The Summit Semester Kitchen

By Rose Rumpel (Florida)

It has always been my belief that the heart of every good home is the kitchen and, as my temporary home, Summit Semester has not disappointed. Usually, when catering to large groups of people, the kitchen is generally off limits and the cooks are in the background. This is not the case at Summit.

Here, the kitchen is a central part of life.

It is open for students to use or hang out in and our wonderful cooks, Tim and Lauren, are anything but background characters. They are a big part of our Semester story. The kitchen has already been the stage for many hilarious moments, deep conversations, and “club” meetings.

Several people discovered their shared affinity for good ginger beer and decided to start the “Ginger Beer Club”. They meet every Friday night in the pantry at the back of the kitchen, drink ginger beer together, and talk. The same is true for the “Bread Club”, though slightly more informal, the like-minded, or rather, bread-minded, people are brought together by their love for carbohydrates.

The kitchen is also a late-night gathering place for people with the need for cookies, pancakes, pizza, and any number of other things. It is wonderful to me that students are allowed to use the kitchen as their own. We may bake and cook as we please (so long as we do not get in the way of Tim or Lauren’s culinary works). Most nights, it is not unusual to hear music making its way from the kitchen and, if you were to walk in, you would find ten or so odd students dancing and laughing until quiet time at 11 pm. My favorite memory from the kitchen so far is from one such night. We were all dancing and laughing and having a good time when someone mentioned that a fellow student, Michael, has a love for the song “All I Want for Christmas”. Without hesitation, we retrieved Michael, found the song, and, with our cameras ready, asked for a performance.

The result was something far more entertaining than I could have imagined. It was a true lip-syncing masterpiece that you have to see to believe.

Besides the openness of the kitchen itself our beloved cooks, Tim and Lauren, are a large part of what makes the kitchen so welcoming and fun. Whether you are looking for a chat or a snack they are there to talk, munch, and laugh with you. I often walk into the kitchen looking for something to nibble on and end up staying to help with meal preparations. Tim and Lauren are very kind, forgiving people, and they put up with many of our childish antics with grace.

A prime example of this was a few nights ago when a certain student (*cough* Noah *cough*) “cannonballed” into the sanitizer sink, on a dare, during the wee hours of the morning. Goodness knows how many other such antics Tim and Lauren have turned the other cheek to.

Without Tim and Lauren’s welcoming personalities, great senses of humor, and good tastes in music, my Semester experience would not be the same.