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!