what-ifs

If I Weren’t a College Professor I Would Probably be…

A food historian

I think the restaurant/catering business is too tough for me. However, I love food and I love learning how they are made. I also dig random trivia of the origin of food.

All great cuisine comes from a culture that had the need to survive. For example, do you know that spam (more well-known as the brand Maling in Indonesia) was popularized in Korea, Japan and the Philippines through World War II? Meat was rare back then, thus people had to use whichever resources were available, one of which was spam from the American army ration surplus. People spiced it up, mixed it with a bunch of other local ingredients, or simply ate it in the humblest way: lightly pan-fried on top of white rice.

Do you also know that feijoada, a succulent stew from Brazil, can be traced back to the colonialism era? In the mid-16th century, the colonial Portuguese transported slaves to Brazil through the West African ports. While the good cut of meats went to land-owners, the remaining scraps like the pig ears, trotters, head, etc were left to the labors and transformed into a hearty stew enriched with plenty of aromatic seasoning and tummy-filling black beans. It was the perfect dish for them after a whole day working in the plantation and it is now a beloved dish of the nation. Again, it’s the case of using what’s available to the max.

I’m still looking for the Indonesian equivalent to the above dishes, but internet search seems to not be a sufficient source of information.ย Any book recommendation?

 

A graphic designer or animator

I like drawing. I’m also very visual. To comprehend a concept, I need the action of writing it down and looking at it on a piece of paper. If you check out my work area, it’s filled with colorful post-its and drawings. Before I decided to enroll in my undergraduate uni, I even got an admission offer for a graphic design program at a different university. I can’t really remember why I didn’t take it, but even to date I love drawing comics, doodles, or any other visual aids to help me teach.

komik ayamI don’t actually teach this course but I was inspired by my professor’s story. The basic idea is that chicken are unable to metabolize beta-karotene, a pigment in corn, thus if you feed them a lot of corn, the pigment will accumulate and result in yellowish hue on the chicken skin. Hopefully you won’t need to understand Indonesian to know what happened at the end of this comic ๐Ÿ™‚

 

A lawyer

Back in my junior high/high school days I used to do a lot of public speaking and debate type of thing. I was always the person who did the presentation whenever we have a group assignment. My teachers, my parents and I agree I would make a good lawyer due to my speaking skills. I was going to sign up for the Faculty of Law instead of Biotechnology, and then I changed my mind because my dad thought biotech was unique and hence it would have more prospective career options. I remember having a major fight with my mom because of it.

To think of it, I guess I made a good decision. I’m simply too idealistic to be practicing law.ย They’re gonna eat me alive, I’m sure.

 

All in all, I think everything happens for a reason.

I just can’t imagine how different my life would have been if I had taken a different path.

If I hadn’t decided to do my undergrad at my current uni, I probably wouldn’t have been teaching in college now.

I probably wouldn’t have gone to the US for grad school.

I probably wouldn’t have met my husband.

I probably wouldn’t have started this blog.

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