All-nighters among the pancakes
I looked around me as I drove into Davis after a long and relaxing summer break. I was glad to be back, since sipping piña coladas on the beach in Mexico had grown tiresome.
I had one more year of college life to look forward to: Friday nights at the Grad, sunny days on the Quad and, of course, the traditional all-night study groups at Denny's in South Davis. I was headed that way now.
As I turned onto Mace Boulevard, I stared in shock as I saw that the Denny's where we had spent so many nights studying until delirium had set in was closed. Forever.
Denny's closing? Who had ever heard of such a thing? What was the problem here? Could the restaurant not support itself on the students who purchased a cup of coffee and studied for eight hours? I could hardly believe my eyes, but there it was. Or rather, wasn't.
What were we to do? The options left open to us in Davis were slim. There was Baker's Square, but it wasn't open 24 hours a day and would have closed by the time we actually got down to the business of studying. Lyon's, although open 24 hours, has a policy that allows customers to stay for only two hours, hardly enough time to make up for five weeks of procrastination.
Turns out we did what many UC Davis students are now doing--headed for Dixon. A mere eight miles down the freeway, Dixon offers an abundance of 24-hour restaurants. But it's the International House of Pancakes that has become UC Davis students' special friend. IHOP has been most welcoming, never saying a word about the fact that my group can outlast two or even three employee shift rotations. The all-you-can-eat pancakes are another bonus, particularly for those who like to order at 11 p.m. and continue to receive freshly prepared food until the wee hours of the morning.
For those who are easily distracted, the soft tunes coming from the overhead speakers--oldies from other eras--provide memories of times past and a chance for further procrastination. "Oh! I love this song; it reminds me of when I was 10, and we used to--insert long and elaborate story--but anyway, we should really get back to studying."
The word seems to have spread about IHOP as a study option. Every night the place starts filling up with students at about 10 o'clock. The occasional outsider who pulls in off the highway for a midnight meal may feel as though he should have brought a partner and a few notebooks to spread out on the table. There students stay, sometimes until people who actually eat pancakes for breakfast start arriving.
As we stumble out, blurry eyed and exhausted, headed home for our two or three hours of sleep, we swear that we won't let this happen again. Next time we'll keep up with the reading. Next time we'll start earlier. Next time has yet to come.
-- Jacqui Wilson '96