Ask a Fifth-Year: Where’d my Culinary Cash go?

Jacob Horn

Dear Jacob,

It’s not even reading period yet, and I’ve used up almost all of my culinary cash! What can I do?


Splurging Sophomore.

Splurging, your scenario is eerily similar to my own situation. Last Saturday, after grabbing my second, or maybe third – it was Trivia, I was tired and don’t remember a whole lot – coffee of the day, I was shocked to see the paltry balance of $88.27 as my Culinary Cash balance. If you follow my rant, you may be able to survive the term.

First off, it’s essential that you actually eat. The solution to “I can’t buy food” shouldn’t be “I won’t eat,” especially in this frozen wasteland. A hardy layer of fat is essential for the coming months.

That’s why you should maximize your calorie intake when going to the café to ensure that much-needed blubber. Don’t foolishly order a Caesar salad or sushi with that valuable Culinary Cash; instead, buy the greasiest tuna melt you can with a side order of ice cream – ice cream-covered French fries.

Stretch out that Culinary Cash as long as you can. Selling swipes may be frowned on, but not explicitly illegal. And one thing Lawrence Philosophy classes have taught me is that morality is relative. But if you’d like to avoid possible imprisonment, you’ll eventually have to find an alternate source of income. Hope this helps.

Find an on-campus job. At this point in the term, every position is most likely filled except for the constantly-hiring Bon Appétit positions. You can hate your job in a variety of capacities, from dishwasher to table washer. The job variety is as diverse as the pasta line.

Create a job. Most of the jobs on-campus could be done by cardboard cut outs of students. For example, this is the first term in all of my years here that there hasn’t been a conservatory monitor. After nine o’clock, only one door remains open at the con.

One student would man a table at this entrance with a pad of paper and a pleading look, hoping that you’ll sign the sheet to show which students entered after nine. Usually the student working the table wouldn’t bother to keep track of the signatures; instead he or she would spend the time watching movies on his or her laptop.

This would go hand in hand with the students who would sign the paper, either with terrible music puns or as “Spartacus.”

Getting food from home can abate the hunger. Stockpile cereals; sequester ramen; do anything to build an impenetrable fortress of refined starch. Ignore taste, pursue cheap calories. This may end up destroying your insides, but that’s not what you asked me about, now is it?

Beg. Beg like you’ve never done before. Hover around your roommates as they eat pizza, inquiring on the toppings, the greasiness, every aspect you can. Never explicitly ask for any food, just dance around the issue until they are so fed up they either throw you out or throw the food at you.

For all of your financial needs, e-mail me at with any questions you might have.