Friday, December 27, 2013


by CIA student blogger Kristin

Like I mentioned in my previous entry, I have never been on campus throughout the holiday season. This year, my third year as a CIA student, I am finally around to enjoy all that the season has to offer. Because I am in love with anything Christmas, I have been trying to get involved with all the events being hosted on campus this month. Although I sadly had to miss the screening of “Elf” last week, I was able to make what I have always been told is the main event of the holiday season here at the CIA.

Two Saturdays ago, December 14th, the Culinary hosted their annual Bada Bingo night. When first told about the event from friends of mine, I have to admit I had my doubts. How could bingo, the national pastime of senior citizen homes, be made relevant to college students? They assured me however, that I could not be more wrong.

In the weeks leading up to the event, posters went up specifying that tickets were to be sold at the Student Recreation Center on campus. Students were encouraged to arrive early to claim their place on line.Though I still could not believe the event would be this popular, on the opening day of ticket sales students lined the entire gym. It became apparent that this event was important to the student body. Even those who just started school were willing to wait for a chance to be a part of this holiday event. Suddenly 350 seats did not seem to be enough for anyone. Truth be told, I did not even wait in line this first day to get my ticket. I obviously still had my doubts about “bingo” and “fun” being in the same sentence. After hearing about the length of the line the first day however, I was happy to get a seat as a walk-in on the day of the event.

Farquharson was packed. The long tables usually set up for lunch and dinner were crawling with students dressed in their favorite winter sweaters. Those working the event were circling the room sporting holiday appropriate costumes. The true activity in the room, however, could be seen on the front stage. It was set up like a traditional bingo hall, containing a main table with a ball spinner to draw the winning numbers from. To the left of this table, stood the Christmas tree which was protecting a giant pile of gifts under its branches. These were the winning prizes.

Each student was given a packet of five game boards, instructions and a giant bingo marker. After a brief introduction from our hosts, the games were underway. The first round was played like original bingo with the contestant needing to line five spots to get bingo. The next four rounds, however, were themed with Christmas formations to spice the game up. The formations were a reindeer herd, a wreath, a Christmas tree, and a blizzard. As students completed these formations, they were required to yell “Bada Bingo!” and were invited to walk through the jealous student body to make their way to the front stage. If all the numbers matched up, they were met with applause from the audience and awarded their prize which included items such as a TV, an iPad, and a whole array of kitchen tools.

While these standard rounds of bingo were exciting and admittedly more fun than I imagined, the true holiday excitement came between the bingo. Each break consisted of mini games with opportunities to win prizes. As a game of bingo would come to a close, those working the event would come into the audience asking for volunteers. They were met with an uproar of students jumping up and down trying to be picked for whatever crazy stunt they had to do in order to win prizes. Some of these crazy stunts included:

  • Trivia from the popular holiday movie “Elf”
  • Unwrapping presents: A small slip of paper is wrapped in the middle of many individually wrapped boxes. The first contestant to find the slip wins the prize!
  • The price is right: A table of common kitchen items is presented to a contestant. If the contestant guesses the prices of each item correctly they are awarded a prize!
  • Eggnog Challenge: 6 contestants are each given their own quart of eggnog. Whoever finishes the quart of eggnog first wins a prize.
  • Elf Spaghetti: Inspired by the scene in “Elf” where he eats spaghetti and candy for breakfast, a contestant has to eat their way through a combination of candy, spaghetti and other foods in order to win a prize.

The night ended with t-shirts that sported the phrases “naughty” or “nice” being launched through the air at the audience. I, sadly, a was too far back to have caught any of these flying prizes. As my first and last Bada Bingo experience at the CIA came to a close, I couldn’t help but wish I had been able to make it to the event in years past. I am grateful, however, that I got to experience the event at least once before leaving The Culinary. Seeing so many students in one place sharing not only the spirit of the holidays but also the spirit of our school was moving. Those friends of mine who told me not to miss this event were a thousand percent correct. I will never forget my holiday experiences here at the CIA!

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