Thursday, January 8, 2009

Reading period sans Sartre

"I obviously don't mean that when I choose between a cream-puff and a chocolate eclair I'm choosing in anguish" - Sartre (1948)

Nonexistential choice
I'm sure Sartre would have put cupcakes in a separate comparison, because while they're not always tasty and occasionally overpriced, they are rather pretty.

However, he wouldn't have needed to compare Finale to anything. For me, Finale has now become the equivalent of a long, hard final: a debatably (only because of their rewards program) necessary evil (read again: overrated). That said, the blockmate (Harvard lingo: the group of friends you house with) Secret Santa was more or less successful there, including but not limited to the fact that I got a Berryline card out of the deal.

Preference and choice
Meanwhile, it's reading period: the week before finals when you panic. Or marathon all your favorite TV shows, for those of you who have no exams and all papers.

(And for those of you who are randomly stumbling upon this site thanks to the search term "upperclassmen allowed in Annenberg during reading period" - which seems to happen every January and May - yes, it's true, okay? Note to freshmen: this means that it'll be a lot more awkward if you introduce yourself to the new stranger at the table after you ask if you can sit across from them. It's just odd after a year or so to answer the same questions about concentration, hometown and dorm - I mean, house. Also, didn't the introducing thing stop in November? Not to be snarky or anything, because you know, I enjoyed it...anyway, if you're a newcomer to Foodivia, welcome.)

I'm studying for my economics midterm, hence why I'm thinking about choices. I personally find it funny that the wiki quote has a specific different definition for food within economic choices:
Personal factors of determine food choice. They are preference, associations, habit, ethnic heritage, tradition, values, social pressure, emotional comfort, availability, convenience, economy, image, medical conditions, and nutrition.
Rather than the straight up preferences we've been modeling for twelve weeks. More relevantly, I present my own food preferences, brainstormed with the assistance of my study group and in no particular order.
  • Muffins over cupcakes (I know, right, I dressed up as a cupcake. But muffin tops are so much better.)
  • Maguro (raw tuna) over sake (raw salmon)
  • Broccoli over broccolini and Chinese broccoli
  • Cooked spinach over raw spinach
  • Feta cheese over bleu cheese (On a side note, crumbled over sliced cheese.)
  • Rice over noodles
  • Broth over chowder
  • Chicken over beef
  • White over green asparagus
  • McDonald's over Burger King (There, I said it.)
  • Garlic over onion
  • Lobster over crab, shrimp and squid
Gradually, the discussion deteriorated into how much we missed food at home, even though it's only been about a week at most since we left. Also, how the Greenhouse Cafe is not providing us with garlic knots and tomato sauce, an essential part of any mathematical discussion and quite possibly the best thing offered there (I didn't learn about them until late last spring). In the meantime, I have another nonexistential choice: the HUDS menu. Sigh.

Happy reading period?

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