I have a rock in my stomach.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early at 6 am, I start culinary school.  That’s right, culinary school.  I never in a million years would I have imagined myself doing this in my younger days, but here I am, on the threshold of something grand and completely nerve wracking.  I haven’t been able to get rid of the jitters and stomach butterflies since Saturday.  I can’t stop thinking about how I might mess something up and get kicked out the first day of class, or if I’ll slice my finger off in “Skills of Meatcutting” or how I am going to manage my time so that I can do the best I can during school.


I was good at college when I went to CU.  Reading and writing papers was fairly easy for me, but there were definitely times where it was hard.  I guess I felt the same way as I do now when I started at CU.  I was far away from home, didn’t know anyone at school and felt incredibly nervous to start class.  But, I made it through all four years.  Actually, I more than just “made it,” I excelled at college.  I made the Dean’s List 4 times.  I graduated with nearly at 4.0 in my English degree.


I feel completely out of my league here.  I wonder if I’m making a giant mistake deciding to do this.  I’m going to be tested on how to break down a chicken.  I will be tested on how sharp my knives are and if I honed them correctly or not.  That is nothing like writing an analysis on “Oliver Twist.”


I will be in class six hours a day, four days a week.  I’ll also be working four days a week, sometimes not getting home until 10:45 the night before class.  I have a 40 minute commute to school, both ways.  An hour and 10 minutes of commute every day.  That means that tomorrow I’ll be getting up at 4:15.  Yep, that early.  Every day this week.  I’ll be making a lot less money during school.  Like enough for me to become really picky and choosy about where I spend money and what I spend it on.  I foresee many reduced grocery bills in our future.


Even though all of these things are in my mind, even though I nearly had a nervous breakdown before orientation on Saturday and almost started crying in the car and even though I couldn’t sleep this morning, I get a huge smile on my face every time I drive up to campus and see the huge Johnson & Wales sign.  The College of Culinary Arts sign make me light up, because that’s my college.  I am a culinary arts student.  Even though I have to iron my chef’s jacket to the utmost perfection and I could be kicked out of class for it not being well pressed, it still makes me proud to wear it.  As I stood on the box, waiting to get my chef’s pants hemmed, I felt at peace.


I have a passion for food.  Making food, learning about food, teaching others about food.  I will succeed.  I will show my chef my super sharp knife and then break down that chicken with the best of them.  Tomorrow morning, I will walk through the doors of the culinary building with my head held high and a smile on my face.  I do belong here.  I will dedicate my life to food and the joy it brings me.


Look out for ironing 101 later today!


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