A Plea To Columbia Dining: Bring Back The Old John Jay Granola

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Staff Writer Jake Tibbetts loves granola and hates disappointment. This semester has been a bit rough for him, to say the least. He has a lot of problems with John Jay Dining Hall’s switch to generic Ferris-style granola, and now you’re gonna hear about it.

More like Gra-NO-la, am i right?

I am, in many ways, a simple man. After a long, draining Saturday night, there is nothing I look forward to more than heading to John Jay Dining Hall for the first time in three days to fill my stomach with carbs, a little bit of protein, and more carbs. On Fridays and Saturdays, I, like many others, am forced to eat breakfast in Ferris Booth Commons. Though there is nothing wrong with eating bagel with cream cheese after bagel with cream cheese, John Jay’s assortment of breakfast food puts Ferris’s to shame. In John Jay, one can find scrumptious little corn muffins, a wide variety of pastries, a vast assortment of different types of peanut butter, and, until very recently, the best goshdarn granola that I have ever come across.

To be fair, Ferris does also serve granola. In the section adjacent to the avocado toast bar, next to the Nutella, there lies a large bowl full of fairly generic, fairly flavorless bits of what seem to be oats, almonds, and honey. There’s nothing wrong with this granola, per se—it’s incredibly versatile and can be eaten with yogurt, with milk, with fruit, with some type of spread, or alone. But it doesn’t really stand out, and it isn’t really that memorable. I usually only find myself eating it when I realize that Ferris is out of cinnamon raisin bagels.

John Jay, on the other hand, used to play the granola game a little bit differently. During the entirety of my freshman year, one could stroll into the dining hall, look to the right, and immediately see a comically oversized bowl, accompanied by an even more comically oversized spoon, filled with the biggest chunks of granola that I’ve ever seen. Hell, I’m almost entirely sure that this “granola” was really nothing more than broken-up Nature Valley bars. In any case, shoveling this granola into a cereal bowl, filling it with skim milk, and devouring it every Sunday morning used to be a highlight of my weekend.

Not anymore, though.

On the ninth of September—my first Sunday on campus after moving back—I strolled into John Jay and was mortified by what I saw: The giant bowl of high-calorie granola bar bites had been replaced by two clear dispensers filled with generic, Ferris-style granola.

“Huh,” I thought. “Maybe this is just temporary.” On a number of occasions last year, the granola in John Jay was switched out for a day or two at a time.

But now, a month later, I am yet to see any sign that the old granola will be returning. Every time I walk into John Jay before noon, I look to my right and find myself feeling terribly crestfallen.

So, Columbia Dining, here it is: I’m just a boy, standing in front of university dining service, asking it to love him… by which I mean, tell him where the old granola went. I don’t need you to bring it back. It’s alright; I’ll survive without it. (Besides, “if you love something, set it free,” or whatever.) I just need closure. I just need to know where it has gone and why it left. After I receive that information, I’ll be ready to carry on. Right now, though, I feel as though my life, much like the old, good granola, is falling apart rapidly.

Frown-ola via Jake Tibbetts

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