The Ratty

A letter to our dear friend, the Ratty.

Dearest Ratty,

We apologize for the unfortunate days on which we cheated on you for that excuse-for-a-cafeteria up north; no college eatery could ever replace you in our stomachs. Who cares about chicken fingers, whipped cream in a can, a few greasy waffle makers, and Kix? We know we can always count on you for your well balanced offerings at the Tastes of the World, Vegetarian, Grill, and Bistro Lines, not to mention your colorful fruit tables and your splendid salad bar that never fails to offer the broccoli we love to florets.

You welcomed us freshmen year with your dazzling display of cereals and your sort-of-symmetrical-yet-not-really layout that for some reason confused us more than it now seems possible (For the longest time, before we discovered that there were in fact two different sized Caves, we thought the Cave was some kind of magically expandable Room of Requirement).

We will never forget that one winter night in November when we retreated from the frost of the evening into your warm, welcoming insides. We left our troubles outside with the cold; the thoughts of impending exams and stubborn essays that resisted our earnestest efforts to write them, trading them for your big roasted sweet potatoes and creamy vanilla soft serve. You were a mecca for weary travelers who shed their scarves and coats to gather round at a rustic tableslip-strewn wooden table to share a hearty meal provided by you, swapping stories of their journeys and sharing laughter and tears til the lights grew dim. As we bid our farewells and pushed open your heavy forest green doors to reemerge into the wild, we were greeted by soft snowflakes drifting lightly from the dark night above - the first snow of the season...

Ah! Our passionate youthful romance is now but a dwindling memory of freshman year. Yet, you remain to this day a central hub of our lives at Brown. Our relationship has its ups and downs, which seem to happen on a curiously regular biweekly schedule. At times you play hard-to-get, teasing us with cheesecake and spareribes one night and punishing us with chopped sirloin patty the next. But despite our qualms with your teaching style, you've nonetheless effectively elucidated the important truth that one cannot properly enjoy Cajun Chicken Pasta without having periodically endured Edamame with Sticky Rice. Life, the Ratty Way, is about balance.

May you continue to enthrall eager freshman for many years to come, and for the seniors who have completed their heroes' journeys, may you help them realize that you were always there for them, through thick (mashed potatoes) and thin (gravy). May your salad bar always offer broccoli, and may we never forget you as our faithful friend, the Ratty.

With healthy appetites and love,