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Four Years at the Mount

Freshman year

Aesopís Fables, and a Side of Chips

Kyle Ott

(10/2011) I suppose itís indicative of the fact that Iím a young, male college student, but I seem to fit that stereotype of constantly eating, and, if Iím not, Iím thinking about what Iíll eat next or who will sit with me as I enjoy whatever succulent dish happens to lie on my plate at the moment. As most of my friends (and many Mount alums) can attest, our college happens to have a fantastic sandwich bar thatís more akin to a personal Subway restaurant than a college eatery. All I heard about for a week was how great this magical place was and how the wraps there were the best thing since sliced bread (forgive the sandwich pun). With those simple words I began a journey to create the ultimate sandwich. It was my goal to reach lunch time nirvana where sauce, meat, tortilla, and cheese would come together in perfect harmony and meet their ultimate end in my stomach.

To make a long story short, and to avoid making our good readership hungry, I nailed it on the fifth try. However as I was enjoying my grilled tube of deliciousness it occurred to me that somewhere between the honey mustard and the lettuce I had learned a valuable lesson about why I had come to Mount St. Maryís in the first place. You see, the thing that intrigued me the most about the sandwich bar wasnít that I was going to be able to eat my Frankenstein-esque creation, but that it was going to be a completely original idea, conceived and born inside my brain. It was the plethora of choices that made it such an experience for me. I was able to see everything laid out before me and watch as the creation in my head turned into the reality on my plate. That was the moment when I realized that I wanted my life to be like the cafeteria. I wanted to see all the twists, turns and changes that my life could make and know exactly what I would get out of it.

However, by coming to the Mount I laughed in the face of that foolish wish made at the lunch table. Mount St. Maryís was not my first choice, but If I had known then what I know now, it certainly would have been. In the few short weeks Iíve been here Iíve gone from living to being alive. I rode in a hot air balloon, debated the foundations of human existence with my roommate whom Iíd never met before, and opened my heart to new experiences and people. And, to my great surprise, I found inspiration in a place that was not only close to my home but close to my heart. Within the confines of this campus I found myself free to write about feelings with a brand new perspective.

And thatís the lesson that eating sandwiches five days in a row taught me. That it truly is the journey and not the destination that matters most. If I had known then what the result of my culinary experiences would be (chipotle wrap, provolone cheese, ham, bacon, chipotle sauce and spinach greens in case you were wondering) I would never have done so much experimenting. If I had simply skipped to the end then my "epic quest" wouldnít have become an inside joke with all my friends. To this extent Mount St. Maryís and even my entire college career isnít a destination but a stepping stone to bigger things, better adventures, and with a little luck a thousand more laughs. Here at this college Iím offered the same variety of choices, from club sports, philosophy clubs, and of course writing. The one thing Iíve always wanted to be is a writer. From a young age Iíve wanted to make my living off the written word and paint pictures in peopleís minds the way that an artist would on a canvas. Iím happy to say that Mount St. Maryís has given me the opportunity to do just that, and to reach the people of Emmitsburg and my fellow students in the process. Just as that one simple lunch wound up resulting in a journey, our English department has given me an all-new adventure.

Which leads me to the final point about the lesson that a humble piece of food taught me, to take all the joy you can out of every little thing. And so as a columnist my promise to you good reader is to always make the mundane seem funny and to open your eyes to the wonders and joys that every tiny thing holds. I have decided to wring every single experience of my college life out and pour it onto the page, and it is my hope that youíll join me in the adventure. Allow me to introduce myself; my name is Kyle Lawrence Ott, freshman at Mount St. University, and your new columnist; wonít you sit down and read for a while?

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