I sent cookies to the MathLAN today, as has become a finals-week tradition. Apparently, sending them so they won't arrive until the last two days of finals has also become a tradition. I thought I had it together this time, enough so that they'd arrive on Tuesday, at least, but I forgot that there are now mountains between me and Grinnell. Oh, well, they'll get there on Thursday, and they'll be of the peanut-butter variety. (To the one or two strict vegans who've been known to frequent the MathLAN: I tried. I did. But it didn't turn out so well. Or rather, it turned out so badly that I had to throw the results away. I'll try again next time.)
My original thought was to put them in one of those cheerful holiday tins, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. When I saw them at the grocery store, all I could think about was the crummy, crumb-y, made-in-Taiwan tin sitting empty on Friday at 4:15. A Ziploc freezer bag can be thrown away without a twinge, and a cardboard box someone can use to pack their stuff and go home, but the tins you feel bad about having in the first place, and doubly bad about throwing them away. So the cookies will be arriving tinless.
As small as it may seem, I really enjoy doing this cookie thing because it's one way in which I can maintain a connection to Grinnell. I don't want to send money (try me in ten to fifteen years, when my school loans are paid off -- or, actually, don't); I want my contribution to matter in a way that would have really mattered to me when I was there. This would have mattered, and not only because it's food on finals week. It would have mattered because it would have meant, "You are part of something larger. Other people have done what you're doing now, and other people will do it when you're gone; they remember, in the hope that it will be worth remembering for you, too."