Women’s Basketball Team Continues to Work Hard

By Kameran Evans

The women’s basketball program has struggled to become a dreaded force in the CAC conference.  Five games into the season, unfortunately the girls have not yet won a game, but it is evident they are progressively improving and the program is experiencing a newborn pride.

Junior guard, Emily Meyers, said, “We are a young team.  We lost three of our top five scorers from last year, so this is a transition year but we will continue to improve as people gain experience.  Everyone wants to be here.  We are all excited and working hard.”

The third game at Waynesburg, Meyers was five for seven from the three coming off the bench.  “The team is pretty young, so we have work to do but we are moving in the right direction,” said Jessica Talley, a junior forward.  The team needs “to work on finishing, she added.  “We allow ourselves to get in wholes which are hard to come back from, but last game we remained close throughout the game.”

Talley pulled down ten rebounds against Shenandoah.  Junior guard Dyana Prater is currently ranked 7th in leading scorers in the Capital Athletic Conference with 11.8 points per game.

Meyers and freshmen center Rachel Wiley are among the top 25 of the leading scorers as well.  Wiley also averages nearly 10 rebounds a game.  Junior Heather Boyce and freshman Briana Lee are still adjusting to the season offensively but provide great defense.

Once the shots begin to fall consistently from the field and free throw line, the Women’s team may be a top CAC contender.  This confidence on and off the court is partly due to the new coach.  Meyers describes the first-year Hood head coach as “experienced, enthusiastic, positive attitude, which translates to everyone on the team.”

Prater, Meyers and Talley have gone into their junior seasons with an almost entirely new coaching staff than prior years.  Talley says, “I’ve adapted well to the coaching staff, they are all about improving this program and trying to help us improve everyday.”

Both players agree the new gym has played a major role in the program’s transition.  “The new gym has changed my outlook on the program because I feel as though we are actually a program,” said Talley.  You cannot be a serious program without a gym you can call your own.”

The new gym “creates an actual home court advantage,” said Meyers.  “It feels like we are playing at home rather than all away games.  It is a better atmosphere,”

The team lost the first CAC game only by 9 points.  With five games until the new year, the girls will play winnable games with a chance to break even.

 

Hood Chapter of Maryland Student Legislature Hosts Fall Assembly

By Hilary Lawch

Hood’s chapter of the Maryland Student Legislature (MSL) hosted an event on campus during the weekend of Nov. 18.

The event, which included McDaniel College, St. Mary’s College, University of Maryland Baltimore County and University of Maryland College Park, was MSL’s Fall Interim Assembly, during which students simulated the Maryland legislative process by debating and voting on 10 resolutions and 11 acts written by MSL members.

“I hope that this attracts more attention from other colleges in the area,” senior Melissa Joseph said before the assembly. “I hope it helps us expand. It’s good to know Hood can share with other delegations.”

MSL is a nonprofit organization that gathers college students in the state together to simulate the political and legislative process. It is not affliated with any political parties.

The proposed pieces of legislation, which included same-sex marriage and recycling initiatives, are compiled and sent to the Maryland State Legislature if passed by the MSL body.

“The act that I wrote was based on a recent law that passed in California which makes the malicious impersonation of an individual via a social media outlet or email a misdemeanor offense,” senior Kristina Southwell said. “All the acts and resolutions were debated using formal parliamentary procedures based on Robert’s Rules of Order.”

Maryland State Senator Ron Young was the keynote speaker on Saturday, and he spoke about his experiences in politics and took questions from MSL members about current events.

Jonathan Holtzman, a freshman from St. Mary’s College, said that he found Young’s speech compelling.

“I was incredibly impressed,” Holtzman said. “He was someone who expressed his points of view in an articulate manner.”

“[Senator] Young was very engaging, funny, and good natured as a speaker,” Southwell said. “He was encouraging and supportive of MSL as an organization and our interest in politics and policy making.”

Hood’s chapter of MSL is run by students and offers a credit in the spring semester. Members participate in three assemblies each year, in which they sponsor and debate proposed legislative measures using governmental rules and procedures.

There is one annual session in the House and Senate chambers in Annapolis in the spring, where awards are presented to various schools and individuals.

Last year, Hood took the award for Most Outstanding Delegation, and a number of Hood students won awards for their work in certain positions.

All of the students at this year’s event agreed that MSL has been beneficial to them as students and members of society, regardless of their areas of study and whether or not they apply to law.

Freshman Kristen Geatz said, “It’s nice that people from other schools who haven’t had the opportunity to see Hood get to be in the Frederick area.”

Catherine Collins contributed reporting.

Athlete of the Issue: Dyanna Prater

By Maegan Green

Dyanna Prater (’13) is a guard and team captain of the women’s basketball team.  She leads the team in points per game, field goal percentage, and steals.

The Lady Blazers recently played their first Capital Athletic Conference game of the season.  Although Prater contributed a single-game, career high 21 points, the Blazers lost toSalisbury57-48.  The 21 points scored by Prater tops her previous personal best of 20 points she put up against CAC rivalWesleyCollegelast season.

Prater is a consummate leader of the team.  “It feels really good being a leader,” said Prater. “At times it can be stressful, because everyone is looking up to you so there is a lot more pressure to work harder.”

Although the Lady Blazers have not been victorious this season thus far, Prater is optimistic about the potential of the team.  “Even though our record does not reflect the amount of effort and hard-work we have put in, we continue to work hard and not get down on ourselves,” said Prater. “I think if we keep working hard, cut down on little mistakes, and continue to play with heart and effort, the rest of the season will be very positive.”

This is the inaugural season of BB&T Arena as the home of Hood basketball and Prater is excited about it.  “BB&T feels like home,” said Prater. “The atmosphere, fans, and students make everything feel right. It is nice to have a place we can actually call our own, and practice in everyday.”

“My greatest athletic achievement so far would have to be making it on the wall in the new fitness center,” said Prater. “I cannot even explain how great of a feeling it is.”

One of Prater’s goals for this season is to minimize turnovers.  “As a team, I just want us to win some games and work hard.”

Prater’s greatest achievement of the court is making it to college and being successful.  Prater has been playing basketball since she was in the 3rd grade.  She is majoring in Business Management and would like to get involved with Human Resources.  In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies and hanging out with friends.

 

Men’s Basketball Team Continues to Move Forward

By Kameran Evans

In the Days Inn Tip-Off Tournament, the men’s basketball team opened the season winning by the game with the final score 80 – 54.

The Blazers made it to the championship game where they lost by five, with their starting captain and senior point guard, Brenden Straughn out of the game with an injury.

The men’s team played a tough third game winning by two points in overtime.

Sophomore shooting guard Cameron Cook and senior forward Lavar Rich dominated with 28 and 24 points, respectively.

The fourth game was the first game ever played in the new BB&T Arena.  This resulted in a 20-point victory.  The first true test was against Salisbury.  Not only was this the first CAC game at home and of the season, but also this team was ranked 20 in all Division III basketball.

Hood won by 12 points and awaits three more CAC games along with a tournament in Puerto Ricoto finish the 2011-year.

So far, Cook is ranked first in the CAC with 19.4 points per game.  Junior guard and forward, Trey Quinn is ranked first in field goal percentage with an impressive 76.2 percent.  Justin Stone, the junior forward fromBrunswick, is ranked second in three-point percentage at 62.5 percent.

“Our chemistry is good.  We have a faster tempo with more emphasis on full court defense. By forcing turnovers we are playing at our strengths, athleticism and defense,” said Straughn.

“Last year, the focus was more on half court defense and the offense was centered around the post,” he added. “Now we don’t have a true center so everyone gets involved.”

As does every team, Hood has some issues that may set them back. The team mostly needs to work on “free throws and limiting turnovers,” said Straughn.

Following theSalisburygame, Hood averages 56.8% from the free throw line and 16 turnovers a game.  The positive side of their stats is the 38.8% three-point shot average and 9.2 steals per game.

Straughn is proud to see the team continue to win.  So far, Adrian averages nine points per game in a tough conference.

“Basketball is basketball, you adjust to your team and you’re a small family,” he said.  “As far as the competition, we are a good team but you have to play good basketball to win.”

Straughn will be back soon and is certain that “depending on how we play, we should win the CAC championship and get to the NCAA playoffs.”

Book review: “Are you there Vodka, It’s Me, Chelsea”

By Paige Jurgensen

Chelsea Handler’s book “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” allows me be the promiscuous, alcohol-soakedJerseygirl I’ve always wanted to be.

“Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” Handler’s second book, consists of a series of short stories describing her drunken encounters. Handler’s stories range from being a community college drop out on theJerseyShoreto becoming the star of a sketch comedy show.

Handler’s writing style is hilariously raunchy and her drunken escapades acrossCaliforniawill keep the reader laughing. “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” taught me about Handler’s preference for vodka over water and her complete fascination with little people.

In one story, Handler invites a little person, whom Handler lovingly refers to as “a nugget,” to guest star on her comedy show and ends up being drunk under the table by a woman a quarter of her size. In another, Handler spends a week inSouth Americasmoking marijuana with her elderly father.

“Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” made the New York Times bestsellers list in May 2008

Handler’s first novel, “My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands,” is also a collection of Handler’s experiences about a number of her entertaining tales of intercourse.

Combined, “My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands” and “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” have sold 1.7 million copies.

In 2010, Handler released her third novel, “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang” in which she writes about her life inHollywood.

All three novels are incredibly entertaining and sometimes cause a contact high for the reader.

Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” a sure Oscar Contender

By Jarred Braxton

The story of a young orphan who lives inside the walls of a Parisian train station is the subject of Academy Award-winning winning director Martin Scorsese’s (“The Departed,” “Gangs of New York”) latest project, the simply-titled “Hugo.” It is the first film Scorsese has made in 3D and it is possibly his best work to date.

The film is adapted from a book by Brian Selznick, called “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” and it is adapted wonderfully to film by screenwriter John Logan.

“Hugo” is a top-quality family film that should go down as an instant classic filled with adventure, excitement, mystery, awe, thrills and intelligence at every level of its design. Top to bottom, this is a work of genius.

Young actor Asa Butterfield (“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”) portrays the title character. Hugo is the son of a watchmaker, briefly played by Academy Award nominee Jude Law (“Sherlock Holmes,” “ColdMountain”), who passes away in a fire. Hugo is sent to live with his drunken uncle Claude, played by Ray Winstone (“Beowulf,” “The Departed”).

One day, Uncle Claude doesn’t return to the train station to do his job of keeping the station’s clocks running, so Hugo takes it upon himself to do the job until his uncle returns.

The young orphan’s lifestyle comes with complications. If Hugo decides to venture outside the walls of the station, he must evade the watch of the station inspector, played by Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat”), who could send the young protagonist to the orphanage if he is caught.

In his spare time, Hugo tinkers with his father’s last project: an automaton with missing pieces. Hugo then sets out to find parts that are compatible with the machine, including a specific piece, a heart shaped key that makes the contraption function. This is a special ambition for Hugo because it holds significant value.

One day Hugo is caught stealing parts for his automaton by a toyshop owner named Georges, played by Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley (“Gandhi”). Georges dubs Hugo as nothing more than a thief and takes his father’s diary believing that is another pilfered piece of property that Hugo claimed from someone else.

As he tries to get his diary back, Hugo meets Georges’ goddaughter Isabelle, played by Chloe Grace Moretz (“Kick-Ass”). She has something that piques Hugo’s interest. Isabella has the heart shaped key that Hugo has been searching for.

Hugo’s project has all the parts it needs at this point, and once the key triggers the machine to activate, the two set out on an adventure filled with magic, mystery and insight into the past of one of the characters.

The acting throughout the film was classy and pure. The young actors, Moretz and Butterfield, were perfectly precocious and wonderful. Cohen was steadfast to his role of providing comic relief yet did justice as the antagonist, and Kingsley handled his role as a true professional.

This is a movie that must be seen in 3D. This is the first time Scorsese has handled and utilized the new technology and he did it so well. The film could rival the visual appeal of great 3D record-breaker Avatar.

Also, this movie says something about Scorsese not only as a master director but as a film preservationist – someone who sets out to preserve classic cinema that is slowly wearing out, yet still holds its magic and splendor even today. This movie touches on the history of the motion pictures and it pays homage to the early motion pictures.

“Hugo” is a once-in-your-lifetime film that must be seen by everyone. Once again, Scorsese constructs a film so powerful it has Oscar-contender written all over it.

From the Archives

“From the Archives” appears in every issue of The Blue and Grey. On the top is an article from the back issues of The Blue and Grey, and on the bottom is a present day analysis from one of our staff reporters. This column highlights the historical value of our publication and links the past to the present.

Original Christmas Decorations Enhance Spirit of Holidays

By Suzanne Crothers ’57

Dec. 10, 1954

This Christmas calls for a lot of thought and imagination. Yes, the Christmas and New Year’s spirit has been roaming about in places like theMuseumofModern ArtinNew York City, Alexander Calder’s studio (you know, the man who designs those crazy mixed-up mobiles) as well as in the European traditions of the past. I hope that all the “Hoodites” are busy letting their imaginations and hands design the cleverest door decorations for their dorm rooms, the prettiest center peices for their table at Christmas dinner and very original wrappings for their roommate’s Christmas gift! It’s a wonderful feeling to have a compliment from you instead of some machine. And don’t say you can’t do it!

This year, the whole family will be assembled in the den or recreation room with construction and tinsel, glue, and scissors trying to regain the Christmas spirit that used to live so abundantly in the hearts of American people in past generations. The old tradition of having each member of the family contribute his share to making it a cheery good time for all will be created again. And maybe while the children gather around stringing popcorn or making paper chains, their parents will find time to tell the stories of their childhood about the original meaning of Christmas.

True, this Christmas will exhibit many of the trends of modern design. Maybe your best friend or even you will point out that mobiles and other abstract-looking dingle-dangles are not in the least, a display of the tradition of the season. Well, neither are the colors red and green, and the Christmas tree wasn’t used until the early sixteenth century inGermany. The concepts about what symbolizes Christmas on the exterior are subject to constant change, perhaps as a means to preserve the internal everlasting spirit of the celebration. A Christmas mobile can really show off those glittering Christmas tree balls and clever paper cutouts by catching the eye of everyone entering the room.

Also—Christmas is no longer a red and green affair, but a multicolored festivity of brightness. If you want to make pink reindeer with red trim, or a red, yellow and blue star, don’t be timid. Use your poster paints to decorate your windows if you’re handy with a paint brush. Just for a suggestion—use brilliant colored abstract shapes to form a design which gives the impression of a stained glass window.

Please don’t limit yourself in your use of materials. Wire, sequins, soda pop straws, and baking tinfoil are just a few of the many things you might use. Evergreen and holly can be displayed in many different ways. A big bouquet that is well arranged can look very impressive. If you want to, bring the outside winter wonderland inside: collect dried branches and paint them white. One of the big branches could be attached to the wall as a clothes line for your Christmas cards.

The mention of Christmas cards gives me a thought. If you have time, why don’t you make your own?  A really simple design might be a green felt triangle (a Christmas tree!) with a base of glitter dust glued on a folded piece of construction paper. And don’t forget—a personal message from you in India ink will be warmly received.

This is true in the art of Christmas wrapping, too. Here again, your cheerful thought and gay spirit can be expressed in the package itself. A quick peek in some of the December issues of the popular home declaring magazines is bound to set your imagination to work on how you too can make Christmas decorating day inexpensive, and fun for all.

From The Present

Happy December, everyone! While this article from the archives is Christmas-centric, it still has several very good ideas for celebrating any special occasion. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Resident students know that there is the annual dorm decorating contest for both Halloween and the winter holidays, so that’s one way to show off your holiday spirit. Hopefully Shriner’s reindeer will not be the victims of windstorms like they were last year and will manage to stay out of the bushes. Some of us will buy wrapping paper and wrap our doors up like a gift. Maybe you or your roommate will sing carols from your window at passerbys.

I don’t recommend painting your windows, though, as you probably don’t want to be charged for getting the paint removed. There are craft kits available that simulate stained glass, though, and are easy to get off of windows. I’m no Martha Stewart, but I know Post-It notes work well, too. My friends will recall the multiple pranks I’ve played with those. The best part is that they’re paper, so you can write on them, or have friends write on them.

As a kid, I used to make all of my cards. Every holiday or birthday, friends and family members could expect a ridiculously bright card from me and a joke. I had no money to spend on those fancy Hallmark cards, so mine had to be extra special. I drew every detail on the cards, and would take home leftover art supplies from school instead of throwing them out. As a result, my house is filled with construction paper, glue, glitter, markers, and those weird little shiny metallic colored pieces you can glue to things. I don’t know what they’re called, but they’re cool. I still love Christmas as though Santa Claus is real, and I know I’m not the only one.

As for gift-giving, that’s up to you! Secret Santas are always fun, but it can be difficult to guess what someone would want on your limited budget. Setting spending limits is a good way to deal with this. This is another situation where making an item could be fun. Bake your friend his or her favorite cookie, or have a Bobby Flay-style holiday throwdown with your cooking rival. Leftover snacks from parties make great gifts for the people in your dorm, because as we all know, sharing is caring. I don’t live in a dorm anymore, but whenever someone came knocking with cookies I always appreciated it.

Good luck on finals, and have a safe winter break.

Vesper Arnett

Lifestyle Editor

Awkward Advice with Stacey and Cassie

Dear Awkward Advice,

I have a really awesome, sweet, loving boyfriend. There is only one problem: he’s always rearing to get some action! It’s getting troublesome. While I’m in the shower, doing homework, in the dining hall, and even in the pergola. What are some things I can do to turn him off when I need to do things?

From,

SexStuffed

 

Dear SexStuffed,

As someone coming from the other side of this problem, I think I have some great advice. The person I’m dating now only wants to get intimate like, once or twice a day. Crazy, right? It’s like she thinks I’m a sex camel! I can’t handle it. However, she does attempt to help me out by doing certain things to cool my jets. For instance, she recites Carrot Top’s stand up routine ad nauseam. It’s almost like she waits until I’m rip-roaring to go, then begins to inform me about the “fascinating” history of the Keebler Company or whatever History Channel special was on the night before. But, her a-bomb in the boudoir, that is guaranteed to turn me off and make me close my legs tighter than a hipster’s jeans is this: She sings Justin Bieber to me at the top of her lungs. Despite The Biebs being the newest lesbian pop culture icon, the sound of those lyrics in that incessantly catchy tune gets me from hot to trot to totally grossed out in 30 seconds flat. Try these things the next time your guy is looking for some loving. *Warning, if the Justin Bieber serenade does still does not dissuade your guy from coming at you, tell him to give you a break and hit up his boyfriend for some loving.

 

Dear Awkward Advice,

Hi!  I have a problem of unrequited love.  There is a girl in my chemistry class who is amazing!  Smart, beautiful, funny. So many other guys want to court her, and I am afraid they will beat me to it. However, whenever I get close to her I just lose my train of thought! I can’t say anything intelligent at all! In fact, usually when I am around her I just don’t speak. What should I do?

Hopeless Romantic

 

Dear Hopeless Romantic,

It is perfectly natural for you to get what we call “the heebie-jeebies” before you talk to the girl of your dreams. It’s happened to the best of us. Did you know that George Washington was petrified to talk to Martha Washington before they started dating? It’s true. And then he worked up the courage to say hi. And then he became the first president of theUnited States. See, everything starts with a small step!  Awkward Advice suggests to either say a witty pick-up line (“If I was the alphabet, I would put U and I together”) or the very popular “Hey, what a cute shirt!”  However, most girls like to see guys who are both in control of the situation and sincere gentlemen at the same time.  Hope it all works out!

 

Dear Awkward Advice,

I am worried about heading home for the holidays. I don’t know if I can spend over a month at home with my sisters and extended family when I am so used to being at school. What should I do?

Holiday Jitters

 

Dear Jitters,

Don’t worry! Just eat a lot during the holidays and enter a giant food coma. If you do this correctly, the food coma should wear off right when you are supposed to come back to school.

 

How to Know if Your Boyfriend is Cheating on You

I’m not stating that all men who exercise the traits below are cheaters; there are exceptions to every rule. From personal experience, and through the women I know, these are some big characteristics that most men who are cheating share in common. Cheating is a touchy subject, and both women and men have been victims to the dirty deed.

So remember ladies, if you have the slightest inkling that your man is cheating, looking for these signs, and if he fits more than one of the descriptions below, your gut feeling might be right!

1. Your boyfriend starts acting distant towards you both physically and emotionally. He slowly stops touching you, talking to you, and spending time with you. Sorry ladies, but this might be a clear sign that he has lost interest in the relationship and might be looking elsewhere for love or “sexy-time.”

2. The man of your dreams starts going out with his friends a lot and doesn’t invite you. “It’s guys’ night out babe, geez…sorry!” Now this doesn’t always mean that there is something wrong, but if he continually goes out without you, especially to bars, he might be on the hunt for some new meat. Be aware ladies! If your man comes home smelling like cheap perfume and Smirnoff Grape, he might be cheating on you!

3.  Your boyfriend is very unclear about where he was and who he was with when he goes out with his “friends.” He’s very vague about what he did on his “guys’ night out.” He might be lying to you, and if you press him on the issue, he may snap at you and accuse you of being overzealous or a control-freak girlfriend. Men like to drop the words “psycho” or “crazy” when referring to a girlfriend that suspects them of cheating, but as that country song goes, “Behind every woman scorned is a man who made her that way.” Women usually act this way when they know that their men are up to no good.

Your boyfriend is being vague because he doesn’t want you to know where he was, and truth be told, isn’t very good at lying to you about it. His attempt at lying will probably give himself away.

4.  Another sign that your man is cheating is if you continually cannot get a hold of him on his phone. He might have really bad reception or . . . he might be with another woman.

After about 15 or 20 minutes he might call you back with some lame excuse on why he couldn’t hear his phone ring, or the call got dropped, but chances are you’re the one being dropped, not the call. If your boyfriend always has his phone on vibrate or never answers it when he’s around you, it might mean he’s trying to hide something or someone from you.

I don’t advise snooping, but it might be your last resort. Looking through your boyfriend’s text messages, you might find that he erased all of all of them. This might mean the dog is trying to cover up his tracks.

5. Your man starts rocking nice jeans, fly dress shirts, and new kicks instead of his usual baggy sweatpants and dirty crinkled T-shirt. His physical look begins to change. He gets himself a new haircut, and starts smelling like AXE for men.

You ask yourself, “When did my boyfriend start caring about what he looks like?” Probably ever since he met that cute chick at the bar last weekend and got her digits.

Beware: He might be “so fresh and so clean” for that special woman . . . and it’s probably not you!

Dining with Josie: Napkin Etiquette and Other Tips

By Josie Wawrzyniak

During the holidays, many of us will be dining with the family of our current love interest. Whether we’re in their home or at a fancy restaurant, we want them to think their son or daughter is dating a sophisticated and well-mannered person.

Our parents tolerate our dinner table behavior at our home, but those are our parents – how do we impress strangers with dining skills we might not have?

The answer is quite simple: Focus on your behavior and do not let your bad habits take over.

Remember that when you are dining in a public place, your behavior is being scrutinized by not only those seated at your table but by other diners and restaurant personnel as well. You’ll want to act as if you are well accustomed to the dining experience.

Handling a napkin properly is the first step to creating a good impression.

Once seated, remove your napkin from the table and place it horizontally across your lap. Unfold it completely if it is a small napkin or fold it in half lengthwise if it is a large dinner-type napkin.

In addition to being a polite gesture, this protects your clothes from spills and drips.

If your silverware is wrapped inside your napkin, place the utensils in their appropriate places: forks to the left of the dinner plate, spoons and knives to the right. The knife should be nearest the plate with its blade facing the plate.

Keep the napkin on your lap throughout the entire meal and use it as necessary to gently blot your mouth. If it falls to the floor do not retrieve it. Politely ask your host or server for another.

Remember that you are “sophisticated,” so be sure to say “please” and “thank you.”

If you need to leave the table during a meal, place your napkin on your chair.

If you need to remove a piece of food from your mouth, carefully use your napkin to surreptitiously remove it.

When you’ve finished eating, place your napkin on the table next to your dinner plate, preferably on the right. Do not refold or crumple it.

Now that you know how to use a napkin, follow these rules as you finish your meal:

•If you are uneasy dining with strangers, just smile. Do not say you are nervous; they will not know unless you tell them.

•Do not chew gum.

•Do not begin to eat until everyone has been served. If someone’s dinner is delayed, politely ask for permission to begin eating.

•Do not speak with food in your mouth. If you are chewing and you are asked a question, gently gesture by pointing to your lips to indicate you will answer when finished.

•Do not leave a spoon in a cup or a bowl, set it on a saucer or to the side.

•Do not slurp through the straw when you’ve finished a drink.

•Do not blow your nose or sniffle at the table, pardon yourself then go to the restroom.

•Do not cough over the table or in anyone’s direction. Turn away and cover your mouth with your arm. If you cough into your hand, pardon yourself to go to the restroom to wash.

•Do not yell across the room if you see a friend enter.

•Do not put your elbows on the table.

•Do not reach across the table for something and especially not over another’s plate. Ask the person best positioned to hand it to you.

•Do not touch food directly if you are asked to pass bread or rolls. Instead, pass the plate or basket or use a napkin to handle the item.

•You may be served something you do not like to eat. Do not make a face or comment on it. Just ignore it and don’t eat it.

•Do not comment if someone at the table does something unusual with their food.

•If you smoke, do not eat your meal quickly so you can run outside to smoke. Control your urge for a little while and stay until dinner is over.

•Do not use a toothpick after your meal. If necessary, excuse yourself and temporarily leave the room.

•If you are at a restaurant as the guest of your date’s family, do not offer to pay the bill. Accept the gift of a meal graciously by telling the person who is paying the bill what a wonderful dinner it was and then sincerely thank them for it.

Follow these tips and you may be invited to dinner again!