I had a “food is love” grandma, whose sweetness was doled out in ice cream. I miss her quite a bit, even though I think she likely missed me more. I moved away, and I am hard to stay connected to due to the mandatory time I seem to need in my own world.
I have a student who has had a rough half year, and we made a date for pancakes to catch up. My idea. I take students to lunch, I take students to dinner, we go to coffee, we have snacks.
Food is entirely wrapped up in my expressions of hospitality and care. I’m sure nutritionists would not approve of this, but it’s the way I am.
I remember a friend coming to my house after she had taken the LSAT. And she was feeling demoralized, as one does after these awful tests. She said she was hungry. Andy and I made her an omelet and toast.
I remember a student of color ordering one of his favorite ethnic foods and happily consuming it in front of me, his white advisor, and it made me happy he was so comfortable with me he knew I understood how food is more than just nutrition, that it has so many meanings, that with me had space to have what he wanted, not what maintained an image.
I remember that terrible week of the shootings at Virginia Tech, the students who hadn’t gone home had little to do, we bought tons of candy and snacks at the Walmart in Christiansburg (where you can, in fact, find Christians) and used my old projector from when I was a consultant to show “Weird Science” on the side of a building whose name I can’t remember now. We stayed up until 1 am talking together after we were done.
I remember my grandma, with her cake. Do you want ice cream, too? You would be having ice cream, too.