Boil ’em, mash ’em, put ’em in a stew.

As part of my first year at Buena Vista University, I got to experience my first Buenafication Day, for which classes are canceled and students* give 2 hours of their lives to spiff up the campus or to work on various worthy clean-up projects around town. As a reward, they get lunch, a day of loosely organized activities and prizes, dinner, and 3 bands. And warm feelings of charity and accomplishment, but hey, these are teens/young adults — they’re much too cool to admit they’re in it for anything other than lunch/games/music.

I worked with one of my English colleagues, an avid gardener, and with the wrestling team to do something new — we planted a large plot of potatoes. 100 lbs of potatoes, to be exact, which we hope will yield around 500 lbs of potatoes to donate to a local food pantry.**

While the pictures below illustrate my best strategy for avoiding doing any of the actual labor,*** I did end up toting and spreading bucket after bucket of compost. After lunch, the students skipped off to play games and win prizes and do other things that their teachers remain adamantly unaware of. I limped home, took three ibuprofen, and slept for 2 hours.

So here are my work-avoidance artifacts….I mean, pictures. Click to embiggen and render text readable.  I’m going to take another nap.




*Mostly those students who a) belong to an organization or are on a team and who b) dragged themselves out of bed on a day b.1) without classes and b.2) very possibly with hangovers.

**How/by whom the potatoes are going to be harvested come October is still unknown and may well include some further type of bribe to the wrestling team.

***In the digital age, no one even questions the need to record for posterity any- and everything, including a bunch of college students planting a field of potatoes.


3 responses »

  1. You’re going to be returning to the field regularly for photo updates, right? Because that’s what we’re *reallly* all here for, the potato updates.

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