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History of Ideas degree=>CIA - Huh?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 fifi

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 02:26 PM

After reading about your History of Ideas degree in Chris's biography, my curiosity is killing me. How do you go from there to the CIA? And, what is History of Ideas anyway? (I am a science geek and know nothing of liberal arts type stuff. :biggrin: )

Lovin' this. Thanks for joining us.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#2 Sara Moulton

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 06:33 PM

I went to a very rigorous girl's high school in New York City and essentially had no adolescence. I just studied my buns off 24/7. By the time I applied to college I wanted a break. The University of Michigan is certainly no joke academically but my boy friend at the time (I don't know how I had time for a boyfriend) went to the residential college at u of m which was a small experimental college and when I visited him I found out that the school had no grades just evaluations and they offered "alternative" subjects. So I applied and got in and pursued important topics like "Astrophysics" and "Comparative Revolutions of Russia and China" and what we lovingly referred to as "Boys and Girls in Books," which obviously had a more important real title - something like "The Gender Issue in Modern American Literature." The one requirement of my major was to write a thesis. I especially loved "To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf and so I opted to write my thesis on that book.
I still have not answered your question - history of ideas to a career in food?
Really there was no connection. I had pursued everything else in college as a career - becoming a doctor (too sad- have to give out bad news), a lawyer (too male dominated), biological medical illustrator (too bloody - we were supposed to illustrate operations among other things) and teacher. I have no idea why I didn't follow this one. That is what I always thought I wanted to do. I am fascinated by how children learn, why they fail, how you can help them. I tutored in the new york public school system all the way through high school and always thought I would do this as a profession.
But I always had a restaurant related job while I was at college - first as a waitress, then as a personal chef to a family and finally at a bar, the Del Rio (a wonderful jazz bar in Ann arbor) as a short order cook. My Mom is the one who nudged me and made me apply to the CIA. When I got in I had to go and it was the best thing I ever did, thanks to mom.
Sara Moulton

#3 moosnsqrl

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 07:18 PM

But I always had a restaurant related job while I was at college - first as a waitress, then as a personal chef to a family and finally at a bar, the Del Rio (a wonderful jazz bar in Ann arbor) as a short order cook.


Wow, I can't believe you worked at the Del. Have you been back lately? I doubt it's changed much. Quite a leap from there to cooking w/Julia (or even John Malik :wink:)!
Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

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#4 srhcb

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 08:01 PM

RE: History of Ideas

I wish the U of MN had offered this program. I might have gotten a degree instead of kicked out?

SB (assumes it was a BS?) :wink:

#5 Sara Moulton

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 05:18 AM

But I always had a restaurant related job while I was at college - first as a waitress, then as a personal chef to a family and finally at a bar, the Del Rio (a wonderful jazz bar in Ann arbor) as a short order cook.


Wow, I can't believe you worked at the Del. Have you been back lately? I doubt it's changed much. Quite a leap from there to cooking w/Julia (or even John Malik :wink:)!

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Sadly, it closed about a year ago. The community management idea wasn't working anymore. I have an updated version of the "Det" burger in my book, "Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals." You may remember the original was a quarter pounder topped with the "Det" mixuture (freeze dried green peppers, canned mushrooms, canned California olives) grilled onions, a slice of American cheese and then it was "Steamed in Beer!!!!" which now that I think about it makes complete sense since alcohol is a conductor of flavor. My version has green chiles, cremini mushrooms, kalamata olives, onions and cheddar cheese.
I really loved working there, I still keep in touch with some of the people I met.
Sara Moulton

#6 MarketStEl

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 06:46 AM

Since I see there are at least two Wolverine alums on this thread, and at least one of you have memories of a special burger, if either of you get a free minute, you might want to take a look at the long-running "Burger helper" thread in General Food Topics.

This one was started by an enterprising fellow whose burgers have fans standing in line for them at Michigan home games (he hasn't disclosed anything about his location except his state, but some of us have figured things out), and he is now pursuing his dream of opening his own free-standing, full-time take-out hamburger stand. He has gotten advice from fellow eGulleteers on just about every aspect of the business.
Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen
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#7 annarborfoodie

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 07:39 AM

Sara, I knew you were a Michigan grad, but I didn't know you were in the RC - I am an RC alum (graduated in '96). I wanted to go to a smaller school, but when I got into Michigan, my parents weren't willing to pay for anything else (in-state tuition). The RC was a great compromise and I truly loved my time there.

About the Del - I walked past it the other day and it looks like the new incarnation is close to opening - there were tables and chairs in the space. Grizzly Peak next door is taking it over and creating a tavern/bar. They're supposed to be replicating the music from the Del (digitizing the mix tapes) but not much else.

My current favorite burger & fries in Ann Arbor (the fries are more important to me) is at Fraser's on Packard. We also like the Sidetrack in Ypsi.

#8 BuzzDraft

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 08:27 PM

... and teacher. I have no idea why I didn't follow this one.

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But you did... don't you think you have been a teacher all along, in the cooking domain?

I really enjoy tuning into great shows such as yours, because I always learn something from them. You are a teacher, and I'm an appreciative pupil. Plus, I really enjoy the lab homework after your lessons... This from a guy who got his engineering degree from Georgia Tech.
TomH...
BRILLIANT!!!
HOORAY BEER!