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Old 09-06-2013, 08:11 AM   #11
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
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Originally Posted by Letrell View Post
I want to thank all of you for the kind welcome. Had a call today from the .... the.... hmmm.... not sure what to call him. Chef in charge of the culinary program? LOL. He was questioning if I really knew what I was getting into....said it was "like real college". I had to smile. I guess he hadn't looked at my 4.0 gpa that was transferring in..."real college". He was very nice...just wanted to make certain it was what I really wanted to do. I'll be away from home Sunday through Friday (like I'm going to complain?). Dang, it's a vacation for me! I look forward to it.

It's so hard to wrap my thoughts around the fact that it's time for "me", if that makes sense.

It's a nice feeling
What is the program like? The one I was in had classroom classes twice a week and kitchen (lab) classes twice a week, Mon.-Thurs. and Fridays off. The curriculum was divided into five-week sessions, so every five weeks, we started two new classes. It's a 15-month program for an associate's in culinary arts.

The classroom part was easy for me (I have a BSBA and a certificate in professional writing) and I loved the kitchen classes, but they were physically grueling.

Being a mature student will have another advantage the kids don't have: discretionary income For the tourneed potatoes, I bought a bird's beak paring knife, which makes it easier to cut, and I practiced the knife cuts at home by making lots of soup broth (carrots, onions and celery cut into precise dice, brunoise, batonet, etc.; garlic paste; minced parsley, etc.). The kids mostly couldn't afford to buy these items.

A couple other tips: Add scissors and a ruler to your knife kit and bring a kitchen scale so you don't have to wait to use one.

The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:44 AM   #12
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Location: East Boston, MA
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Sounds like you got some excellent advice from Got Garlic.

One more word. There are those people in your life who don't want you to succeed. They are used to having you in one role in life. And that role has always been to serve them. Don't let them stand in your way. Remind yourself that if you were living in another country or another part of this country far away, they would have to solve their own problems. You are out of reach. You know the saying, "Either you are with me or your are not. If you are, lets take this journey together. If you are not, get out of my way." Everyone here is going to be taking that journey with you. (Some with a little bit of silent envy.) Good luck and remember, we are always here for you.

Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:52 PM   #13
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What a wonderful opportunity, Letrell! Glad you are now posting amongst us! I'm excited to hear about your experiences!
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:03 PM   #14
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Location: Wyoming
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I started nursing school at 35, finished in 4 years...best thing I ever did. I do miss cooking, though.

Welcome and like others have said, we enjoy listening about your adventures.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:09 AM   #15
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oregon
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I'm overwhelmed by these bits of wisdom and encouragement. Thank you all so much. Today, I needed them.

The day started out well and went downhill as far as school. Nasty. I had this "feeling" I needed to make sure all was in place.

The school is 100 miles away, over the mountains...snow, SNOW and MORE SNOW during the winter months...usually starts in October. Classes are Mon-Friday, all day each day. They start on the 30th.

So...owing to experience, I called the school and asked where we stood on financial aide (loans). I was told they haven't seen anything yet. I freaked. Well why not? I did it months ago. No clue..we'll call you back. So I get a call back. I had made a mistake and instead of sending for transcripts from former colleges, sent for financial aide....so I am all set at 3 universities...LOL...just not the culinary school. Okay..I can fix that... I made changes and got the email from FAFSA stating all was well.

So the sec'y tells me it will take 8 weeks to get any funding. I nearly passed out. So where do I come up with the initial $4,200? I was not happy at all. She tells me it's okay, I just have to pay for the books and uniforms and the tuition will be paid out of the funding. Well great....who's got $700 for books? I work 11 hours a week at near minimum wage. So, I was stressed. I closed my office door, closed my eyes and yes, a few tears fell. I thought I had come so far...I couldn't let this happen.

Determination kicked in and I am having a garage sale in a few weeks. LOL. Time to clean it out and get rid of it. I asked my boss for a draw on my final check and voila...I get it. It's enough to pay for all the books.

Long and short of it. I have my first mandatory meeting on Monday night, then a week from, I have my final mandatory meeting...we'll get our final syllabus, we have the list of books, we get measured for our chef jackets, get a complete list of everything we need that has not already been mailed to us..then report for class on the 30th at 8am.

I'm excited again. I was ... WAS ... really upset. The lesson here, don't give up. Keep going and it will work out...may take a bit of fenagling, but it will always work out.

I would love to hear more about everyone else on here. What brought you here, why you cook, what you love about it, hate about it, etc. And...am I the only one that thinks Geoffrey Zacharian walks on water?


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Old 09-07-2013, 11:35 AM   #16
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I love cooking, but wanted a better paying job for our future, I was just a cook, never a chef. Even in college I picked jobs in the cafeterias at school as my work study. Had a blast. Even taught the cafeteria manager how to do "to order steaks" for the students, we were serving hundreds at each meal.

Now that Shrek and I are much older, our diets have had to change and I don't get as much pleasure from cooking as I used to. I still love to eat though.

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