Mini Fieldwork Experience

I had the pleasure of working with Amaru Ona on this exciting assignment. After much deliberation, we decided to conduct our study on “the quality of dining facilities on Queens College campus.”  We determined that Amaru would be the Dr. Researcher and I would fill the role as Senora Participant. That is where our journey began.

As we left Kiely Hall and headed towards the “Dairy Stop”( located in the cafeteria) , I decided that I was going to inform Amaru about the “kosher caf.” So I began to answer his questions through photography.

"Kosher Kitchen"To some this may seem just like another ordinary lunch hall, but to others this is the only place they can order food. By definition, Kosher is conforming to dietary laws that fulfill the requirements that Jewish people follow.  A Mashgiach, or overseer, remains in the area to make sure the food remains under  strict supervision and the kitchen remains “Kosher”.

As we sat down at one of the circular red tables, Amaru began to ask me several questions regarding Kashrut, to gain a deeper understanding of how this cafeteria differs from the others. I slowly realized that he was very interested on the topic and didn’t have previous knowledge of it ( like many others on campus). And so I began to answer his questions through photography

A few of his questions included:

Where do you eat on campus?

WHY do you eat there?

Do you think it is a good idea to get commercial restaurants in the cafeterias?

" Tiffany"

In this photo, a fellow student and part time employee, took a moment out of her busy routine to strike a pose in front of the Dunkin Donut’s sign.

I believe that by adding more commercial food chains to Queens College, it would positively improve the student’s outlook on typical school food.  In the past years, Starbucks had a monopoly on the Queens College campus, but after conducting many surveys, it was became a unanimous vote that Dunkin Donuts was much preferred.

Although I was more familiar with the customs and restrictions, I found it very exciting to open another individuals eyes to something new. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing a piece of my religion and traditions with Amaru. I hope I helped him understand a small piece of the dietary laws that go into keeping Kosher.

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12 Responses to “Mini Fieldwork Experience”

  1.    amaru Says:

    Right on, LP….Right on -AO

  2.    lila Says:

    Did you asked Tiffany to pose underneath the DD’s sign? or she voluntarily pose herself? I think it’s cool that she participated in this assignment.

  3.    lnaiman Says:

    This was a very interesting idea! I didnt really spend so much time teaching my fellow group mates about the rules of Kosher but it was an interesting idea that you did. Maybe the reason I did not get into this discussion was because the questions I was asked didn’t lend itself to that kind of response, or maybe because I never really eat or hang out in the “kosher cafe.” Anyways well done!

  4.    Nalicia Poonai Says:

    That is so interesting, I didn’t even know that there was a place called “kosher caf” here on campus and I am graduating in June. It is really important to have a hunch area where you can feel comfortable.

  5.    antonia Says:

    Great entry, Lindsey. You guys definitely did have a “real” research experience in the sense that you actually started talking about something very different (if still related) than the original topic. That happens in ethnography all the time!
    I was also wondering about Tiffany’s picture. It is a fun photo, but how does it relate to this assignment? I wish you had explained better.

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