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July 26, 2010 | by  | in Online Only | [ssba]

Academic Idol: Round Two!

And we’re one down! Lee Gibson from Design School is out. Gone. Bye. The tribe has spoken. We think this confirms Design School kids are far more interested in the pictures in Salient than the words, even if there’s one of their own in there. Hmmm. But thanks for playing Lee!

It’s been a tight week of voting. Marc Wilson and Pondy were the early faves, but Dean Knight has made a late surge, helped no doubt by the foundation of a Facebook fan page in his honour. If Dean wins, he’s promising to wear his rugby outfit to uni every day for a week. We didn’t even think that would be allowed at Law School. Hilary Pearse is there repping it for the ladies—we’re not sure if she’s single, but if you like it—well, uh, just gonna stop it with that pop culture reference right now…

So, you know what to do: vote for your favourite lecturer by texting 027 CUSTARD or emailing We get excited every time 027 CUSTARD beeps and vibrates across the desk, and then tally the votes on our whiteboard in the office. We are easily entertained.

Tell all your friends about it. Make public announcements in lectures. Facebook it. Tweet it. Write letters about it. Heck, print flyers if you’re keen. It’s all in your hands, Victoria University. Who will be Academic Idol?

This week’s question:
If you were stranded on a desert island, but could choose one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

David O’Donnell, Theatre

Playwrights know what it’s like to be hungry.  Brecht wrote a scene where a starving man greedily devours some cheese, and Beckett depicts two tramps salivating over their last carrot. Theatre students don’t have it quite so bad, with a Bluebird machine in the Green Room and the Aro Fish and Chip shop just down the road. I spend many nights at university attending rehearsals and shows, so I’m often surviving off takeaways. Therefore on my island I’d only eat salad full of the fresh vegetables that I crave during busy term-times. And there would be plenty of carrots.

Peter Andreae, aka Pondy, Computer Science

What food? No contest—fresh bread! One of the nice things about the School of Engineering and Computer Science is that the kitchen in the common room has a real oven in it. Several times a week, I make bread dough at home in the morning, let it rise on a shelf in my office, and then cook it in the oven for lunch. When I go to get it out, the smell of fresh baked bread has spread through the whole floor making the staff (and the students sitting on the couches in the corridor) hungry. It’s so easy, so cheap, and so nice; what I can’t work out is why nobody else does it.

Hilary Pearse, Political Science

Vegemite toast. I know that’s a controversial stance given the long running vegemite vs. marmite debate. For the record I also vote crunchy peanut butter rather than smooth. I reckon I could happily exist on vegemite toast for a while, at least until I succumbed to scurvy. The only close rival would be pho, Vietnamese noodle soup. Incidentally, both are excellent hangover restoratives, must be all that vitamin B and salty goodness.

Matthew Trundle, Classics

As one lies under the pine trees in the blazing Sun of some Greek island paradise contemplating the vastness of the wine-dark sea and watching the dolphins play on the shore, what better accompaniment than the grape and its juice from which comes so much sustenance and the joy of Dionysos? A short-lived existence, admittedly with few carbs and no fats, but a happy one nonetheless!

Justin Bachoff, Modern Mythology

I would choose Huntley and Palmers Sesameal crackers. Then after a couple of years I should accumulate enough empty packages to construct a raft, which I will use to sail to the next desert island and hope to find a lifetime’s supply of cheese.

Marc Wilson, Psychology

A quick survey of psychology students indicates the most preferred answers are (a) fruit, (b) carbs, and (c) nachos. Nachos give me wind, so they’re out. A carb-only diet is not only going to get boring reeeaaaal fast, but a lifetime of constipation doesn’t sound so good. So, fruit? Did you know that fruitarians eat only fruit, AND only fruit that has fallen naturally from the plant? They’re a pasty bunch usually found hanging around trees with a crazed-with-hunger look about them. Fruitarians might live longer, but I bet they’re more willing to die. I prefer to go with 2% of students and live on BUTTER CHICKEN! There better be a Tulsi on this island…
(And Justin, Crispin Glover was only George McFly in the FIRST BTTF movie!)

Dean Knight, LAW

Gin? Does that count as food? Alas, I’m guessing not…

In all honesty, it’s probably unfair to ask a gay man who is a foodie to try to narrow it down to only one item of food!

But, if just one, then it would have to be a thick slice of Vogel’s toast with sliced fresh tomatoes.  Sprinkled with cracked pepper.  Then drizzled with a little balsamic glaze. And finally topped with some roughly torn basil. Mmmmmm.  That might not sustain me for long, but I would at least perish replete—and with style.

Geoff Stahl, Media Studies

As a vegetarian/aspiring vegan, and lover of savoury meals at any time of the day, I’d like to sate myself in solitude on the following, assuming it’s an island in the Pacific allowing some of it to be locally sourced: umeboshi-scented jasmine rice with fresh-cracked black pepper, the foundation for garlic/soy marinated tofu, fried to crispy perfection, layered with sautéed spinach (with some fresh nutmeg), topped with mango braised in palm sugar and brandy, and finished off with toasted sesame seeds and fresh coriander.  (N.B.: I am rarely earnest, but I am cooking about food.)

Chris Eichbaum, School of Government

My favourite dish is the Curry Laksa and roti from the Kopi Tiam in the Newtown shops, so I’m tempted to order that in for the duration.

The absence of that supportive and affirming collegiality associated with university life, and of the pure joy associated with staff and faculty meetings is going to make it tough. And I will probably hate the warm tropical waters, the sound of waves on the reef, the fragrance of the frangipani flowers. No, I won’t be able to handle this. I’ll need to go out with a smile on my face, so it has to be kava cookies for the (limited) duration. The Dude abides.



About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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