Tables full of cookies, cinnamon rolls, mini donuts, and muffins, as well as assorted hot drinks, haunt the campus this week. They’re outside all of the spaces in which Senior Orations are taking place. IIT has not yet reached a conclusive evaluation of why the treats are there, all day long, temptingly sweet; student explanations vary. “It’s a form of psychological manipulation,” one student suggested, “intended to guilt-trip you into attending an oration instead of just grabbing a treat and leaving.” But as occasionally happens, his roommate has an opposite opinion: “They know most students around here worry about their diet, and so putting the cookies outside orations is actually a means of discouraging students from attending these crowded events. They know that students will try to stay as far out of the way of temptation as possible.”
Another explanation, however, is more integrated and more freeing (and entirely more appropriate to our school). “I didn’t realize until I attended Jane Huhca’s Oration,” Amme Loprednav said. “But the dessert-snacks are really everywhere as an illustration for her oration. See, she talked about St. Thomas Aquinas’ fifth demonstration of the existence of God, in which we observe patterns and see that there must be an intelligence that could make non-rational beings act consistently toward their ends. The key point here is the ‘observe patterns’ part—because there’s definitely a pattern in what happens when I walk past a table of yummy things. Every time I, or any one else, eats a cookie, it builds a pattern. And patterns in the world demonstrate that God exists.”
So eating more cookies isn’t just succumbing to temptation and the reminder that it isn’t Lent quite yet. Rather, it’s a powerful way of demonstrating the rationality of creation and the existence of God. So don’t let your conscience stop you next time you see those cookies. Instead, pick another up and keep building the pattern, showing God’s ordering presence in the world. In fact, you might even say it’s your duty as a Christian.