Students Learn Some Manners at Scripps Etiquette Dinner

On February 28, the Office of Alumnae Relations hosted the annual Etiquette Dinner, an event designed to teach junior and senior Scripps students the basics of business and social etiquette. Despite the reaction the name often evokes, the dinner is hardly reminiscent of the days when women's colleges were, to paraphrase Julia Roberts in "Mona Lisa Smile", little more than finishing schools disguised as colleges. The main goal of the dinner is to give students the confidence to be comfortable in situations such as business lunches or first meetings.

While some of the rules of etiquette seem like vestiges of another era, others are common sense practices that are easy to forget. For instance, you should wear a nametag on your right side so when shaking hands the other person can see your name clearly. Also, it's a good idea to keep your water glass in your left hand so that you don't give someone a cold, wet handshake.

Have you ever found yourself chasing green peas or grapes around your plate in an endless game of catch-me-if-you-can? The menu at the dinner included such awkward-to-eat foods as Cornish game hen, green peas, French onion soup and spanokopita. Throughout the dinner, Pamela Hillings, the etiquette consultant for companies such as Universal Studios, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, gave advice on how to eat these difficult and messy foods without looking ridiculous. Unfortunately, in some cases it's just better to avoid the hassle and stick with a tried and true favorite that won't send you running to the bathroom to check your teeth. When in doubt, just order the grilled chicken.