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MIT student blogger Shannon M. '12

A Burton Jew Thanksgiving by Shannon M. '12

Because I'm game for any excuse to eat stuffing.

So I live in Burton Conner, like some other people, but I happen to live on Burton 2, known primarily for being right below the Burton Third Bombers and for having the largest concentration of Kosher keeping Jews on one floor anywhere, or just the highest concentration of Jews in general, hence our being known as Burton Jew. One suite even has a Kosher oven and such.

I am not Jewish.

I’m from the Midwest- I had a Jewish neighbor. Once. And that pretty much constitutes the entirety of my previous exposure to Judaism prior to MIT. Consequently, it never even occurred to me that I’d be living with Kosher keeping people, much less on a floor with a lot of them. I didn’t even know what being Kosher entailed besides no bacon, which was pretty much all I needed to know to be convinced that I could never be a good Jew in the case I decided to spontaneously convert. (Lack of bacon creates a positive Δ in the reaction of my becoming Jewish? Whoa, okay, it’s offish, I’ve had too much 5.112.)

Why does this have anything to do with Thanksgiving? Well, okay, a few things you should know about Kosher, if you’re like me three months ago and know nothing about it:

1. Meat and dairy can’t be eaten together.
2. Oh, and on top of that, you can’t use the same utensils to cook the two, either.

This isn’t a big deal in normal life- I mean, you just exercise a little more caution with what spoon you’re eating your cereal with in the morning and everyone’s happy.

But let’s think about this. Every year, we have a Burton Jew Thanksgiving for the entire floor- turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, other dishes liable to clog your arteries… and half of these have to be Kosher. The result is a weekend extravaganza of musical ovens in which Kosher things (like Ida, the kosher turkey) are cooked in Kosher ovens while non-kosher things (like Colonel Fitzsimmons, our non-kosher turkey)


are cooked in the other ovens on the floor. (Right, we have kitchens. I probably should have said that three paragraphs ago.)

Musical ovens can be dangerous.




But no worries, here at MIT we take safety first and everyone made it to dinner in one piece, with the notable exceptions of Ida and Colonel Fitzsimmons.










And as the females of the floor nursed our food triplets (wow, no pun intended…)


the dinner was deemed a success. Good food and good friends- there’s not much else to give thanks for. Happy Thanksgiving from MIT!

14 responses to “A Burton Jew Thanksgiving”

  1. Banerjee says:

    Love the pictures. Cool post!!

  2. Vytautas says:

    Uhm…. Yummie floor gathering…

  3. Matt A. says:

    I should show this one to my mom. Reasons one might ask:

    I am Jewish, and my mom kind of has a thing that I need to go to college where there are Jews, which required me digging up statistics to prove that Jews exist at MIT.

    For the record, I don’t keep Kosher (Mom’s from New Orleans, Dad’s from Memphis, that’s shellfish and pork respectively, it wasn’t going to happen. I know- bad Jew)

  4. Yummieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

    and third too:)

  5. Jess says:

    Burton 2 is too cute. smile

  6. “Lack of bacon creates a positive ŒîG in the reaction”
    Eating gives off heat so that means that (delta) H would be negative. Less eating would increase (delta)H making it less negative(more positive). When H is positive enough it all depends on how big the entropy (disorder) is or (delta)S and how high temperature is. Since your in MIT, where the disorder is HIGH and the temperature is LOW (sometimes negative), you have nothing to worry about.
    DG = DH – T*DS
    So, I guess you’re right it would make DG positive.
    Yours Truly,
    Professor Christopher Cummins
    Sorry for the bad sense of humor

  7. Crazy?! says:

    Did you save me a piece?

  8. Snively says:

    Whoa whoa whoa, professors read these entries? Oh man, now I need to go back and clean up all of my bad math!

  9. Sam says:

    Don’t worry, Snively. Our dear professor wrote “your” instead of “you’re”, so I think he’ll forgive you a few mistakes.

  10. Anon says:

    Just for the record, you keep Kosher, but you learn facts about Kashrut.

  11. Too bad there no longer is the kosher TurDuckEn. That was a Burton Jew meal to remember.

  12. I would sure like to know if those pants Em is waring are “Kosher.”

  13. Stephanie says:

    omg the last pic = so many ppl i love in one photo!

    -distant cousin =D

  14. Good observation. I really missed that error. Oh, how embarrassing. Snively, don’t worry too much. I only did this as a prank. Call it crazy if you will.