Last week a student took a test with a basket full of fried chicken fingers on his desk. You know the sound that greasy paper makes? Crunchy and wet all at the same time.
“Are you really going to eat that while taking the test?” I asked.
“Don’t worry, I can manage it,” he replied.
Hmmm, I thought. I wasn’t worried about your eating skills. In fact, I had always hoped all my students had mastered the art of eating before entering college. I was more concerned the rest of the class would be distracted by the food choice — a choice that is loud and likely to cause to uncontrollable cravings. Just what you want when taking a test.
In my opinion, greasy chicken fingers in a paper-lined basket are as bad as the dreaded bag of chips. The sound of a chip bag being opened in a quiet classroom is akin to finger nails on a chalkboard. Worse, I find the offending chip-eating student will then try to chomp each chip slowly, as if that lessens the sound. It doesn’t. It only prolongs the madness.
As a compromise, I asked my students to recommend low auditory, low olfactory foods for in-class snacking. This easy recipe for blueberry muffins was suggested by Nicholas Esser. Nick, a self-proclaimed foodie, highly recommends these easy to chew muffins as a quiet, in-class eating option. I recommend bringing one for your teacher too.