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Soup, Salad and Soul for the Spring Semester

A Report by Sofia Walker '11

Janet Morris, Leila Tamari '11, and Marianna Ballou '11 enjoying the soup and the salad...

Where to turn for comfort in these dark days of winter, as the snow piles up, academic stress mounts, and some of us face graduation and the mystery that follows it? To "Soup, Salad and Soul," of course! The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life's weekly lunchtime conversation program was started by Jennifer Walters, Dean of Religious Life, last spring, and is still going strong.

Though Dean Walters usually leads discussion, her role was filled on Friday the 11th by Tiertza-Leah Schwartz, Director of Smith's Community Service Office. Dr. Schwartz kicked off the conversation by asking whether students had noticed the lengthening days. This led to a general murmur of gratitude for the increased light. Diners began to swap tips for dispelling the winter blues. Visiting the botanical gardens was a popular option. Izzy Masiunas '12 told us about her fondness for stargazing on winter nights, a pursuit she can indulge in fully thanks to Smith's excellent telescopes. "I'm glad there's something I can do in winter that makes me so happy."

The conversation also touched on the CSO's recent move to Wright Hall and their partnership with the Center for Community Collaboration and the Center for Work and Life. This reflection on the makeup of the Smith community continued with an analysis of the different personalities associated with the different housing areas on campus, as well as a discussion of how to make the decision that one needs to move to a different house or even a different school. The students supported each other in questioning their Smith experiences and determining how to improve and transform them.

But what of the soup and salad that provide the centerpiece for this occasion? On this particular Friday Marianna Ballou '11 had whipped up a roasted root vegetable soup, salad with a honey mustard vinaigrette, and garlic bread, all very tasty. I asked her if she ever got tired of making soup, and she laughingly replied that yes, she did sometimes. "But I've perfected the art of soup and salad, which is useful. And there's something nice about having a fixed menu. Anytime I ask myself what to make this week, I always know the answer is soup!"

I encourage every Smithie to attend "Soup, Salad and Soul," which takes place every Friday at noon in the Chapel's Bodman Lounge.

Izzy Masiunas '12 and Marianna Ballou '11 bringing the soul!