Thursday, August 10, 2006

The cake or the icing?

Before I go any further,

I haven't made any cakes.
My experience with cakes is restricted to having watched a few being made and eaten a LOT.

Would you like to make the cake or the icing?
Making a cake for the first time is daunting -

  • Read the recipe
  • Wonder if you can do it
  • Think about a hard, burnt cake atleast 3 times
  • Finally decide to attempt it
  • Do the "Oh, I added a little too much of this, so I'll add some more of that" thing many times and end up with much more batter than you actually wanted to
  • Pour it into the baking dish and keep it in the oven and pray
  • Open the oven every five minutes worrying if you'll burn it
  • Take the first one out while its still gooey and burn the second one
  • Start to produce something like a cake from the third time

What would happen with the first-time "icer"?

  • Admire the beautifully done cake and often, the first layer of icing
  • Attempt to make a flower pattern with the icing in one corner
  • You mess it up but no one notices the small thingie in the corner
  • It tastes good anyway
  • Eventually you start making good flowers but nobody seems to notice that either
  • Many people entirely avoid eating the icing

The cake - you have to learn a lot, its tough to make, it takes a lot of time and effort before you produce something edible.
But everybody notices it, eats it once it tastes good and remembers that you made it.

The icing - you can produce something very fast and with little preparation.
But the cake's already there anyway and nobody asks who made the tiny flower on the left corner. Only very few people like ever-hungry grad students eat it.

So what would you choose in your research career? The cake or the icing?


you-know-who-i-am said...

good dessert == layers of cake + some icing. Take both :P

sarvamitran said...

the icing mostly ends up on the bday guy's face - forgot to add that :D

Dvijavanti said...

first-hand experience now ;)? i guess it was more like 'The cake AND the icing' in your case 8-|

Kaycee said...

If you were Marie-Antoinette, you could get guillotined, you know?