Food Service Requires Early Rise

Talia Rudee

It’s college, also known as four years of staying up late and sleeping in. But believe it or not, there are people at Whitman College who need to keep things on campus and local businesses running before 10 a.m. Morning people do exist.

How would Whitman students indulge over a maple bar at brunch or a cranberry oatmeal cookie at lunch and dinner without the bakers who get to work between 4 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.?

“I never thought I would become a morning person,” said Heather Mansker, the head baker for Bon Appétit on Whitman’s campus, who oversees baking for Prentiss Dining Hall, Jewett Dining Hall, Reid Espresso, Café 41 and catered events.

Mansker gets to work by 6:30. She starts off the day getting organized by making a production list for the bakers, who then go and make all of the baked goods to be served that day. She has grown to embrace this early schedule and getting up in the wee hours of the morning.

“I like having the afternoon and evening to myself,” said Mansker.

Before Mansker worked this shift, she had the shift where she arrived at 4 a.m., which for her was a whole new level of morning.

“It feels like no one else keeps that schedule so it felt lonely,” said Mansker. “I didn’t love walking in at four in the morning, but with the schedule I have now, it’s actually kind of peaceful and I like it.”

Now, Kristan Winge fills the 4 a.m. shift and shares the same uneasiness with this extreme side of the morning.

“I am actually going back to school for a job that has more regular hours. I have discovered that getting up at 3 a.m. is not for me anymore,” said Winge.

Although she is leaving for later pastures, Winge came to enjoy the mornings in general and specifically at Whitman.

“Being up early on the Whitman campus isn’t bad. I definitely feel safer here than other places I have worked,” said Winge.

Although not so early, 8 a.m. on weekends can feel just like 6 a.m. during the weekdays––especially for the average Whitman student.

“As soon as I get [to work] I have to be really nice to everybody and ready to wake them up,” said sophomore Rina Wulfing.

Wulfing works at the local breakfast restaurant Bacon and Eggs on the weekends at 8 a.m. and enjoys the largely unknown charm of an early weekend morning on campus.

“It’s really serene because it’s a cold brisk walk to work, and I don’t get distracted on Ankeny like I usually do,” she said.

Wulfing not only gets to see the early morning side of Whitman, but through her job, she can observe the outcomes of late nights of other students.

“I know who’s dating [whom] because they come into Bacon and Eggs with their significant others after being together from the night before,” Wulfing said.

Oftentimes, the morning after ends on a more solitary note, which is well observed by these very early risers. These instances offer a little bit of entertainment.

“I’ve seen so many walks of shame,” said Wulfing.

It is even reminiscent for people like Mansker, who have been there and done that when it comes to college.

“Seeing people coming home from parties is kind of funny,” said Mansker, “it reminds me of my college years.”

Some of these people never thought they would become early risers. Winge used to go to bed when she now has to get up, and Wulfing has officially become a coffee addict and drinks some every day. Still, each early morning is rich with a combination of hard work, serenity and entertainment.