I teach a course in Freshmen Studies that focuses on the relationship between technology and interpersonal communication. Sitting in the front row is Michael Dougherty, student extraordinaire. The class begins at 10:00 in the morning, and Michael is a bit of a late riser, which is why he brings his Kellogg’s Pop Tarts to class. I’ve tried teaching him, over the course of the quarter, that Pop Tarts are not necessarily “food”. Yes, they go into your body, but they don’t necessarily have any nutritional value–and I define “food” as something that offers nutrition, something that perishes. A Pop Tart has a shelf-life of 6 to 12 months; I’m not sure that makes it food. When I asked why he brings Pop Tarts to class every day, he told me: “It’s so easy, and I’m so lazy–when it comes to food.”
I have to admit that I have a long history with Pop Tarts. I ate them every morning when I worked for a high-tech company in Seattle back in the day. I loved them; I’m sure that my prior love-affair with the Kellogg’s Pop Tart is a big reason why I’m sensitive to Michael enjoying them in the front row of class.
As a way of helping Michael taper off of his Pop Tart habit, I introduced him to the Colectivo Blueberry Toaster Pastry. Yes, it’s still a pastry, but at least it’s perishable.