“Smells like chicken,” was whispered throughout the periodicals in the Harold B. Lee Library Monday night, as a student grilled a chicken on her George Foreman grill.
Laura Diebel, from Melbourne, Fla. studying Spanish, made the most of her Teaching English Language Lear 400 Community Experience assignment to “break a social norm or do a test of how people treat you when you are different” when she decided to grill a raw chicken on a George Foreman grill in the middle of the periodicals of the HBLL.
“I heard a friend of a friend once went to the library and cooked his dinner on a George Foreman,” Diebel said. “I thought that was a pretty good way to carry out the assignment and so I got everything I needed to make chicken in the library. It was really hard not to laugh.”
Diebel said though other options such as attending an AA meeting, self defense class, court session or police ride-along were available, she felt this one would be the most fun.
As with any good chef, Diebel had a team assist her. She had friends scattered throughout the periodicals taking notes on others’ reactions to her.
One of her friends, Danielle Brading, from Sheboygan Falls, Wis., studying early childhood education, sat a few tables away from the sizzling supper and observed.
“Most people were just really funny,” Brading said. “They would turn around and look at her and just laugh. I kept a tally of the different things that I saw as she was grilling. There were a bunch of people that took out their cell phones to take pictures. A lot of people were walking across the room to their friends and pointing her out. And a lot of people were getting up and walking past her. Everybody was just shocked.”
Jordan Andrasko, from McAllen, Texas, studying economics, sat at the table with Brading.
“I saw a lot of people pulling out their cell phones and texting their friends,” Andrasko said. “Once it started to sizzle and smell, I think a lot more people noticed.”
Plugged into one of the table outlets commonly used for laptop chargers, Diebel’s George Foreman created an aroma that had many students wishing their textbooks were menus. With a large salt and pepper shaker on the side it was near impossible for anyone in the area to not be drawn in.
Andrew Lybbert, a pre-dental student from Burbank, Wash., commented on the smell.
“I love chicken,” Lybbert said. “I was wondering what that smell was. It was the best dad gum smell I have ever smelled in the Harold.”
Levi Rasmussen, from Wales, Wis., studying advertising, also was in favor of a little Food Network being brought into the library.
“I think we should always have a George Foreman grill going on in the library,” Rasmussen said. “I firmly believe that chicken and libraries can coexist.”
While most students simply enjoyed the restaurant aroma, there were some who were more interactive with the iron chef.
“There was one guy that came up to me and asked for the rest of my chicken,” Diebel said. “And then there was the class clown that was willing to confront me loudly. Everyone else just looked at me like I was super weird.”
Diebel was caught by the library police while exiting. BYU Security was unwilling to comment on their encounter with Diebel.
“It’s going to be on her BYU record that she grilled chicken in the library,” Brading said.