Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Clarified Butter (Page 935)

  • Date: Many times in the past
  • Location: Cambridge, Somerville, etc...
  • Kitchen: Culinary school, home, etc...
  • Recipe Rating: A-

I didn't actually do this one today. This is another recipe that I have made many times before but which I wanted to add to the blog for completeness. What can you really say about a recipe for clarified butter? All clarified butter is pretty much the same. You simply melt it and separate out the milk solids to increase the smoke point of the butter. It's great -- even fattier than regular butter! Plus, is doesn't burn so easily!

I was planning on cooking tonight, but now I am a little too shell-shocked and upset to really think about cooking or food. I was looking forward to this evening. Today I gave my 7th talk in the past 6 weeks, and I was excited about the prospect of being done with all of them. The evening hasn't turned out exactly as I expected though.

I gave a talk today at MIT. It was in Babytop, which is essentially a seminar for the topology graduate students and post docs. In other words, I was speaking in front of a group of people who I consider to be friends. I was looking forward to it -- I have never really given a talk about my own research at MIT and I thought it would be fun. I was wrong. After my talk, I sat in my office and just stared at the water stains on the wall for 30 minutes, feeling completely disheartened and trying not to cry. While giving my talk I was interupted at least once every five minutes, not by math questions, but just by people joking around, or laughing, or having their own conversations. The group is really rowdy in general, and I have certainly been given a hard time before while giving talks, but nothing like this. More than anything I just felt like no one in the room was interested in what I had to say. They were all too busy joking around with one another. It's fine with me if they aren't interested in what I spend my time doing, but at least, out of respect, they could try to be a little polite. It actually took a tremendous amount of willpower for me not to just leave the room in the middle of my talk. I have given this same talk at multiple other institutions, where the audiences were supportive, and kind, and interested. This afternoon I felt like a substitute teacher, trying to teach second graders who had eaten too much candy. Today, for the first time, I actually didn't like, and didn't want to be a part of the MIT topology group.

I hope that I have never made a speaker feel the way they all made me feel today...

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