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One for the Road: Professorial Potables
During the first week of school, books, boxes and booze dominate life for most undergrads. After facing the sweating mass of humanity assembled at the bookstore and engaging in a dangerous tango with cubed cardboard and steep stairs, more often than not a tall, cold, adult beverage cools even the most fiercely perspiring young Hoya brow at the end of the day.
In their appreciation for alcohol, students and their teachers find a point of common interest.
Bow ties, tweed blazers and loquacious lectures have long been hallmarks of the professorial vocation. But esteemed educators do not live for lingering meditations on the Malthusian state of the world alone. At the end of a long day, even the tightest cravat must be loosened, often by some fermented concoction.
Curious as to the drink preferences of America’s academic elite? So was I.
Government professor and terrorism expert Raymond Tanter’s typical talk of Middle Eastern affairs and U.S. policy was not present in a recent conversation with this Voice reporter, replaced by a brief dissection of his predilection for Sonoma Cuter, a white chardonnay of California origin.
While some consider his neo-conservative politics extreme, Tanter’s enjoyment of wine is decidedly moderate: “No binge-drinking for me.”
The beverage that is truly dear to Tanter’s healthy heart? A mango smoothie and a shot of wheatgrass from Robeks in Tenleytown after a long, cleansing bike ride.
Speaking of shots, campus celebrity and social justice superstar Daniel Porterfield sure likes to throw back a few in the morning. When asked about his libation preference, he confessed that he is not a boozer, but rather gets his daily thrill from three shots of espresso over ice.
And what fine potables are enjoyed in the priestly quarters of Wolfington Hall, you may wonder? What do Ignatius’s Godly soldiers tipple while they ponder Plato?
Fr. James Schall S.J., legendary professor of political theory, confirmed that a sip of the fruit of the vine every Sunday isn’t the only libation to touch a Jesuit’s lips. Schall enjoys English bitter, a light-bodied beer with low alcohol content, though he was quick to point out that, as he put it, “being drunk in the right way is rather like being shot in the right way.”
Sometimes, however, social norms and prudence be damned, you just need a drink. As if confirming the fact that, professor or student, we are all human, theology department faculty member Fr. Raymond Kemp sent this simple message from his BlackBerry:
“I’m on jury duty and could use a Bombay and tonic.”
God bless, and bottoms up.