5 non-perishable foods for busy college students

As a college student who takes 16 credit hours, is the Editor-in-Chief of a campus publication, a blogs editor for another campus publication, an editorial intern for a local newspaper and finally, a supervisor at a local fast-food restaurant who works anywhere from 20 to 30 plus hours a week, I don’t have a lot of time for anything in between all of that. This means that I’m typically eating on the go, which also means that any sort of produce that I may have will spoil before I can sit down and eat it.

Bananas for example. Bananas! I’m not a huge banana fan but they’re a great and quick source of potassium, especially for someone on-the-go like me. My only problem with bananas is that I don’t want to eat them for every meal, and so when I put off eating them, eventually they go bad.

An even better example of something that will spoil before I can finish it is milk. For the first month of living on my own this semester, any carton of milk I would buy, even the smaller ones, would spoil before I could use it all. So I’ve stopped buying milk.

So what’s a busy college student to do? Resort to non-perishables, that’s what! But what kind of foods are good for a balanced diet?

Maintaining a balanced diet while only eating non-perishables is difficult, but I think I’ve finally figured out a good system. So, without further ado, here are five non-perishable foods in no particular order that give you variety as well as nutrition while you try to survive your busy college lifestyle.

1. Ramen
Yeah, you expected this, didn’t you? Well it’s not exactly healthy to eat a lot of ramen, it’s cheap and not incredibly god-awful for you. You’ll never have to worry about a sodium deficiency!
In all honestly, though, keeping ramen around is a smart move. Make sure your spice collection has a little variety in it, that way you can add some different flavors to your ramen from time to time (hint: cayenne powder is amazing if you like your food spicy).

Also try adding veggies when you have them! That will give your ramen some nutritional value.

2. Instant Rice
It’s essential that you load up on instant rice packages, especially when they cost a dollar or less! Rice will satisfy your hunger and fill you up so fast that you won’t need to eat for a while (unless you have the munchies).

You can find a lot of variety in these cheap suckers. I suggest trying Knorr’s Fiesta Sides.

3. Canned Food
Well it can’t get any broader than this, can it? Whether you’re in love with Campbell’s tomato soup or enjoy eating a lot of corn, canned food is the way to go. You can stock up on the canned veggies and fruits that will add some nutrition to your diet but also enjoy treats such as Chef Boyardee ravioli!

4. Instant Oatmeal
This might not satisfy the taste buds of some picky eaters, but it’s worth a shot. You can find a lot oatmeal with dried fruits already in the mix that will add some flavor to it, such as Quaker Instant Oatmeal.

5. Potatoes
Even though potatoes are technically perishables, they last a really long time. It often depends on the temperature and area where they are stored, but potatoes can last up to three months if kept in cooler, darker areas.

For the love of all that is delicious: An interview with a cook

Joey Taylor in all of his glory. Yes, the bottom part of his pants are on his arms. He doesn’t exactly possess a lot of professional pictures.

It pays to love a cook, especially when all you know how to make is canned soup, spaghetti and hamburgers (kind of).

During the two and a half years that my fiancé Joey and I have been together, he’s always had a knack for creating tasty home dishes. He’s taught me several little tricks to making the simplest of meals a delicious treat. I never would have thought to add vegetables, egg and various spices to ramen without him showing me first.

I’ve watched him go from working fast-food, to serving, to dish-washing to holding a position as a line cook. I’ve watched him return to school to pursue a degree in biblical studies, theology being one of his passions, but it wasn’t until he began cooking for a living that he discovered his true calling (besides being a devout Christian and a great future husband).

The restaurant industry is challenging, and line cooks are certainly not excluded from this truth. It can be difficult, stressful and strenuous work, but it can also be incredibly satisfying.

After working for just shy of two years at the Marietta Brewing Company in Marietta, Ohio, otherwise known as “the brewery” to locals, Joey moved an hour away to live closer to me while I went to school and got a job that would inevitably further his cooking experience and food expertise.

He was hired at Sol Restaurant in Athens, Ohio as a line cook and just after a few months of working there is the lead cook during the dinner hours. His excitement about learning how to make new dishes and foods is strikingly apparent and often carries over into his off-time (he made a killer sauce for Thanksgiving that was very similar to Sol’s “Island Sauce”).

As I pursue a career as a journalist, Joey works hard to improve his cooking skills with the goal of one day becoming a chef and opening a restaurant. But enough gushing from me, it’s time to hear from the turd man himself.

Who taught you how to cook?

I was taught by many people throughout my life and continue to be taught by people at every moment along the way. My dad and uncle were great cooks when I was growing up, and my mom has always been an influence in her light and fresh foods.

When I started cooking at the brewery it was Jason Morgan and Nick Farley who poured themselves into me, continually telling me they saw promise in me and that if I applied myself I could go places in the culinary world. I owe the discovery of my love of cooking to these guys first and foremost. I do continue to learn from everyone I can along the way still.

When did you start cooking for yourself?

I started cooking for myself in junior high with after school snacks being simple things like home fries or nachos. Really simple stuff at that point. It wasn’t until I started working in a kitchen that cooking for myself, but mostly for others, took a spin to the more fun endeavors of raspberry glazed fish tacos and steak fondue.

At what point did you realize that you loved cooking?

The moment I started cooking in a restaurant setting. The high paced work, the attention to detail, even the stress and then the end result being a piece of art that every single person in the world appreciates, resonated with my soul immediately and I knew this is what I loved doing.

That doesn’t mean I don’t get fed up at times though. The bureaucracy and politics of the restaurant world are frustrating and a waste of time personally, but that doesn’t mean everyone around you will try to get into them instead of being the best cook they can.

Who would you say is your biggest influence when it comes to cooking?

Influence? The person I’m cooking for is the biggest influence as I will try to cater to what they love. Inspiration? The two guys that introduced me to this world and had my back from the very beginning.

Sol’s Cuban themed menu is quite different from the pub food sold at the brewery. Was the change from the brewery to Sol drastic?

For the most part the menus are incredibly different. I went from cooking pub styled food where over half the menu is heavily breaded and either baked or fried to cooking with tropical fruits and pan seared fish for a good portion of the dishes. I’ve cooked more fish in two months at Sol than I probably cooked in two years at the brewery.

I wouldn’t say the change is drastic though. At the end of the day cooking is cooking is cooking. In the heat of a dinner rush, you aren’t thinking about ingredients used in a specific dish but instead about getting the food cooked to the correct temperature and consistency to make the dish right. So I guess when it comes to prep it’s two different worlds, but when I’m actually cooking, it is exactly the same.

How has working at Sol expanded your culinary knowledge? What are some major lessons that you’ve learned?

The way it’s expanded my culinary knowledge isn’t even in the major lessons. I’ve learned a lot of cool things about Cuban cuisine, mostly in the realm of smoking meat and the ability to incorporate decadently sweet tropical fruits into almost any dish.

The major lessons I’ve learned from Sol though are management abilities. I’ve actually got a team of people cooking underneath me on any given shift now and that’s a little bit daunting. It’s so daunting that I actually fought the idea that I was in charge until I started getting in trouble for not managing the kitchen during a shift.

I started into this field a very short time ago and now I’m in charge of training more people how to cook. The only thing I can hope is that I have the same effect on someone that Jason and Nick had on me.

Have you decided on what type of food will be sold at the restaurant that you’ll one day open?

I really like your everyday American foods. Burgers, chicken sandwiches, pizza and definitely wings are all fun to make, satisfying and people love them. I’m not really decided on a style of food as much as my dream pushes me to find a way to get the freshest ingredients available. If you make a grilled with fresh and natural ingredients, more people will love it than a frozen New York strip from a major food supplier.

What is your ultimate goal?

My ultimate goal is to use my gifts and talents to bring glory to God. Whether that means I keep cooking for the rest of my life or start working in a different field, I want people to know where my allegiance lies. He’s given me this life and my talents and everything I do is for His glory.

Take a ride through Athens’ train history

Sammi Nelson | Court Street Stories

Imagine this scenario: you’re sitting in your dorm room late one night, either quietly doing homework, reading a book or simply lying in bed unable to fall asleep, when you hear a light sound from somewhere outside. It’s distant, but not terribly far away. It’s not a siren, and it isn’t a car alarm going off.

No, it’s a long, haunting sound that lasts a about two or three seconds before it starts again. The sound reverberates off the hills surrounding Athens.

For those who are unaware and have never experienced a moment like this, the sound belongs to a train which passes by Athens carrying various cargo between plants.

Trains were once upon a time the golden vehicles of the country, transporting both goods and passengers to from the West. Southeastern Ohio, originally the gateway to the Northwest territory, had a major role in railroad transportation. Athens County and the surrounding areas had several railroad lines passing through, many of which traveling to larger cities such as Cincinnati, Chicago and Detroit.

Athens County had several lines passing through its boundaries. Lines such as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Toledo and Central Ohio Railway Co., the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad (later absorbed by the B&O Railroad) and the Kanawha and Michigan Railway Co. were among these lines.

According to the Ohio Railroad Stations Past & Present station database, there are 45 past existing stations and six stations that are still present today. Because of the overwhelming amount of stations that are part of the history of Athens County, we will focus primarily on the stations in the city of Athens.

Modern day Athens B&O train.
Modern day Athens B&O Train Depot. Obtained from http://www.jouer-enligne.com/train-video-depot.html

Cincinnati Washington and Baltimore Railroad
Built in 1889, the CW&B Railroad passed through the station on Depot Street off of Union Street. The name of the line later changed to the B&O Railroad in the same year.

Dubbed the Athens B&O Train Depot, the station still stands today and is privately leased. On January 11, 1983, the station was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Toledo and Ohio Central Railway Co.
This railroad supposedly stopped at a station that located on the property of the Athens Lumber Company. Without any solid documentation indicating that it was actually a T&OC station, although according to the station database, it “looks like a station.”

This supposed station would have stood on the corner of Union and Factory streets.

The freight station behind the former Athens Grocery Company, year unknown. Obtained from the Ohio Railroads Past & Present station database.
The freight station behind the former Athens Grocery Company, year unknown. Obtained from the Ohio Railroad Stations Past & Present station database.

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Apart from the Athens B&O Train Depot, the B&O railroad stopped at two different freight houses in Athens. One was located “behind the former Athens Grocery Company building near the intersection of Depot and West Union Streets,” according to the database; the other location was “near the former McBee Binder Company at the corner of West Union and Smith Streets.”

Obtained from the Ohio Railroad
The CHV&T Railway station, year unknown. Obtained from the Ohio Railroad Stations Past & Present station database. Photo by David W. Dupler.

Columbus Hocking Valley and Toledo Railway
The station database says that this company ran through a combination freight and passenger station on Schafer Street where University Commons stands today. Newspaper reports suggest that the station was built in 1899.

Jeff Hill: The tale of a beast

Every Bobcat, past and present, knows of the notorious Jeff Hill. Short for Jefferson Hill, Jeff Hill is a staple landmark for OU students and Athens locals alike. While the city and the campus sit on several hills, none of them compare against this monstrous slope.

A walk up the hill is sure to take someone’s breath away, and a walk down the hill feels like a head slide into oblivion. It’s treacherously steep slope fills Ohio University students with mixed emotions: dread, exasperation, anger, excitement (who are you?!) and wait, did I mention dread already?

A collage of pictures from the Athena yearbook displaying students sledding down Jeff Hill in 1950. Image courtesy of the Ohio University Archives.
A collage of pictures from the Athena yearbook displaying students sledding down Jeff Hill in 1950. Image courtesy of the Ohio University Archives.

Whether they’re sledding down the treacherous hill during the winter or gliding down the slope on a longboard or a bike (mad respect for those who do), Jeff Hill’s slope is constantly being tested by daredevils.

Over the last decade alone, the hill has undergone a vast amount of change during its existence as a gateway to uptown and College Green for east and south siders.

Jeff Hill was once upon a time a brick road just like most of uptown Athens. During the winter break of OU’s 2006-2007 academic school year, the bricks were removed from the hill due to its poor road condition, according to a 2007 article in The Athens NEWS.

Ray Hazlett, who was the Athens service safety director at the time, told The NEWS that the bricks were saved to be reused in other brick streets in the city, but because the bricks from Jeff Hill were originally cut at an angle, they could only be used on other sloped streets.

Hazlett also told The NEWS that the road was originally intended for use by horses and wagons, so the bricks were designed specifically to give horses proper footing for going up the hill.

After the brick removal, the city laid down soil and grass seeds in order to combat erosion. The city also had the intention of of making Jeff Hill a park at one point, but the plans were never fulfilled.

The old road required much maintenance, which proved to be quite the nuisance for the city. Prior to the brick removal, the road was closed to vehicular traffic in 2002 after a water line broke under the road broke that same year.

According to a 2006 article in The Athens Messenger, this water break concerned city officials about the safety of vehicles driving up the hill after the break “washed out a lot of soil and sand.”

An image of Jeff Hill when it was cut off from vehicular traffic and still a brick road. Photo courtesy of user jmecklenborg of Photobucket.
An image of Jeff Hill when it was cut off from vehicular traffic and still a brick road. Photo courtesy of user jmecklenborg of Photobucket.

The subject of ownership of Jeff Hill has caused issues between Ohio University and the city of Athens. In 2005,  OU wanted to make Jeff Hill a developed pedestrian walkway, such as Morton Hill, the university-owned walkway that runs through East Green and is somewhat parallel to Jeff Hill, with East Green residence halls situated in between them.

After years of tension, the final result was a plan to pave Jeff Hill and open it back up to traffic as a one-way upwards street in 2010. OU and the city of Athens put their differences aside and signed for a three-party contract to renovate the hill, making both the university and the city co-owners of the road and in charge of different aspects of usage and maintenance.

Jeff Hill has been a controversial, anger-inducing and lung-shredding beast of a road and walkway for over a decade (no, over a century – no wait, how old is Athens again?) and with the coexistence and cooperation between the university and the city, it looks like it’s here to stay… at least until it requires another costly repair, perhaps.


A Bobcat’s guide to student discounts

Like any college student, Bobcats know what it’s like to have an empty wallet (or an empty bank account, for that matter). With all of the spending on tuition, loans, utilities, rent, appliances, books, clothes and food (the list could go on) college students are often forced so scrape and scavenge for funds to get by.

Luckily, a lot of businesses out there are aware of this and want to give students a break. By students doing something as simple as giving out their school email or showing their student ID, they can receive discounts. Those small 5 and 10 percent discounts will eventually add up to saving students a bunch of money in the long run.

Students should never immediately expect to get a discount. A lot of stores and restaurants in places such as uptown Athens won’t offer student discounts because they depend on students spending money in order to maintain their businesses, however oftentimes they’ll offer various specials and sales throughout the year.

Businesses may offer discounts depending on location, even some fast food franchises and other chain stores. It never hurts to ask the age-old question: “Do you offer a student discount?”

(And remember, be respectful if they say no.)

It’s always good to know where a student can get deals on prices. Provided below is a list of businesses that offer student discounts and other specials, specifically tailored to fit a Bobcat’s needs.

Athena Cinema
The historical Athena Cinema in uptown Athens has a punch card for eager movie viewers.

“The punch card card is offered to students so that every time they come see a movie they can get it punched,” said Bill McAtee, a sophomore theater student at Ohio University and an employee at the Athena. “It has to be punched six times and the seventh movie is free.”

There’s also free popcorn on Wednesdays.

Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts
For students who need to purchase materials for school-related projects and otherwise can hit up Jo-Ann Fabrics on East State Street in Athens. By joining Jo-Ann’s Student Discount Program, students can get 10 percent off every purchase and are eligible to receive two coupons as well.

Amazon Student
Students order a lot of stuff online, right? Amazon Student is perfect for getting things to students quickly and cheaply. By signing up for Amazon Student, Bobcats will receive a six-month free trial of Amazon Prime service, which includes streaming videos and unlimited two-day shipping. After six months, the service is 50 percent off its regular price.

Another way to get cheap shipping is through FedEx. Students can get 20 to 30 percent off for shipping packages when they show their school ID.

Microsoft offers quite a few deals for both students and teachers. One option is Office 365 Education, which is free and includes 1TB of online storage and online versions of Office. Bobcats can also buy and install the full Office 365 for their computer for $79.99. At this price, students have Office 365 for four years and is included for two PCs, Macs or tablets (the original price for Office 365 is $100 for a single device).

This is perfect for students moving off-campus. Students get 10 percent off truck rentals and an additional 10 percent if they book a one-way rental online.

Need another way home besides the GoBus? Afraid of airplanes? With the Student Advantage Discount Card, students get 20 percent on unrestricted walk-up fare or online tickets. Students also save 40 percent on package shipments through Greyhound Package Xpress.

The card is $20 plus shipping and handling, so it might only be worth it to students who frequently travel with Greyhound.

Music is an absolute must-have for the majority of college students (and people in general) worldwide. Spotify feels for student music appreciators, so they’ve provided a 50 percent discount on their Spotify Premium service for $4.99 a month.

Spotify is also free to download, but with Spotify Premium students aren’t plagued by ads and can choose which song they want to listen to on their mobile devices, which isn’t an option with the free version.

Apple Store for Education
Apple offers a lot discounts on various on products, so it’s always good for students to compare prices. Apple also offers Student Financing, which is an opportunity to build credit. Students can get a loan and spread payments over a period of 48 months, making it easier to pay for products. Students can also apply for a loan with a co-applicant (usually the ‘rents), which will ensure that the loan gets paid.

Not an Apple fan? Lenovo offers the Academic Purchase Program that requires a customer to be either a student, parent of a student or school faculty member and varies depending on the school. Customers using this program can save up to 47 percent on products such as laptops, 46 percent on desktops and 32 percent on tablets.

Phone Plans
Depending on their service provider, Bobcats can also get student discounts on phones and phone plans. Carriers that include student discounts are Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Straight Talk might not offer discounts to students, but it’s a cheap alternative to regular service providers. There’s no contract, which means costumers can upgrade their phone anytime, and it operates on Verizon’s network.

Car Insurance
A lot of auto insurance companies offer discounts to student drivers. According to DMV.org, most companies require to be under 25, enrolled full-time, at least a B average (or 3.0 GPA), must be on the honor roll or dean’s list and proof of being a good student (like a report card, for example).

Auto insurance companies that offer discounts to students include State Farm, Nationwide, Travelers, Esurance, Farmers, GEICO, 21st Century and Allstate.






Bobcats can party hard while staying sober

It’s no secret that Ohio University students love to party. Most college students are known for crazy, often drunkenly inspired antics, but OU seems to be at the top of the list for some people and publications (ah ahem Playboy) when it comes to wild nights at houses and bars.

While it’s true that many Bobcats love their booze and high times, it isn’t the case for everyone. Whether it’s for health, religious or other personal reasons, a lot of students like to remain sober. There are also students who may like to partake in substance inclusive activities but don’t want to do so every weekend (or weeknight, for that matter).

For students who don’t know where to go to have fun without the presence of these substances, they might feel burdened to stay home, or even to use substances just because they are bored or feel pressured.

Luckily there are student-ran organizations that are making sober options available. From movie nights to scavenger hunts, students are working to provide safe and substance-free activities for anyone to enjoy.

Sober Bobcats is one such organization on campus. According to an article in The Post, the group was founded last fall semester with a grant from the national organization Transforming Youth Recovery.

The organization is an extension of the Ohio University Collegiate Recovery Community, otherwise known as RISE (“Recovery to inspire, share and power”). While RISE acts as a group for students in recovery, Sober Bobcats works to provide a community for students who don’t need recovery support but have decided to live substance-free lives.

On Sober Bobcat’s website, it is stated that the group aims to support students who:

  •  “Want to have fun and socially engage with other students on campus without the use of alcohol and other drugs.”
  • “May have previously encountered negative experiences under the influence and choose to abstain from using alcohol and other drugs.”
  • “May have a family history of alcohol or drug abuse and seek support in their personal decision of sobriety.”

The group hosts a plethora of events in which students can participate. A schedule of events is provided on the group’s website.

“Most of our meetings and events are done on weekends, that way people who don’t enjoy the party scene have things to do and people to hang out with,” said Adrian Blake, the public relations executive of Sober Bobcats, in an email.

IMG_0116Although Sober Bobcats hasn’t been able to pin down an exact number of active members yet this year, Blake said that the group appears to have somewhere between 20 and 30 people. Its email list, which sends out updates about events and meetings, consists of between 200 and 250 people. Events often have people in attendance who aren’t necessarily active members but want to participate in the substance-free activities.

Blake clarified that students don’t have to live completely substance-free lives in order to join the group and attend events. “Members are perfectly allowed to do those things if they want to, so long as they come to our meetings and events sober,” Blake said.

Activities that the group hosts include but are not limited to nights spent bowling, watching movies and playing games. The events are welcome to both active members included on the email list as well as those who aren’t members but have heard about Sober Bobcats’ events through the grape vine.

Sober Bobcats isn’t the only group trying to provide substance-free activities for students. A new student-ran Instagram account called OHIO Late Nights (or its Instagram handle, ohiolatenights), has begun providing substance-free activities for students as well.

According to its Instagram account, Ohio Late Nights meets every Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Living Learning Center at Ohio University, which is one of campus’ new buildings centered in between and connected to the new dorms – Sowle, Luchs, Tanaka and Carr halls – on South Green.

The program offers free food, prizes and activities such as board games, video games, scavenger hunts and movies to watch. Ohio Late Nights encourages its followers and participators to tag them in any Instagram posts and to use their hashtag, #ohiolatenights.

Sober Bobcats and Ohio Late Nights are completely separate programs and are not run by the same people, however Blake said that Sober Bobcats is trying to collaborate an event to host with Ohio Late Nights sometime in the future.

Ohio Late Nights will be meeting at its regular time each Saturday. Sober Bobcats is hosting a game night tonight, Sept. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. in in Morton 115 and a bowling night at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 28 at Rollerbowl Lanes. The group’s next full body meeting is on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in Ellis 028.