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.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Why aren't my chefs aware that all students are there to learn? I am in upper level classes. The weeding out has aready occured. The herd of students has been thinned. With Dean's List grades every semester, I obviously take my education seriously and work hard to prove I deserve to be treated seriously. But because I am a 36 year old woman, I have a hell of a time finding other serious students to pair with. I have been relegated to the dishroom more than I have cooked! Oh..and the partner I got stuck with is the one who shows up late, never gets or writes down the full instructions and spends part of lecture and daily breifing asleep! I spoke to my chef suggesting to him that maybe he could assign partners so we could be exposed to others in our class. I explained that I felt hindered by my partner and wanted to get the most out of this experience. Anything change? You betcha. The next meeting, it got worse. Of 12 students, guess who was doing the dishes? Me, my partner, and the only other woman in our class. Did I mention 2 of us are black, and we are all over 25 years old? Guess who was doing the cooking... all young males just like our instructor.Physical disparity? Perhaps... I hate the caste system employed by this instructor. I am a good student cook, I am serious, I am paying for this out of my shallow pocket, and I recreate every dish we make at home. I always am in uniform ready to roll, and I take the time to make a mise list and read and copy my recipes (even putting one on a card for my pocket and one in a plastic sheet cover for later placement in my binder) On my last cooking final, I scored a 98, and was the first student done, and first with a clean work space. I believe in myself and my abilities, and ask only relevant questions. I volunteer for everything I can take on but every damn time a boy gets chosen over me. I want to work hard, and learn. I am not training for a job in a dish room, I want to be a chef, dammit! Do I feel like part of a minority? Absolutely!!! Why are the older women singled out as weak and unworthy? I think I could go head to head with any guy in my class but if I never get the chance, how will I ever now? Please Chef instructors of the world, BE FAIR!!! If you have nontraditional students, treat them the same as the more traditional students! We are spending our own money, not Dad's, and are probably more focused than some of our classmates. (My opinon... I remember my first degree and the 6 years it took to earn and balance my very busy social life. Brought to you by the letters I for immaturity and U for unfocused) I want an education not a free pass to good grades via the you-can't-screw up-your grade-in-the-dishroom Express. I want to screw up, get yelled at and fight for a B. I want to accidentally burn myself. I want what the others get! I can stand the heat, put me in the kitchen!
How would you deal with this? I can understand the 22 year old boy who was quite vocal that he did not want to be my partner, youth. (yes, the little bastard hurt my feelings, but I actually appreciate his POV, I wasn't born old!!) I understand that the older students are more likely to exhibit professional behavior and may come across as uptight. (get to know me, then decide....we may have similar hobbies and tastes LOL) I get it. I am different than you. But, isn't the chef there to give all students the same education and opportunity to learn? If a student asks for a challenge, give it to them, if they fail, they fail. That's the thing about learning! If I fail, I will die trying to succeed. I went to school with the goal of being the best I can be, that's all. I didn't realize my Chef thought my goal was to be the best dishdawg I could be. I will not go so far as to use the word discrimination but it kinda smells that way......