When we last saw our protagonists they were gathered at the art house, which through the power of imagination was the Prancing Pony in Bree.

Wait, the protagonists? Are the protagonists the Seniors or the Stackees?

From this side of ditch day I’m biased and think the seniors are definitely the protagonists. But a big goal of ditch day (in my mind) is to create a world in which the stackees are protagonists at the center of their own story.  So really, the answer is both.

And what is one of the stackees first tastes of that world? Breakfast.

Ditch day breakfasts vary as much as the stacks themselves.  They can involve full-service affairs at the Atheneum (Caltech ‘s faculty club.) Military themed stacks have had MREs  ‘paradropped’ (okay, thrown) to the them from rooftops.  When I was a senior, a mysterious ‘seniors only’ box lived in the refrigerator for several days before Ditch Day, revealing an ostrich egg that became an omelet for the entire stack.

Looking back, my first Ditch Day breakfast set the tone in my mind for the entire tradition of Ditch Day. We were instructed to go to the Tunnel Kitchen, where we found some cereal, milk and OJ. “Eh, this is acceptable,” I thought. But then, we found the note ‘look in the oven.’ Surprise! More still-hot scrambled eggs and chocolate chip pancakes than we could eat!

Influenced by that experience, hot breakfast was critical to the Ditch Day I wanted to craft. And being slightly greedy, I wanted to see my stack off on their adventure. So why not combine the two and cook breakfast to order? Oren and I played the role of the substitute Prancing Pony bartenders and cooked up pancakes and eggs.

Once they were done eating, we gave them each the letter left for them by the wizard, Radagast.