At this fall’s “International Day” a state from the USA showed up, wielding a flag that at first glance might remind the hurried food-seeker of Chile. At second glance, however, the barbecue and Tex-Mex served at the table gave the identity of the attendees away: folks hailing from the Lone Star State.
John “Slim” Johnson, a Petroleum Engineer from Midland due to graduate this May and Jane White, a ChemE Junior from Houston staffed the table for the first half of the event, with Erwin Gonzalez, a Physics graduate student from San Antonio, and Ann Grant, a Computer Science super-senior from Plano, took over for the remainder of the event, bringing several cases of Dr. Pepper and Lone Star Beer (for attendees over 21) to the event. “We heard that the only thing here to drink was Pepsi products,” Grant noted, “so we ran down to Safeway for the DP.” The alternate drink was part of the Texans’ “emergency comfort food supply” as the Texans described it.
“We’ve all been to I-Day before and thought that, in the spirit of things, we should share our unique culture to the campus,” explained White, president of the Texans Club on campus when asked why the club had decided to push, successfully, for a presence in the event. “It’s actually quite surprising that nobody has done this before, since Texans make up nearly as large a proportion of campus as Malaysians or Saudi Arabians. Also,” she continued, “we were our own country once…and might be again, depending on what happens in 2012…which counts for something in and of itself.”
White added that the table’s heaping helpings of brisket and chili-cheese enchiladas were subsidized by Marathon Oil. “I mentioned that we were thinking of doing a Texas I-Day table to my boss during an internship with [Marathon] last summer, and the company graciously offered to buy all of our ingredients,” White explained. “We are really thankful for their support.” She also acknowledged Johnson, Grant and Gonzalez for their assistance in preparing the food for the state’s presence at the event. “I’ve gotta say, Erwin makes a heck of an enchilada,” she quipped.
Jasper Andrews, president of the CSM Alaskans, said that the club would be putting up their own table for I-Day next year. “Our motives are similar to Texas’s,” he elaborated. “We just happen to be bigger.” Alaska’s preliminary I-Day menu includes Alaskan King Crab and wild salmon, and is jointly subsidized by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and ConocoPhillips.