This is my journey as I return to school and work in a profession I once dabbled in as a means for funding an after college 7 year long ski trip...not as a viable career choice. I hope I entertain, enlighten and learn something from any readers I may attract.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Something to look forward to

Now that my financial aid has been approved, I can get excited about my fall classes. I registered a couple weeks ago, but until the deal is sealed, I try not to get too excited. I cannot wait for school to start. This semester is different. I have a new profound appreciation for the physical act of attending classes. Last semester I could not physically attend school. I was involved in an extremely bad car wreck in January, about 3 weeks into Spring semester. It was a very stupid crash, and I won't bore you with the details, but after coming home from a week's hospital stay and titanium in my face as a souvenir, I had to make choices about school. Percocet does not make me decisive but I still knew what I had to do. Obviously facial inuries have lots of fallout... including drooling which is highly frowned upon at school. I had to drop my 2 lab classes from the giddy up. I had already missed several deadlines (by this time) but after speaking to my extremely understanding profs, I stayed in my online courses. I was able to tweak my nutrition class and do all work online as well. Oddly enough, we had a presentation to do in that class but I was one of the last to get the signup sheet so I was forced (luckily) to do mine during the last class before the wreck. Lucky me! Last semester my entire learning experience was hands on keyboard, not hands on ingredients, which is what I like. I'll stop here and say that I try to balance my schedule with some lab, and some textbook classes so I can do a little of everything. I also have the luxury of classes passed in my previous college experience; these classes also allow for more play in my schedule. Getting back on track, I am very satisfied with Fall semester's lineup.

I will have 2 long lab days for 5 credit hour Quantity class that will sandwich a 3 hour management class. Then I will take the required psych, interpersonal communications, and hos marketing online. I wish I could take marketing in person, but the timing was off. I also was unable to line up another lab class this semester. Alot of my scheduling has to do with a certain chef instructor I had and really identified with. This person's style of teaching really jibed with my learning style, and I wanted to have that repoire if convenient. I don't even think I will be his student past this semester as he doesn't seem to teach many other topics. Anyhow I got him for my 2 on campus classes, and feel fortunate to already know the general expectations. The guy is no pushover, I found/find him very intimidating yet very fair. The fact thet he encourages his students based on their level of dediaction, interest, and participation thrills me. I hate being in classes where the slow/inept/disinterested get the most attention. I am there to work, I want to spend every second learning or trying something. If I am waiting for chef, I often eavesdrop incase he tells you something I don't know. But if you are asking him how to zero out the scales on the 10th class meeting, I will avoid partnering up with you like the plague. I had a partner last fall who was afraid of cleaning fish, and on the day we had to simply 6 way a chicken, she gave her chicken a name and made several sympathetic comments to the extremely dead "henry" the chicken. Needless to say it would seem like a problem. No, my chef began assigning my the more technical aspects of the preparation and addressing me on the progress of our assisnments. He was able to keep me engaged and challenged while occupying the girl who was required to take the class. That is fair. I also think we both walked away from that class with an equal trade for what we put into it. In other words, it was not all lost on her, but I probably learned more because I wanted to. This will bode well for me. The other plus of course is the familiarity factor since I probably will not know anyone else in the room. The people I started with most likely passed these classes during the spring and have moved on.
Being twice some students age can be intimidating, I know I am not very "cool." I have the same insecurities we all do when joining a new group of people, will they like me? what if they are all a million times better than me? what if ? what if? Yeah it is all childish, but we all do it to some extent. It's how you deal with it. I usually just try to get along with everybody, and do my best work without complaint. It seems to work, and I count "henry the chicken" girl, and a few other 20 year olds as new friends. It is really only when chef asks pop culture questions that I seem to show much age. For example, once he asked for names of famous or influential chefs. The mainly 20something student body replied by pretty much naming the food network's lineup. When he pointed to me, I replied with Trotter, Child, and Pepin. Hmmm, lots of ground covered between Paula and Pepin. Yes my answers came from the heart, not from what the tv told me to say. But really other than that, the real business of school is learning and that's what most of the people are there to do. And I can't wait to get started learning again!


Anonymous said...

Hey, Chef-To-Be:

Found your blog from Ruhlman. I wish you the best of good luck in your field. Your rant about They struck a nerve, I feel the same way. And have raised 2 sons and one daughter the same (one to go!)

Good luck in your classes!

(btw: I think "repoire" should be "rapport". Sorry)


CarolinaGirl said...

Thanks John!
I appreciate the spelling correction. God, my 4 readers are smart!!!lol

ps beware of them!