I walked through the doors, hung up my jacket, and made a hot chocolate. The smell of good cooking wafted through the air as I entered my home away from home and sat at the third table on the left upstairs in the Brown Dining Commons.
The dining hall has always been the place to go meet up with friends when I don’t have to go to classes or sports. Walking in and sitting at a table filled with great people enjoying some cereal is the perfect way to relax and get ready for more class, sports, or homework. At dinner, we sit there, talk about our days, and joke with each other, usually until 7:00 PM, when dinner is supposed to be long over. This is the way I got to know my friends. The dining hall is the most welcoming and comforting building on campus, and has been for generations of Proctor students.
A dining room table is the most iconic piece of someone's home. Television shows of the 1950s made it clear that healthy families have dinner at the kitchen table together. Even though times have changed, and having dinner together every single night does not decide your family welfare, there is something to be said for putting away that piece of time to be with family. Everyone can relate to sitting down around the table for a normal night’s meal or a holiday dinner. The memories of laughter and yummy tastes come rushing back. There is a sense of family associated with the dining room table. In my house, we make it a point to eat dinner as a family whenever everyone is home. As a day student and Proctor being such a big part of my life, sitting around the family dinner table became more difficult for our family, which is why the tables in the dining hall are so important to me and to every other student at Proctor.
The tables in the dining hall always have friends waiting to hear another joke or debate another serious topic. Light small talk and serious, life changing conversations have happened at these tables just like the family kitchen table at home. These tables are the reason that I have a family at Proctor and not just at home. They have made Proctor into another home because of the family they have provided me. They taught me that home is not just the building you live in.
I think it is safe to say that you do not need a table to make friends and family feel like home. Any place where people can sit and listen to each other will work. The tables in the dining hall at Proctor just happen to be the perfect place for me.
~ Jacqui '17