I came to Tufts for the knowledge behind a credential, and the credibility which one hopes accompanies that knowledge. Both are required to become a food and nutrition writer.
Now in my final semester in the Master of Nutrition Science and Policy (MNSP) program, I have studied with the best. Seldom—only twice—did I disagree with my professors. Invariably, I agreed with my broccoli-for-breakfast, vegan classmate who gets her daily calcium from greens and sense of humor from her family.
As an MNSP student I enjoyed the freedom of living in California and the excitement of visiting Boston for residency. The hostel was inexpensive, but as an older student I was happy to rent an apartment. Once I found a studio near a giant supermarket, and the next time, an extravagant half basement in a brownstone. Then I walked the mile or two to campus where a sunny bowl of fruit waited, cut into bites by the artists at Friedman’s food service.
Friedman earns its authority through continuous high-quality publication, and usually stands clear of the quarrels that inhabit nutrition science. Every Wednesday, the Friedman School Speaker Series is a chance to hear work in progress by faculty as well as talks by guest speakers. Alongside tested hypotheses can be a less-developed idea, all of which warrant consideration.
Right outside our classroom windows, joyous crowds with amplified voices and thundering drummers propelled a colossal dragon along Harrison Avenue.
But intriguing seminars could not compare to sitting in my epidemiology class at Jaharis Center during Chinese New Year. Right outside our classroom windows, joyous crowds with amplified voices and thundering drummers propelled a colossal dragon along Harrison Avenue. Such luck is no accident—Friedman is proud to be a citizen of Chinatown.
Highlights of my Friedman years: A whirlwind field trip to Head Start and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offices in Boston. A tour of the Preventative Food Pantry at Boston Medical Center. A tour at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging where I learned how to measure a waist—at the narrowest point, never mind the navel. I wrote my best work so far for a class serendipitously taught on Zoom because of COVID-19.
Here’s where things stand. I haven’t done enough to feed hungry people. I did my part to decouple exercise from weight loss. My GPA is 3.69. Now I’m hooked on becoming a better writer. I have resources organized for after graduation and soon I will set sail. And then I want to write something amazing.