sometimes the best secrets aren't secrets


i have a secret that’s not a secret.

it’s more like a constant, startling revelation. 

i have a masters degree. 

how awesome is that?

if you’ve been around here before, you might know that in the end of summer 2011, i quit my full-time job working in marketing and development and moved to boston to be a full-time graduate student in boston university’s gastronomy program. 

it was scary; it was intense; it was amazing.

i took four classes at a time in both the fall and the spring semester, something i’m not sure i would suggest doing. overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to cover how i felt most of the time.

for me, though, it was financially and mentally the right decision to jump in feet first and continue on full speed; that’s just the kind of person i am.


along the way i took some wonderful classes. 

in the fall, i confirmed my love for anthropology in my anthropology of food class (and, incidentally, received the julia child scholarship for the work i did in that class — how crazy is that?!); i remembered my love of archeology and gained a new appreciation for my new home’s foodways in my culture and cuisine: new england class; i was not only absolutely fascinated by my history of wine class, but i was also able to establish some groundwork for my thesis research with some of the materials we covered; and, perhaps most importantly, i discovered a passion for food policy — a passion that i think will direct my future professional and academic career(s).

in the spring, i mostly took core courses, which included the history of food, theory and methodology, and experiencing food through the senses. i also took a food and film class, which, while out of my academic comfort zone, gave me a great excuse to call my sister, am the elder, more frequently. (it also inspired the creation of the cactus garden’s bloomeria lumiere.)


i also began work on my thesis last spring, a process that took me all the way to this past december, when i successfully defended my thesis. 

the defense, in itself, was an amazing experience. 

i had no clue what i was getting myself into, and saying i was nervous would be a massive understatement.

the truth is, once the defense began, it was actually a lot of fun. 

(even more honestly, if you had asked me beforehand what word i’d use to describe defending my work, “fun” would not have even been on my radar.)

writing my thesis was difficult. it was a large project with some inherent problems that i knew about going into the whole undertaking, but by the time i got to my defense (and even though i doubted myself far more than was probably healthy), i knew my stuff. 

i love academia, and getting to sit and seriously discuss my research with my advisor and reader —both inspiring food anthropologists— was incredible. staggering. spectacular. phenomenal. 

i could go on, but i’m sure you all have access to your own thesauruses.

i’m pretty sure you get the idea, anyway.

that buzz from the defense still hasn’t left me, and that’s why i say i have a secret that isn’t a secret: because every so often when i’m doing something mundane, like making my coffee in the morning or driving or talking with my friends and family, i stop and it hits me.

i have a masters degree. 

how awesome is that?