The Scarlet

The Scarlet Letter [10/3/13]

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Spree Day Cookie

by Jeremy Levine

Once the email presenting the President’s Spree Day Task Force arrived in my inbox, I opened up Facebook and my email and got ready. I didn’t know what exactly I was ready for, but I was certain that, as a member of that task force, I was about to receive a lot of messages and I was going to be sending a lot of replies.

And I got nothing.

No email, no message, no letter, no Facebook post, no passive-aggressive AIM away-message. Nothing at all.

I tried to make sense of this. Spree Day is a huge thing. We all saw what happened the last time it was the subject of campus-wide discussion. Chaos, mostly. A five hundred person Facebook group. Now, nothing.

I talked to some people, both on and off the task force, about this lack of response, and they all told me something along the lines of, “Well, it all sort of made sense, so there isn’t really anything to talk about, I guess.”

I got a cookie at Jazzman’s yesterday. (I swear to you, this is relevant.) I asked for chocolate chip. I retrieved my cookie and walked away from the register. On my way through the AC, I took a bite, and experienced horror like… like… a victim in a horror movie.

The cookie was not chocolate chip. It was oatmeal raisin.


I was appalled. I searched the AC and approached every single person that I knew there and started to tell them about the tragedy. Most were appalled. Many were sympathetic. Some even suggested that I write my “Scarlet Letter” about it.


The thing is, though, I’ve never once gone around the AC to tell everyone how fantastic the chocolate chip cookies, or the hot chocolate, or the Santa Fe Turkey Sandwiches are at Jazzman’s. The only time I’ve really talked about them is either to condemn their absurdly loud blender or talk about this cookie. Nearly one hundred percent of my Jazzman’s-related discourse is negative.

This is the case with a lot of stuff nowadays. People complain on a frighteningly regular basis, and we very rarely talk about what’s great. There’s always something wrong. And sometimes, yeah, there’s a lot of stuff wrong, but we can all take the time to talk about the awesome cookie we just ate, or the beautiful book we just finished.

Or the task force report that we just read. Now, this article is not a dig for praise about the Spree Day thing. It’s more so a way of talking about and questioning why it is that we choose to focus on the rough stuff, or why it is that we often think in a culture and a discourse of negativity. I don’t really have an answer to it, but I do think we’ll benefit from knowing that we can choose what to focus on and care about.

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The Scarlet Letter [10/3/13]