It’s 8:00 a.m and you’re sitting in class. You skipped breakfast this morning for an extra 15 minutes of sleep, and you’re still barely keeping your eyes open. This sacrifice is now proving consequential. Your stomach is grumbling uncomfortably loud, notably during the long, silent pauses in your professor’s lecture. But fear not. Here are some simple steps to go about silencing your growling stomach while avoiding the disappointment in your professor’s eyes.
I The Package
Make sure the package your food is wrapped in is invisible to even the most discerning eye. One of the most common ways students achieve this is by concealing it in their backpacks, as it is easily accessible and provides full coverage. Open the packaging as slowly as you possibly can. Or, given the opportunity, a loud cough or sneeze will allow you to rip it open in one fell swoop while masking the noise. However, you must proceed with caution, as even the slightest crinkle may cause your professor’s ear to twitch.
II The Delivery
For many beginners, delivering the food from bag to mouth may seem to be the most strenuous of the four steps. But given a little time and practice, you will find that this is actually quite an easy task. Have the food ready in hand, as the time to strike may arise at any moment. Wait for your professor to turn his back to you and swiftly shove the food into your open mouth. Then close your mouth. Agility is essential. There are some students who are so accomplished in this skill that they are able to do this all in the span of a single blink of their professor’s eye. But this skill takes many months of trial and error to develop.
III The Arrival
Once the food is inside of your mouth, you are now tasked with a new challenge of eating it as silently as possible. The most difficult sound to muffle is the crisp, delicate crunch of a deep-fried, lightly salted, thinly sliced potato — which is why you shouldn’t eat potato chips in class. Only the most advanced in the art of eating food secretly can pull off such a feat. Aim for a less risky option to minimize sound reverberation as well as any evidence of the crime, such as crumbs on your face or surrounding workspace.
Congratulations. After successfully completing these simple steps, you have achieved the thrill of breaking one of the most basic rules outlined on the syllabus. You will be a hero to all the students who go hungry, in fear of their professors’ wrath. And if caught, a martyr.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 15 print edition. Email Arin Garlind at [email protected]