redhawks of Miami University that Saturday, October 10, at 2 p.m. at Peden Stadium.
When thinking about college organizations that compete, the marching band isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind, but at OU that’s a little different. The Marching 110 of Ohio University has a long history of performing seemingly unforgettable shows, which makes sense considering they are the “most exciting band in the land.” With the level of talent and attention the 110 gets, competitions in various forms are inevitable. Here are a few glimpses into them.
- Between fellow band members: The name Marching 110 is a little deceiving because there actually are 250 members of the band. The “110” comes from how many members are on the field. But in the stands, all 250 members blast their horns and beat their drums. How do they narrow it down to 110? They compete. According to sophomore euphonium player Sarah Strinka, “We have to compete for our spots on the field for each show based on a marching and music score.” Placing only the best members on the field ensures the band lives up to its reputation.
- With other bands: The 110 has a unique style. This puts pressure on them to consistently perform at a high level. This also presents another way the band competes — the Marching 110 is not the only notable band around. First off there is OSU’s band, and then there are the bands from the other schools in the MAC conference (the conference of OU). For example, at the OU vs. Marshall game a few weeks ago (Saturday, Sept. 12), Marshall’s band came to Athens. There is a little competition there already with two bands playing in the stands, but it escalated when, at halftime, OU and Marshall both performed songs by Bruno Mars. To compete with these other bands, especially Marshall at that game, the 110 sticks to its unique style.
- Offseason competing: Marching bands are in action during the fall football season. So what do members do when it’s not marching season? Some join other music groups around campus, some play music on their own, and some join a competitive marching band for the summer. There is something called DCI (Drum Corps International), appropriately called “marching music’s major league.” In a sense, DCI is like a professional marching band. What does this have to do with the 110? There are quite a few members of the 110 who, when they aren’t marching as a Bobcat, are marching professionally over the summer as a member of a DCI group. Drum Corps International is a competition-based league. Corps from around the world travel to a new place almost every week to compete. They do this until they all come together in early August at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN to compete in the DCI World Championships World Class Finals.
The marching 110 may not be the first Bobcat organization that comes to mind when thinking about competition, but they definitely compete. The marching 110 will be in action again at the Jackson Apple Festival in Jackson, Ohio, this Saturday, Sept. 26 and will be back home at Peden Stadium at OU for the homecoming game against the Miami University on Oct. 10.
The marching 110 during halftime of the OU vs. Marshall football game.