Thursday, December 13, 2007


Professional athletes are not allowed to use performance-enhancing drugs, although it's clear these drugs, well, enhance their performance. The latest "cycle" of America's Next Top Model was an officially non-smoking one, and even included a "competition" to see which "model" could pose best for an anti-smoking ad, thus removing the one common feature the participants might have had with real-life fashion models.

If models can't smoke and athletes can't use steroids, what can't grad students do during finals? After the latkes and gnocchi of last week turned me into quite the potato, I was shooting for not overdoing it at the end-of-semester parties. By overdoing it I mean cheese. And there's evidence that I have gone overboard with the cheese at past events, but to be fair, NYU's French Department serves some very fine cheeses, and the parties always seem to occur at just that not-quite-dinner time when, try as we might to be sophisticated, we still believe dinner ought to be consumed. It all seemed hopeful enough until I arrived at the holiday party to see that this was among the possibilities. Rationalizing that paper-writing requires copious cheese consumption, especially if the papers in question are all about France, I dug in. Hope the models and athletes have more willpower.

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