Chapter 5

Where food goes to die :-)

Here I am again, dear reader, back with another week’s worth of internet research; and contrary to what some may believe, that image above is NOT the Great Hall at Hogwarts, the fictional British magic school of Harry Potter fame. It’s actually a picture of Annenberg Hall, which serves the more mundane purpose of feeding Harvard freshmen.

Perhaps that explains why J.K. Rowling has sold millions of copies of her books while my own, illustrated with less enchanting images like this, have sold somewhat fewer. Whatever the case, feel free to click the image above (or most images for that matter) for a larger view if you’re interested.

I chose this particular image because Annenberg will make a brief verbal entrance in tonight’s chapter; to be followed later, I believe, by another more substantive appearance or two if I recall correctly. But I could be wrong about that so don’t hold me to it.

I should also note that Annenberg is part of Memorial Hall, a place made famous by Henry James in The American Scene as “the great bristling brick Valhalla …. that house … which … dispenses … laurels to the dead and dinners to the living.”

Less poetically, Memorial Hall is a massive structure that, among other things, commemorates the lives of the 126 Harvard alumni who fell fighting to preserve the Union during the Civil War. It does so in a portion of the facility known as the Memorial Transept, which you can read about here. The 71 Harvard graduates who died fighting for the Confederacy are not similarly memorialized; an issue still debated to this day.

In addition to Annenberg and the Memorial Transept, Memorial Hall also houses Sanders Theatre, home to several choir and orchestral groups and a venue for many professional performance ensembles, and Loker Commons.

Loker offers a student pub, music practice spaces, and classroom and administrative offices. By the way, that infamous statue of John Harvard was originally housed on the west side of Memorial Hall. It was only moved to its current location inside the Yard in 1924, allegedly because he couldn’t stand all the smells emanating from Memorial Hall any longer.

Whew! Even with all the research I do, I’m beginning to get confused by all this worthless detail. But what can I say? Although Memorial Hall is an impressive building, it’s also confusing. And yet, dedicated in 1874, its high ceilings, wood paneling, and stained glass windows make it impressive enough to be fit for Hogwarts’ finest witches and wizards.

By the way, take a good look at that image above as Annenberg is one of the few places not open to the general public at Harvard. I had to sneak in to take that picture for you; and if you believe that, I also have a bridge to sell.

As noted, Annenberg is the dining hall for Harvard freshman, serving about 3400 meals each day. As one might expect, there is some debate regarding the quality of the food served. A 2006 Harvard Crimson article called it the place “where food goes to die.” Others dispute this, however.

One thing I was able to discover during my research is that Harvard’s dining hall charged the grand sum of $3.97 for a month’s worth of meals back in 1884. Isn’t it amazing what you can find on the internet if you search hard enough?

But, then again, not all internet facts are real facts are they, especially when taken out of context like some people mindlessly do? They’re just faux facts; things thrown up by people who are brain dead to defend their prejudices and stupidity.

Whatever the case, none of what I’ve posted so far will be tested on the quiz I plan to administer after you’ve read tonight’s chapter. You should feel free to promptly forget everything I’ve just reported.

As you’ll recall from last week, however, Sean spent the night with Holden at Wigglesworth (although he definitely did not get his wiggles worth by doing so). When last seen, Sean was at the kiosk in Harvard Square about to start still another day that will prove both interesting and eventful.

In order to find out how eventful, though, you’ll have to read tonight’s chapter and the two that follow. Have fun reading and be sure to let me know what you think.


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