An Article by Rory Collins
After two years of a painful pandemic that left Beaver students with less motivation, memories of online school, and the hope of never having to wear a mask again, the school community needs an uplift. Something nostalgic of times before COVID is needed, something that was beloved by both faculty and students…something that could make the most delectable grilled cheese.
The panini machine was something holding the Beaver community together. Didn’t want fish for lunch? How about a grilled cheese instead! Wanted to grab a quick bite? Maybe a hot tomato and turkey sandwich! This miniature grill was beloved by all, and sadly departed at the beginning of 2020 due to the pandemic and has yet to make a return. Juniors and Seniors blissfully remember the days during their Freshman and Sophomore years when they could grab some wax paper and sandwich ingredients and make whatever their hearts desired. Instead, they have to opt for off-campus lunch now if they do not want the hot lunch due to the disappearance of the glorified waffle maker we loved so dearly. Now that the school is mask optional, I think it’s finally time to finally bode the questions: Where is the panini machine? And when will we be getting it back?
Some may argue that this machine was unsanitary, which is why it was taken away during the height of COVID and continues to be now for sanitary reasons. However, this is where the wax paper comes in. No two sandwiches touch the panini machine one after the other, as they are slipped inside little wax pouches in order to keep the cleanliness. Tongs are also used at the sandwich topping bar (made by the lovely Sage Dining) in order to ensure that your ham doesn’t also taste like someone else’s lotion. Needless to say, sanitation wasn’t the issue with the machine.
Then also comes the argument of safety. Having a big iron in the cafeteria is not what most places of education would consider “safe.” There is always the fear of a student burning themselves, something catching on fire, or the hot machine falling from its table and accidentally injuring someone. Nevertheless, before the panini machine was removed, Beaver seemed to have many solutions to this presumed issue. Tongs were to be used when putting your sandwich in the machine and taking it out in order for no hands to be burned. Following this rule, it was also encouraged for students to have another person with them to supervise and make sure nothing dangerous is about to happen.
So, where is the panini machine? Can we please have it back? Based on the arguments presented in this article, I would say there is no reason to not bring it back. The people need this, the community needs this, we need to be brought back together… and the only thing that can do that is a nice grilled cheese.