BY ALEC ANSUSINHA
WASHINGTON— Students at SAIS pay tens of thousands of dollars per year to fulfill their deepest masochistic desires to exorcise all vestiges of youthful joy from their lives. But administrators of the university know that in order to become a soulless automaton crunching numbers at Treasury, SAIS student needs to be slowly weaned off from their humanity.
SAIS fulfills this mission in a multitude of ways — by handing out a small percentage of A’s in classes and hiring professors who tell “jokes” about indifference curves, for example. Today, Cookie Hour, one of SAIS’s most insidious institutions employed to fulfill student transformation, has begun renovation. This Observer was on the trail to see what changes might be in store for students.
It’s Tuesday afternoon. The clock ticks past 4:00 p.m. as hordes of SAIS students crowd the cafeteria, queueing up, biting their fingernails in nervous anticipation for their weekly ration of happiness. Students began to murmur — maybe it wouldn’t happen today. Their eyebrows furrow in anger, shoes begin to tap impatiently. At the exact moment before the last wisps of joy dissipate, Khorey Baker and his minions from the Office of Student Life emerge to deliver the cookies and a wave of relief to the room but only for a fleeting moment.
“Cookie hour has been around for ages,” says Mr. Baker, “but in the past, we just gave the cookies away. What we want to do now is provide an opportunity each week for students to meet some of the staff and administrators responsible for their experience.”
Second-years and alumni who had experienced the system of old had complained that they didn’t understand how cookie hour served to mentally break them, worried their precious tuition dollars were going to waste on something far too joyful. But obviously, if the institution has lasted so long, it is succeeding in slowly sucking the joy from SAIS student lives. Mr. Baker’s changes will save Cookie Hour by providing administrators the chance to elucidate the process of de-joyification to students who take too much satisfaction from their sweets.
It’s easy to see many of the complex mechanisms of Cookie Hour in action. As the cookie reserves began to fall, students become ever-ravenous. Some students stuff cookies in their food-holes, others bring tupperware containers fitting up to a dozen cookies for later consumption.
Cookie “hour” creates a frenzy for approximately 18 minutes, during which students’ eyes glaze over, lapsing into a robotic state — which will become permanent upon commencement of their careers. Unlucky students with class until 4:30 are affected too, convinced they have missed a euphoric experience, their hearts shrink slightly. Cookie hour is an effective tool to spread misery across the entire campus with just enough sugary joy to prevent students from relinquishing their souls too soon. Still questions remain about the birth of this disturbing event. Who created this diabolical plan masquerading as a public service? Where do the cookies come from? Mr. Baker, whose last name and prominent role within the Cookie Hour have made him a prime suspect as the mastermind behind the event, chuckled at the suggestion that he baked the cookies. But when pressed about the source of the cookies, there was no laughter to be heard. Mr. Baker whispered two words — shaking me to my core in fear — the name of the evil genius responsible for the tears of those poor souls who get stuck with the extremely sorry-looking, multi-colored sprinkle cookies: Captain Cookie. It’s a name so sinister, perhaps further questions remain better unanswered.
SAIS Cookie Hour is every Tuesday at 4:00PM in the cafeteria of the Nitze Building.