Page 9

November 2007

THE SAIS OBSERVER Op-Ed

Page 9

Point-Counterpoint: The State of Tuesday Cookie Hour By John Thorne

Point: There should be more cookies on Tuesday By John Thorne’s rational side

As a first year student, I have really enjoyed quickly becoming a part of the SAIS community. I find my classmates to be fascinating people, and it is great that the school is willing to foster community in so many ways. Certainly we can agree that the Tuesday Cookies is one of the best ways to relieve a little stress and enjoy a few conversations in a casual setting. I’m sure it is not an inexpensive event- the cookies are of a very high qualitybut I would argue that a slightly greater quantity would be well worth the cost. It is the outside of the classroom interactions that contribute to the paramount SAIS experience. A few more cookies might be a little expensive, but the non-pecuniary benefits of “community,” while intangible, are what make SAIS excellent.

Counterpoint: There should be WAY more cookies on Tuesday, and everyday!!! By John Thorne’s irrational, selfish inner-child

Oh my GOD! There are cookies on Tuesday?!? I had no idea until week four that there were cookies on Tuesdays! And I was in Nitze taking Trade! How could I miss this? That means that there were THREE WHOLE weeks that I missed out on cookies! I love cookies! Cookies, cookies, cookies! The variety of cookies is a symbol of what is great about America! Lots of choice- And the first people there get the BEST COOKIES! Maybe that isn’t what is great about America, but I don’t care! I just ate three of the BEST cookies! And they were FREE! YUM! And one week there were “blondies” with chocolate and cream on top! I love those guys! And soft baked chocolate chip cookies- a classic done right! Not to mention that there are SO MANY COOKIES! And I want even MORE!!! Wow, look at all the happy people eating cookies! We are happy people because we are eating cookies! Oh look, some people are arriving a little latethey must have been in class in the Rome building. No cookies for them. Should I feel bad? I can’t tell! My empathy is clouded by a sugary haze. I just ate five cookies and I FEEL GREAT and nothing else matters in the whole wide world! Wow! Being a graduate student is great! I didn’t even know about the cookies when I signed up! Life is good. Time for a nap. There should be cookies everyday.

Counter-Counterpoint: Stop wasting tuition dollars on cookies! By An Anonymous Jaded Female 2nd Year with an obvious crush on John Thorne (let’s call her Jess Stahl)

Wow. Way to go SAIS. Look at all these cookies. I applaud you for effort to bring us all together with food, but please think about the message you are sending to us: It is clear you view us only as revenue producing units in this machine that is SAIS. We are paying you for the academic realm that you have mastered above all other International Relations schools- not to give us mid-day sugar highs that inevitably end in sugar crashes during my Statistics class. But do you really think you can get us to forget about our looming tuition debt with cookies? I am not stupid! And that John Thorne guy just ate like a dozen cookies. Why am I subsidizing that selfish man-boy’s gluttony? Agh! The inefficiency of it all deeply burns my free-market sensibilities! We just did this in class: If SAIS is feeling generous, just give us some direct-cash-transfers and we will buy cookies, or whatever else we want, ourselves! Practice what you preach, you faux-bastion of lassez-faire ideology!

Counter-Counter-Counterpoint: Yummy cookies! By “Jess Stahl’s” less jaded side

Yum. This cookie is pretty good. C is for cookies, that’s good enough for me! John Thorne is a 1st year MA candidate concentrating in Strategic Studies

Cookies? Really? By Jessica Stahl

John, you ignorant slut . . . Cookies? Really? That’s what we’re debating about this month? Last month it was whether SAIS should invite more controversial speakers to campus, a valid and important topic. And a lot’s been going on this month - the Year of Elections brings up the question of whether SAIS should have Democrat and Republican clubs like most other schools do or if we should jealously guard our non-partisanship; the Halloween party always raises the issue of how far is too far when it comes to costumes and where we should draw the line between political correctness and over-sensitivity; searching for jobs as a second year has made me wonder whether money truly buys happiness and how far one should be willing to compromise oneself for the sake of a decent lifestyle, not to mention whether some professions are truly more altruistic than others or if all professions come with their share of do-gooding (and conversely, of values-compromising); and the weakness of attendance at happy hours leads me to ask whether SAIS students this year are really lame, or just too cool to bother with the SAIS happy hours (and if it’s the latter, when I got left behind in the dust of others’ coolness). But we’re going to do cookies. Okay. Well, in that case, I appreciate your consideration of the demands of my time by writing my sections for me. And while you captured quite clearly what might have been my jaded disdain for cookie hour had I been remotely interested in arguing about cookies (thousands of dollars on mediocre fare that serves a primary purpose of amusing the deans as we’re forced to fight it out for the scarce cookie allotment while we attempt not to spill our thimble-sized cup of coffee all over ourselves in the midst of the melee . . .), I feel that you have failed to capture my essence. If I were going to end my righteous tirade with fauxFrench, for example, it certainly would have been of the Monty Python variety. And I avoid quoting talking puppets whenever possible - they usually prove unreliable sources. Remember that last bit of advice for the future . . . along with this one: Cookies? Really? Jessica Stahl is a 2nd year MA candidate in Conflict Management and an editor of the Observer

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For more pics see page 12 Diversions 2 On Campus 4 Bologna Connection 5 SAIS Students 6 Arts and Culture 8 Op-Ed 9 November 2007 Volume 8 No...

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