Never Asked Questions

This is a brand-new blog, let’s not kid ourselves, no one has asked me anything (yet). But allow me to head off a few questions that may tickle your fancy.

  • Who are you?
    • My name is Danielle and I’m an American research student living and studying in the U.K.
    • I’m a violist (a bit bigger than a violin, smaller than a cello)
    • I believe all people should be treated with respect, that scientific discovery is the worthiest of pursuits, and that we all have a fascinating story to tell
    • And probably the most topical, I love baking. And everyone in my family is really pretty good at it.
  • Where in America?
    • I was a kid Small Town, South Dakota (go Jacks!)
    • A teenager in South Texas (go Spurs!)
    • A 20-something in Manhattan (go Fighting Violets! lol…)
  • Tell me about your baking and cooking history…
    • Despite having a very reasonable, down-to-earth upbringing, I turned into a very pretentious baker. As a pre-teen I would only deign to consider creme brulees, tiramisu, and other recipes that required extensive babysitting. Then I went off to college and was a poor student with almost no resources. That definitely broke me from the warped, Escoffier-like perception that I had of myself. I got back into cooking and baking when I finished school and lived on my own. I inherited a couple of cast iron-core pans from my parents, and got to it. Once I moved to the U.K., I really realized the value in traditional, passed down, home cooking/baking. Pretension out the window, I could soapbox about the value of a church cookbook for hours.
  • Favorite cookbooks?
    • Funny you should mention cookbooks! I am amassing quite the collection. I love a good cookbook. My go-to favorites are both of Christina Tosi’s… Momofuku Milk Bar and Milk Bar Life. She embodies exactly what makes me happy about baking: familiar flavors with technical prowess will win the day.
  • What are your research interests? (hah! Literally no one is going to ask this, but let me shove it into your eyeballs anyway.)
    • I am interested in the student experience, specifically students in higher music education institutions and other mono-technic creative arts institutions
      • My Ph.D. fieldwork involved a year’s worth of conducting interviews and observations about the student experience of conservatoire (conservatory, if you’re American) culture outside of the formal learning-teaching exchange. It’s been a transformative and (periodically) emotionally draining experience.
      • My master’s dissertation analyzed public-facing documents of American conservatories (websites, prospectuses, etc.) to see where – and if – they place an explict value on developing business skills in their students.

Need to know anything else? Just ask!