Meal Cards & Memories: Meet the Familiar Faces of D-Hall

Elisabeth Martin, Campus Carrier Features Editor

Jamison Guice, Campus Carrier Asst. Features Editor


does not have curly fries or butter rolls anymore smh
Daily, Dining Hall staff members greet students as they enter the building to eat meals. The 15 meal card desk workers are able to socialize and bond with students as they come and go. Three shared information about what is special to them about life and work. Photo by Jamison Guice | Campus Carrier

Meet Ms. Virginia

honestly the nicest person to ever walk this earth
Virginia Brock at the meal card desk. Photo by Elisabeth Martin | Campus Carrier

Virginia Brock has worked for Berry Dining Services for almost eight years. She alternates between swiping student meal cards and serving food on the comfort line.

“I love it. I love the students, I love the food, and I love my job,” Brock said. “The kids are wonderful.”

She said she likes to work the comfort food line because she gets to talk to all of the students that come by.

“I miss a lot of the students when they don’t have a meal card anymore,” Brock said. “I say, ‘I miss seeing you!’”

When Brock is not working in the dining hall, she is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, which is a nonprofit organization that aims to meet the needs of veterans. She is also a member of the Amature Radio Club.

However, in her spare time, Brock loves to spend time with her daughter, her two grandsons and her six great-granddaughters who live nearby.

“They’re a handful. We like to fish, and we like to picnic, and we like to just play games,” Brock said. “I’m working on a girl’s baseball team.”

Brock’s large family stemmed from a 41-year marriage to her husband.

“I lost my husband in 2002, so taking care of them has been my job ever since,” Brock said. “We’d still be married had he not have died on me. How he put up with me for 41 years, I don’t know.”

Brock stressed that she makes an effort to have fun and enjoy life.

“I just like to have a good time,” Brock said. “I love to dance. I love to line dance, and I like to slow dance, and all that good stuff. It keeps you young.”


Meet Ms. Helen

she's really nice too
Helen Farmer in front of a bulletin board. Photo by Jamison Guice | Campus Carrier

Rome native Helen Farmer has worked for Dining Services for about 24 years. She began in 1995 and has worked in baking, salad bar and now the meal card desk.

She said that as a part of her job, she talks to a lot of people. Often, students will ask questions about the school. Farmer said that freshmen and their parents frequently seek her out for help.

Farmer is known for telling students jokes. She said that when students “pop” back, she loves it, and she finds the conversations entertaining and fun.

“I love to aggravate,” Farmer said. “If I see somebody that is not too happy or down, then I will do something that will brighten their day.”

Farmer said that she has even been given nicknames by students. Often, she has been called granny, grandma and Ms. Helen. She said that because she likes to talk to students so much, some have even called her motormouth.

When Farmer is not working and caring for the Berry community, she is caring for her dog, Jasper; her cat, Molly; and her four grandchildren.

In her free time, Farmer enjoys reading. She prefers cookbooks and history from the Civil War, but she also said that everything to her is history, even learning about ice cream.

This hobby has led to her asking students questions herself. She said that if she comes across an unknown word, she will often ask a student for help.

When Farmer is not reading, she says she loves to listen to music.

“I like all kinds of music except bluegrass and R&B,” Farmer said. “Besides that, I can listen to anything. I like gospel, Beethoven and instrumental.”

Additionally, Farmer said another passion of hers is collecting miniature lighthouses. For the past 30 years, she has gathered about 50 miniatures from different locations up and down the east coast. For example, she said one is from Savannah while another is from Florida.

“There is such a story behind the lighthouses,” Farmer said. “It is a part of my history, how they lived or how they didn’t get to see


Meet Ms. Bobbie

seriously we don't deserve these ladies
Bobbie Smith sitting in a booth. Photo by Jamison Guice | Campus Carrier

Bobbie Smith has worked at Berry for over nine years. During her time, she has worked in Java City, Viking Court and now the Dining Hall.

Smith said her position at the meal card desk allows her to connect with students on a personal level and bond with them.

“For a lot of [the students], their parents are not here,” Smith said. “We are here so we can help with the transition of being away from home.”

She said her position is more than just a job. Through talking and cutting-up, Smith said, she is able to build a relationship with students.

“I always try to comment on them,” Smith said. “If a student comes in here dressed up for an interview, I try to let them know how good they look. It lets them know that people do notice. Like if people change their hair or their make-up, I try to notice things like that.”

She said that it is rewarding seeing the love that students have for her. Smith said that sometimes, students will come into the Dining Hall and hug her. They know that they can ask her anything.

“I just want them to know that I am a person like everybody else, just a little older,” Smith said. “But I still love them.”

Smith said her life revolves around her work, the Berry kids and her home. Some of her interests include Chinese and Mexican foods, animals and country music.

She said her main hobby is playing with her dog, Bama. He is a three-year-old labrador retriever that she adopted from Animal Control.

“He has been spoiled since the day I brought him home,” Smith said.

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