That Was Then, This Is Now

That Was Then, This Is Now

The Food Representative of our House, Noah, is taking the term off so I asked him if I could sub in his stead – he said yes. I really enjoy all types of food and discovering healthy and delicious combinations, so I figured I could learn and do more by trying out the food rep position. My first meeting was Monday during lunchtime. The committee consists of theCDSManagers and each House’s representative. Basically, we run through the previous week’s dinner menu and each House’s representative relays the comments of their fellow House members on the taste and provocativeness of each meal. (The fresh oven-baked cookies always get five star reviews.) Once this process is over, the panel is opened for any other suggestions and/or comments.

Monday’s meeting was extended because we had a special guest: Chuck B. Jones ofJones Coffee, a Pasadena based coffee company that roasts its beans locally. Chuck gave us a presentation about his plantation in Guatemala and described the long process that a coffee bean goes through before we drink from the cup. He also explained that acidity and body are inversely proportional, where a light roast has high acidity and low body, and a dark roast vice versa. Then, the coolest part was when we got to try small cups of light, medium, and dark roast coffee and assess the validity of this relationship. It was accurate, and the committee’s almost unanimous favorite was the light roast – coincidentally, the one with the highest caffeine content. The meeting was very fun; talking about food was a great way to detach from all the pending work in the background, and I look forward to more.

Did you know that up until 2001 the estate tax in the US was 55%? And up to last year it had only gone down to45% . Our Intro to Accounting prof was telling us stories of how this tax has ruined families’ finances over time. This year, 2010, the estate tax was repealed (so the rate is 0%), but it is supposed to be reinstated on January 1, 2011 at the full-fledged 55%. So it should be interesting to see to what extent this duty-free year will be taken advantage of. “If you need to buy time you can always fly west to the international date line,” joked Prof. Wang.

Yesterday, the House of Admissions hosted the Class of 2013 in our official Freshmen Welcome Lunch. We had gigantic pizzas fromBig Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria; they were delicious. This experience was certainly different from our Welcome Dinner in President Chameau’s house during Orientation Week. At that point, nobody really knew each other, so the UCC’s (Upperclassmen Camp Counselors) had to instigate conversation. I still remember I had met Dev a few days before Welcome Dinner, but that evening I forgot his name; I didn’t want to ask him for his name again, so I said, “How do you spell your name again?” So after he spelled it out for me, he followed with “How do you spell your name again?” We laughed, and then recognized we had completely forgotten each others’ names. But anyways, although that dinner was relatively quiet and more focused on eating our food, yesterday’s lunch was the opposite – I looked around and saw everyone sitting with their group of friends, laughing and talking while handling pizza. Nothing more casual than that. It was nice to see how over the course of just 14 weeks everyone already looked comfortable and was having a good time socializing.

Tonight is grill night! It’s about time for some juicy burgers, today was very heavy on work, but we all succeeded. I’ll leave you guys with a picture of one of the murals in Ricketts Hovse: