Khalid and Zoë Decide Everything: The Great Tendie Debate

These opinions do not reflect the views of  The Oberlin Review staff. However, we are amazing and knowledgeable about many things, so we’re glad that you trust us to settle these debates. 


Question: If you had to fight a shark in the ocean, a lion in the savannah, or an alligator in a swamp which one u fightin? [sic]

Woah. Starting off with a bang. 

An issue with all of these scenarios is that the animal has home field advantage. With that knowledge, fighting a shark in the ocean was easily eliminated. Humans are not aquatic creatures, so not only would you be fighting a shark, but you would have to tread water at the same time. Even if you drop Michael Phelps in the middle of the ocean, he is not going to last very long — which means the rest of us wouldn’t do too well either. Neither of us are great swimmers, so this was an easy no-go. 

Deciding whether to fight a lion in a savannah or an alligator in a swamp was a close call. The death roll thing that alligators do is scary. And once they do that, you’re done.

However, if you can avoid getting pulled into the water, you have a better chance at survival — even if it means just climbing a tree to safety. 

On the other hand, if you’re in a savannah, a lion could, and would, just straight-up hunt you. 

Drawing from lessons learned through pop culture, the lions in The Lion King were lethal. Simba and Nala would put their paws on you, no pun intended, while Louis from The Princess and the Frog just wanted to play his trumpet.

So, we conclude that we could outsmart an alligator but not a lion, because lions are natural hunters. Alligators are just bigger, faster, and stronger than the other swamp animals. Additionally, alligator wrangling is common on alligator farms, but you don’t see the same thing with lions or sharks. If an old white man in Florida can wrestle an alligator, so can we. 

It’s still 50-50 if we’d be able to take down an alligator, but we’ll take those odds. 

VERDICT: Alligator in a swamp.


Question: Does frosting make a muffin a cupcake?

This was one of two questions we received from more than one person, so shoutout to Sydnie and Bright. 

We immediately jumped to key differences between the two foods in terms of ingredients and texture. Cupcakes are more of a vessel for icing and are usually lighter and sweeter than muffins. Additionally, the amount of butter and sugar differs between the two recipes, but we wanted to take some time to look at it from more than just a physical perspective and understand opposing viewpoints. 

From the perspective of a baked goods consumer, if you handed us a muffin and a cupcake without icing, it would be difficult to decipher between the two. Nevertheless, we noted that muffins are more versatile. You can have savory muffins or eat a muffin for breakfast, while a cupcake for breakfast is not socially acceptable because of its dessert label and amount of sugar. 

Then, we came to a shocking realization.

If all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares, then why can’t all cupcakes be muffins, but not all muffins cupcakes?

The frosting aspect is, as we put forth, irrelevant. The more important distinction between a muffin and a cupcake is the flavor; most flavors of a cupcake are also a flavor of muffin, but not all flavors of muffins are cupcakes. For example, no one would ever say they’re eating a bran cupcake, but you would eat a chocolate muffin.

But since we were asked whether frosting specifically makes a muffin a cupcake, the answer was obvious.

VERDICT: Frosting does not make a muffin a cupcake.


Question: Which is better, Fourth Meal wings or tenders?

First, shoutout to Campus Dining Services. They did the damn thing when it came to Fourth Meal and chicken. 

We equated this debate to the LeBron James and Michael Jordan Greatest of All Time argument. LeBron James has done everything anyone could reasonably expect of him. It’s likely that 99.9999999 percent of basketball players will never come close to LeBron James. But the impact that Michael Jordan had on the culture is something that can never be replicated. 

And that’s how we felt about Fourth Meal chicken tenders, the star of what was affectionately known as “Tendie Night.”

Fourth Meal chicken tenders were special not only for the food, but also because of how important they were to Oberlin College culture. Even though it’s a small campus, there aren’t that many universally-shared experiences given the various divisions and communities on campus. But Tendie Night transcended it all. North campus and South campus, athletes and non-athletes — it never mattered. Everyone would come together for “Tendie Night.” It was a cultural reset. It didn’t matter if you were sitting with your friends. It didn’t matter if you were sitting with strangers. You always had a good time. It’s one of the only universal truths of the shared Oberlin experience. It was a space for people to come together in between studying for midterms or getting ready for the ‘Sco. It was a sacred space to see your friends, acquaintances, enemies and most importantly, Big Al

We’re sure some of you *cough* first-years *cough* are reading this and are like, “Well, actually I prefer wings over chicken tenders.” Good for you. Enjoy your wings. We hope they’re flavorful. But they will never taste like the college experience. That is an honor reserved for Fourth Meal chicken tenders, and Fourth Meal chicken tenders alone.

Everyone talks about how Oberlin party culture doesn’t exist, but they’re wrong. Tendie Night was our party culture, and it was magnificent.

VERDICT: Tendies all the way!


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