The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

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Bang for Your (Star)bucks

The atmosphere of the Starbucks on Inwood Road north of Forest Lane lends itself to the first line of the hundred bil­lion dollar company’s mission statement, which focuses on “creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where every­one is welcome.” A low hum of conversation permeates throughout, even at 7:15 on a Friday morning, where the line inside is as long as the drive-through that wraps around the small building.

Though there are a few high school-age girls by them­selves, there are just as many mother-daughter pairs catch­ing up on the week’s events be­fore the final and long school day. Two Hockaday skirts, a skirt from Good Shepherd and a Withers High School sweatshirt make up the line in front of the pastries.

The Inwood Starbucks is a mere 1.3 miles away from Hockaday, making it the number one spot to get a hot drink and surreptitiously check out the Jesuit Prepara­tory School guys.

For Hockaday seniors with off-campus privileges, a Starbucks in the middle of the day can be just the right remedy for a post-all-night­er. Even for underclassmen, there’s something comforting about bringing in their very own steaming Starbucks on a morning when the tempera­ture dips into the teens.

Both teachers and stu­dents alike love grabbing a quick drink once in a while – or not.

“I would say at least six to eight times,” sophomore Ellie Pfeiffer said, explaining how many times a week she fuels her Starbucks addiction. “Sometimes, the Starbucks people see me more than once in a day,” Pfeiffer said. “That’s a little embarrassing.”

Pfeiffer’s claim to Star­bucks infamy simply comes down to indecision, like a problem she had this past Halloween. “I couldn’t decide if I wanted my regular cof­fee, or if I wanted my tea or if I wanted hot chocolate, so I got all three,” Pfeiffer said. “I had to get a drink carrier for myself.”

However, she has a sys­tem to make sure she moni­tors her Starbucks intake. “If there are times when I get more than one Starbucks drink, I leave off for the next few days.”

It’s good that she has that setup: apparently the drink carrier scenario “happens on a regular basis.” Students aren’t the only ones who appreciate the possibility of more Star­bucks runs than there are days of the week. According to his­tory teacher Kathryn Hodg­kinson, eight Starbucks trips a week is about right for her, too.

“[Sometimes,] I stop after school,” she said. Hodgkinson’s drink of choice is a grande chai latte with seven pumps of chai. After repeating this or­der with practiced precision, she thought about her favorite things about Starbucks.

“They’re trendy,” she said. “They’re always really friend­ly, and they try to remember your order.”

Pfeiffer never drinks the Hockaday coffee, and it’s only once in a great while that Hodgkinson drinks hot choco­late from the teachers’ lounge.

While getting food from off-campus seems to be great, there are also some downsides.

One is financial. A Star­bucks addiction can cost up­wards of $1,000 a year, half as much as someone usually spends on smoking.

Another is an issue of safety. “Girls on the road dur­ing school hours, that some­times makes me nervous especially in bad weather,” Upper School Attendance Coordinator Jessica Kramer said. About half the senior class regularly takes advan­tage of their senior privilege of eating off-campus.

Also, there is the health issue. Hours of homework, sports and other extracur­riculars already limit Hocka­day girls’ sleep time, so when there’s finally an opportunity to sleep, students don’t need anything else infringing on that – but coffee does just that. Consuming one cup of coffee in a day could make you fall asleep two hours later than usual. However, if you drink coffee enough to build up a tolerance, two cups could have the same effect – but drinking more coffee can have negative effects on your health. High blood pressure, indigestion and headaches are just three of the many signs of a caffeine hangover.

Finally, there’s a fourth downside to being so depen­dent on restaurants, and it isn’t something that affects only Hockaday students. Though some Starbucks alternatives are closed on most major holi­days, Starbucks employees aren’t so lucky. “I’m not really happy because they’re going to be open Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Hodgkinson said. “They said they get time and a half, though…the company shouldn’t be open then.”

As the holiday season ap­proaches and there are more and more assignments to work on (the last tests of the semester! The JRP! College apps!), Starbucks may seem like more and more of a wel­come treat. In moderation, it’s a great pick-me-up, but not overdoing it reaps many ben­efits: going to Starbucks less will help you save money for presents, keep you safe on the road and on time for class and maybe even more importantly at this time of year, just get some extra sleep.

The last line of the Star­bucks mission statement says that they are “performance driven, through the lens of humanity.” Every so often, though, it’s good to wipe the lenses clean of steam and skip a Starbucks run in the morn­ing – you’ll thank yourself for it later.

– Maria Katsulos

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