Adjusting to a new lifestyle can be bumpy and uncomfortable, but as I walk into McGloin Hall’s entrance to see a marinara stain embedded into the carpet, I feel disappointed in my fellow Creighton students’ ability to adapt. This immeasurable disappointment is only accentuated when I hike up to Brandeis, maneuvering over landmines of salad, yogurt and pasta, the only solace being that I can piece together the dining hall’s menu by simply looking at the stairs inside Brandeis.
As a heavy eater, I made it my mission to find the most efficient way to carry up to three boxes of food, a desert box, a fruit, a sandwich, a yogurt, a drink, utensils and my keys without using pockets or having to put something down to tap your keycard at the dorm entrance.
To the unenlightened, the easy answer to the dilemma of food transportation might be the tote bag, but you should ask that marinara stain in McGloin’s entrance hall how well tote bags work, especially at the volume I specified earlier.
One could also point to the paper grocery store bag, but finding a bag that is wide enough to perfectly place boxes is tough. Also, once again, big eaters like myself might find it tough to fit everything or make it back without food falling out the bottom.
As a result, we’re left with just our hands, but before we discuss the optimal strategy, we need to discuss the three default strategies and their flaws.
The default setting for most people with more than a couple boxes is what I call the Two Arm Support Tower where one hand is under the box tower and one hand is supporting it on the side, forcing miscellaneous items like utensils, keys, drinks and round fruits to be placed precariously against the tower in the preoccupied support hand or unstably on top of the tower.
The second setting is the Two Arm Sandwich Maneuver, which relies on the premise of a flat top as one hand is under the boxes while the other rests on top. This provides the tower with the most stability of the three defaults but prevents flexibility and the volume of extra goods mentioned earlier due to the lack of hand space.
The last default setting is known as the Two Arm Base Strategy. TABS relies on the premise of a strong base first and foremost, so both hands are placed below the boxes, allowing miscellaneous items to be placed on top of the box and leaned against the chest. However, the unprotected top makes miscellaneous items tough to keep on.
All three defaults are derived from the universal strategy used for carrying one box where one hand is holding it in front of the body. As a result, all three strategies have evolved to gain some advantages. For example, TAST has the guiding hand that is relatively free. TASM has the stable top. And TABS uses the carrier’s body to its fullest.
However, they all make the same mistake. They leave the boxes in front of the carrier.
This leads us to the optimal strategy, the One Arm Carry. This strategy uses the principle of keeping the boxes away from the front of the body by tucking the boxes into a self-made corner.
Any user of the OAC will also notice that there is still room on top of the boxes where items can be leaned against the shoulder and chest. This is where the yogurt, sandwich, and desert box can be placed with TASM-level top support, and the downwards slope of the boxes lets these unstable items lean against the chest instead of the ground.
Lastly, one might notice that the opposite hand is completely free now, more so than even TAST. This lets the free hand either carry a drink or whatever else hasn’t found a home or provide any maintenance to the tower during transportation.
So, the next time you go to Brandeis, remember to tuck those boxes. The carpets will appreciate it immensely.