I've just finished chairing the examiners' meeting that finalises grades for students in our School. (For those who might think that uni lecturers have nothing to do once the students have left - forgeddit! This is the time when we: finish exam-related admin, work with grad students, prepare for next year's teaching, write papers, do a bit of research... But I digress.) This was a new role for me & the several days' preparation for the meeting left me feeling a bit like this:
So before the meeting I did what I suspect many do in this position - stocked up on 'V' & other commercial caffeine sources & made a pot of tea. (Green tea. Jasmine dragon pearl tea, actually - lovely stuff.) Only to be to told by my science colleagues that: this one contains ammoniated caramel (see if you can guess which product that's in!) & that's a neurotoxin, while that one will see me taking something for acid reflux in next to no time.
Am I worried? Not particularly. Because I'm pretty sure that, like many other things, the dose is what's important. Water, for example - you have to have it, but drink too much of it & you'll be a very sad (& possibly dead) puppy. Or vitamins - vitamin A's an essential part of your diet, but take it in megadoses (eg by eating carnivore liver...) & you'll discover the unpleasant effects of hypervitaminosis A.
So - I'll continue with the commercial stuff in moderation. And I certainly won't be giving up my nice pot of tea any time soon!