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Friday, Aug 19, 2022

Kvetching about meal plans

Listen up schmucks, it’s time for some more truth from your favorite Jewish classmates. By this point we assume you’re familiar with our work, we’re a couple of Jewish Americans and we like to complain, or as we call it in our culture, kvetch. You can kvetch about silly things, like cold Matzo ball soup. Or you can kvetch about serious things that should really change, like a total overhaul of the Proctor Dining Hall heating system. In this weekly column, we’re going to try and keep it light and complain about the little things that, if changed, could make the lives of Midd students  just a bit easier. We’ll leave the big issues to the Editorial Board and kvetch about the small ones. 

Nothing winds our dreidel quite like a raw deal, and quite frankly, we believe that our fellow MiddKids are at the receiving end of a deal so raw, it still has a heartbeat.

As many of you know, there’s no better place to schmooze with friends than the Middlebury dining halls. They have everything – bagels, unsalted matzo crackers and friendly faces to greet you as you walk in. But not all are welcome in these establishments this year, at least not with the previously arranged agreements enjoyed in years past. Like our trousers after eating a full seder, this school is ready to burst at the seams. Thus, it’s no surprise that the administration shoveled as many seniors off campus as possible. “Wonderful,” we seniors rejoiced. “What a mitzvah it is to live off campus with one’s closest friends, at least we’ll be able to buy our meal swipes and enter the dining halls with ease as was promised by the all-giving dining hall overseers to our bygone compatriots.”

They must take us for a bunch of schlubs to think that there would not be a tumult when we discovered that this system is no more. Off-campus students used to be able to participate in the meal plan, but the administration banned these students from any participation this year. It takes a lot of chutzpah to cast upon us the plague of declining balance. Long gone are the days of meal swipes bought in bulk (quite a bargain, you must admit); in their place we are faced with the much more real charge of declining balance for each meal. Cast away as Moses in the desert, we schlep to the dining halls and bang on the windows, hoping some mensch will let us in for a warm meal. Do us a favor Middlebury: when campus has fewer students in the spring, let off-campus folks have their fair share of grub. 

We feel the shame of our actions only surmounted by the hunger in our bellies for that which we crave — a subpar panini in Proc hastily made under the glare of some quadruple legacy squash player hungry for his quesadilla. We understand that the dining halls are overburdened — to no fault of our own, mind you (no one asked our opinion on how many Nobles kids to accept this year), and we have nothing but love in our washed-up hearts for the staff who have to deal with your inability to count — but we are not naive. We realize that you messed up; who doesn’t from time to time? You let a few too many of us come back and now there’s no space, truly a shande. But we, the two most opinionated Jews on campus, think it’s high time to cut your losses and let there be food to nosh on for all students. Maybe we should even return to the fabled days of old in which meal swipes were merely a frightening tale from those pesky peer-institutions of ours. Is it so much to ask? Also, it’s hanukkah, and if there aren’t good latkes in the dining halls, you’ll be hearing from us.


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