Dordt College News

Building community one meal at a time

August 30, 2005

Who says guys don’t know how to cook?

Last year, the guys at Dordt’s Southview Apartment 301 (Brian Hannink, Joe Hoksbergen, Steve Daining, Nate Murphy, Nathan Dockter) said goodbye to Raman noodles and hello to company meals. SV301 Group

At the beginning of the ’04-’05 school year, the five roommates decided to make suppertime a priority, with each taking a turn preparing a group meal once a week (Monday-Thursday evenings and Sunday noon). Together, they came up with a list of people they wanted to invite to special meals, including students, staff and faculty. By the time they graduated, they had hosted about 50 people for dinner, conversation and entertainment.

Each of the five roommates had some experience cooking, but all gained much more over the course of the year. “There was a hierarchy of cooks, without a doubt,” commented Brian Hannink. “Nate Murphy was on top, followed closely by a three-way tie for second: Steve Daining, Nathan Dockter, and Joe Hoksbergen. I brought up the rear, thanks to one incident, where I burned the pasta when attempting to make spaghetti.” In his own defense, Hannink said what he might have lacked in quality, he more than made up for in quantity, as leftovers were the property of the cook (they each bought the food separately).

Southview apartments come furnished with a round table and six chairs. To accommodate additional guests, the roommates acquired a second dining set from a neighboring apartment (where multiple couches were the furniture of choice). The two round tables were joined in the middle with a board borrowed from the bottom of a spare bed. “We had enough dishes, utensils, and cups for everyone—provided no one noticed that not everything matched,” said Hannink.

Hannink added that when they invited faculty, they always began with a get-to-know-you session, in case a roommate working toward one major hadn’t met a guest professor from another department. They also tried to make the evenings special with after dinner conversation about a broad variety of topics, ranging anywhere from a proposed football program at Dordt to world news.

Hannink confessed that when students were guests, the entertainment sometimes involved a “grand Dordt tradition: prank phone calls” to fellow students, with impersonations of everyone from the V-P of Student Services to the IRS.

Among the invited guests to Apartment 301 last year were President Zylstra and his wife, Gloria (who made her special cupcakes for the occasion); Drs. Nick and Sherri Lantinga and their three children; Dr. Ethan Brue and his wife, Donna; Ron Rynders and his wife, Karen; Pastor Cliff Bajema; and roughly 30 students. The hosts taped a Dordt directory to one wall of the apartment, which dinner guests highlighted and/or signed throughout the year, making a visible record of the friends made and hospitality extended throughout the year.

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