Doctor Amy McDowell
October 6, 2014
Cathedral of Consumption: The University of Mississippi Student Union
For this research project, I observed The University of Mississippi’s Student Union in Oxford, Mississippi on a rainy October afternoon. As I ran in from the harsh rain to the shelter of the Student union, I immediately hit by the greasy aroma of the food court. I could smell the fresh Chick-Fil-A waffle fries coming out of the bubbling peanut oil, the overbearing scent of fresh fajita steak sizzling on the grill at Qudoba, and the distinct smell of Panda Expresses fried rice. All of the smells hit my olfactory receptors like a firecracker to the face, and my stomach let out a small but every audible growl. As I tried to make my way through the rushing crowds of hungry college students I couldn’t help but wish I was Moses parting the Red Sea to the promise land, the sea being the never ending stream of students and the promise land being Chick-Fil-A. I then remember I was here on a mission; to watch how student and workers maneuver through the University’s largest cathedral of consumption. I got in the Chick-Fil-A line that had wait of well over fifty people and began to take mental notes. My first shocking observation was how many young Caucasian men who adorned with their specific fraternity letters on their shirts where in line; I looked around and could find every few minorities including woman. All these young men gave off a vibe of being antsy and apprehensive, whether this attitude was due to the stormy weather or want for food was unclear. They all starred mindlessly at their smartphones with vacant expressions as they got caught up on what happened on social media when they were in class, and some even impatiently tapped their foot as if that was going to speed up service. I heard brief chatter about how amazing the Alabama game had been and complaints about up coming midterms, but for the most part the people...
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