I am attending three courses this semester, two for a grade and one as an auditor, and there is no commonality that stretches across the three…except food.
All of my professors have set up a system to ensure that, in the middle of the three hour class, there is a snack break and someone is responsible for bringing the snacks. Snacks is a…relative term. Today, for example, one of my professors provided us with tea in individual mugs, fresh bread, feta, artichoke and olive salad and mixed nuts.
I had tea. (For those who don’t know, by the way, plain black tea, plain green tea and Earl Grey do not require kosher supervision.) I tried not to drool over the feta. I had some more tea and a granola bar I had in my bag and tried not to sulk. Then I tried not to sniffle too loudly during class, because I have this cold that seems to be making its vicious way around my family. But there’s really not that much to do about it other than take the medicine, suck it up and try not to sneeze. Oh, and bring tissues to class! The good lord invented those little kleenex packs for a reason and I promise you I will not be forgetting to put one in my knapsack ever again.
Class was eventually over and I could blow my nose as loudly as I wanted and go home to my refrigerator and cut myself a lovely piece of Trader Joe’s kosher feta and then all was right with the world. At least until I had to sneeze again.
Part of me wonders how long it will take until people notice I don’t eat food unless it’s my own. Or fruit. Or has a visible kosher symbol. I decided not to point it out because there’s nothing anyone can do. When others mention that they are vegetarians/vegans/allergic to peanuts, it’s so that the person responsible for preparing the food can take them into account and prepare something they can eat. If I told people I kept kosher, they’d ask what I can eat.
“Well, food cooked in a kosher kitchen or food with an acceptable kosher symbol on it.” is the short answer and the long answer would involve a handout with the kosher symbols one is likely to find around here, plus a short discourse on why they wouldn’t be able to turn their kitchens kosher for me. So I’ve found it saves everyone trouble if I just don’t say anything. More to the point, saves people feeling guilty that they can’t make something I can eat.
Of course, there’s always the week I get to bring the food and then I’ll be able to eat to my heart’s content. I’m thinking muffins.