Monday, January 20, 2014

Jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire!

Skull and crossbones cake!  This was my first finished project in the Wilton class that I took last year.  I had a lot of fun in the classes I took, but I found that they were a little too basic and Wilton product based, so I started to think about immersing myself in a more intense learning experience. I discovered that Oakland Community College has a pastry certificate in its Culinary Arts program. After a little research and an orientation, I decided I would jump in and give it a try.

After a delayed start to the school semester due to a big snowstorm, I had my first culinary class last week. The class is Food Standards, Sanitation, and Hygiene and it is the first prerequisite before entering the kitchen skills classes. The instructor seemed genuinely apologetic that we would have to double up and cover so much information to make up for the snow day.  So we went over four chapters, including what is likely the most difficult one in the whole class, which is all about food-borne illnesses.  While we don't have to know all the science and medical details behind the illnesses, it is a lot of challenging, complex names for the various pathogens and illnesses.  It has been a LONG time since I have had to learn such things in a structured manner, but with the help of a flash card app for my Ipad, I think I have been doing well.  I guess we will see tomorrow, when we take two quizzes and a test.  Pretty intense for a week of reading and studying and the second day of class!

Sometimes I wonder about jumping into college again.  Especially right now, studying parasites and viruses and kitchen sanitation methods.  It seems so different from what I have been doing for the past several years.  But I guess that's the point... to shake myself up and do something very different to give myself some perspective and get a plan for my career for the future. Friends and loved ones keep asking me a lot of questions about those plans, and it's really just too soon to say.  I find myself making a lot of justifications for going back to school, but honestly, what I end up doing with the college credit or certificate (if I continue to completion) doesn't really matter. I think the process of learning new things and seeing the career potential in my new studies is inspiring and is just what I need right now. I think it is also helping me to focus on my ceramics and jewelry career as well, because I have been re-dedicated to it this year and have been really thinking hard about what I want to continue and what I need to move away from so I can have time for new studies and work.

Off to bed for another round of flash cards and a good night's sleep before tomorrow's tests!

Sweet Dreams!

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