The most important meal

MPR/Alex Friedrich

Theo (left) and Sam hit the grub

So I'm able to get into the dining hall without eating.

Man, this place is dead. And it's only about 8:30 or so. Where are all the students?

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I spy Nate Martin and Sam Simon eating, so I figure I'll see how their breakfast is going.

Nate, a math and computer science major from Edina, is eating the usual dried out eggs with some Tate-Tot-style potatoes and some pretty crunchy-looking sausage links. He has glass of chocolate milk to wash it down. (Nice touch, Nate.)

Sam, an aerospace engineering major from Chicago, is going the healthful route -- same kind of food but with a banana and melon thrown in.

So how's the grub?

Freshman Sam is pleased. But sage old sophomore Nate warns, "It'll get old. Trust me."

Freshman Theo Kanning joins them. This guy has a breakfast:

  • Waffles piled with berries

  • Close to 10 strips of bacon

  • Eggs

  • A biscuit

  • Several pineapple wedges

  • A fruit smoothie

Nate explains: "You start eating healthy in the morning, and it gets progressively worse through the day."

Great -- This from a man who starts the day with chocolate milk.

So why is it so dead here?

Theo, a Shoreview engineering major, said it usually has been packed at this time. But the trio says a number of students are now skipping breakfast or eating in their room.

What are you guys doing here so early? Why aren't you guys sleeping in?

"This is sleeping in," Theo said.

I'm talking to guys used to getting up at 6 or 7 for high school. Seems like they're just carrying over their old habits. No late-morning classes for them.

"I once had a class at 12:45, and I slept in till 11," Nate said. "It was a bad decision. I felt like I'd wasted half the day."

These guys mean business. I think I'm looking at more discipline than I ever had as a freshman.