At the May 5 kick-off event for the Bok Center’s 40th anniversary celebration, former Harvard president Derek Bok recalled his first speech to the faculty, in 1971 when his term began, which he devoted to the subject of teaching. Afterward Bok spoke to his friend the eminent physicist Gerald Holton, “and I asked him, Gerry, how did it go? And he said, well, 80 percent of the faculty have given up on you.”
Zach Nowak, a Bok Center Departmental Teaching Fellow, brought the canned meat product Spam to the first day of section for a course on American food history.
Spam, first created in the United States in the late 1930s and used to fuel troops during the Second World War, has since fallen out of favor, going the way of ersatz coffee as a food most people would probably rather avoid if given the choice. Today, Spam often conjures up associations of tastelessness and poor quality rivaled only, perhaps, by Dickensian gruel.