Today marks the first official day of the semester, and, as I did not post over our holiday break, I thought I would give a few updates. Today I start my teaching internship with Helen Hoffelt’s Photo II class. I’m very excited to help out in any way I can, and we are meeting before class starts to discuss how I might be of assistance. Although I have done some teaching in the past (in the form of workshops and a TAship in my MA), I am looking forward to getting back into the classroom and working with someone who has a totally different style than professors I have previously worked with.
I am currently writing my project proposal for this semester (coming to this blog by the end of the week) and I have already begun my mentoring relationship with John Fergus-Jean. He tasked me with reading Proust Was a Neuroscientist over break (sadly, I’m only halfway through, due to a sidetrack to reread Leaves of Grass and also trying to chisel my way through A Natural History of the Senses), but I recently finished a chapter on Escoffier and Ikeda, two pioneers in the way we eat. This chapter comes at a timely moment for me, as I have just started to eat red meat after a 10+ year hiatus. The chapter talked a lot about the Japanese concept of umami and its relation to protein. I’ve been a bit lost in my thoughts lately, particularly revolving around taste and perception. Before I retried beef, I told my mother that I had no recollection of the taste, but, having not liked red meat when I stopped eating it, my sense of what it tasted like was a bit dirty and with a strong, iron taste. Interesting to then taste and come up with a new perception and new taste memory, which, of course, devolves into thoughts about the formation of memory itself, and the formation of taste preference. Certainly I will be kept on my toes this semester!