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My fortune telling career

Kaitlynn Reily | Thursday, January 19, 2006

Working the dish line at South Dining Hall is usually a monotonous, dirty job. On Wednesday nights, I eat my dinner and then reluctantly make my way to the kitchen, where I suit up in an apron and gloves and take my place to pull plates, bowls or cups from the trays. For two hours, all I usually see is an endless procession of the remains of the dining hall’s offerings.

But last night, my fellow dish line workers and I read dozens of fortunes discarded by those who ate the fortune cookies available at dinner. To pass the time, we started to assign fortunes to ourselves, other dining hall workers, and – as the fortunes kept coming – anyone else we could think of.

I think it was sometime after I pulled the 400th cup off a tray that I was inspired to stop wasting my time on dish line when I could be writing fortunes to be used in cookies at SDH. After reading practically every fortune placed in the cookies, I decided that South Dining Hall could do better than the ordinary predictions about future love interests or financial success.

My fortunes will not be the generic type you can pull out of any cookie in America. Rather, each prediction will be Notre Dame-related.

Now, instead of just reading The Observer at lunch, students can crack open their fortune cookie and discover that they will get an A on their next paper, or that they will win the lottery for away game tickets. Congratulations to the person who discovers that, just this one time, the nice person at the dining hall exit will let him take not one, but two bananas. It does not matter if the prediction comes true or not; for a brief moment I gave some student a glimmer of hope that luck was on his side.

But remember, not every fortune can presage good news. Some dining hall patrons will read their fortune and be warned that they will feel the wrath of their rectors or slip on the ice on the way to class. I apologize ahead of time for disrupting your plans if you read your fortune and discover I have predicted that your fake ID will not pass muster this weekend.

On the reverse side of the paper, there will still be numbers. Rather than potential lottery number picks, these will be course registration numbers. When you go to change your schedule around, I predict with almost complete certainty that you will get quite a bewildered reaction when you explain why you suddenly feel the need to add my suggested class.

Writing fortunes would be my ideal dining hall job, but I have a feeling my fortune reads: “Fortune writing is not in your future. See you next week on the dish line.”