RBOC: Lunchtime edition

Sitting here in my office, having just eaten my meager lunch and skimming the edges of the blog world, and I'm thinking about all the ways food (and by food, I also mean booze) has played a way in my academic life.

Khora, whose handle makes me think of all sorts of 80s songs and Spanish questions, asked what was one thing we wished we'd been told in graduate school before we leaped out into the world, and my response was predictably "what other job"-ish. But today, I think it'd be about how food is tied into all of this. Here are some examples:
  • you can absolutely tell who cool a theory/school of thought/disciplinary division is by how good their parties are. The best conference party I ever attended was thrown by a bunch of broke Marxists, but they shared the bottle and the music was good. For my money, a party thrown by Marxists or Feminists usually tops the situation (curiously, Marxist feminists are hit and miss...hit or Ms....or...I just know as a joke that's going to fail); folks who do cultural work come in a close second foodwise, while historians have the best stories
  • Don't be mistaken by size of the party or lavishness, however. The Marxists' polar opposites in my field tend to throw huge parties at conferences which are noteworthy for the enormous amounts of booze which somehow do nothing to make the moment pleasant
  • if someone can include a bottle of Patron in their contract for a speaking engagement, you can bet they'll be an interesting speaker.
  • maybe we really go into academia because we like eating the same type of food we've eaten for years. I was just finishing my PB&J (strawberry jam, suckas - the only way to roll), a container of yogurt, and a banana and suddenly it was 3rd grade all over again (except it's harder to have a crush on my home room teacher now)
  • interestingly, academics have the worst manners around food I've ever seen. At a recent conference, I watched academics swarm waiters as they emerged from the kitchen with trays of fresh goodies, nearly throw elderly British scholars to the ground, circle tables like sharks, and what appeared to be an inadvertent exclusion of third world scholars and graduate students from the buffet
So that's my thought on this. I should probably go back to doing real work. Unless you're not going to eat those fries....


2 Responses to “RBOC: Lunchtime edition”
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khora said...

A brilliant explication of how I subconsciously chose my career path!

January 29, 2008 at 3:00 PM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

I bet it works for a lot of us.

I do remember someone telling me as an undergrad that it'd be good to join the campus newspaper because they frequently drank on the job.

Good times.

January 29, 2008 at 7:22 PM