I’ve been delaying writing this post because I couldn’t really figure out what I wanted to say about the topic. Actually, I didn’t even really know how I felt about it, either. But I think I’ve worked it through in my head and here’s the nitty-gritty of what I need to tell you:
- I want to learn about food.
- I want to go to culinary school.
- I was very disappointed with the professionalism and quality of the program I was in last semester.
- The classes I need to finish my degree are only available at select campuses—the closest of which being 90 minutes away from where I live.
- I’m confused.
I honestly don’t know what to do. If I didn’t have a job and had a ton of cash, I’d transfer schools. I’d pick the cream-of-the-crop culinary school that’s only 30 minutes away and spend all my days learning how to make roux and fillet fish, but neither of those situations fit my world. I went to the school I chose because it was affordable, convenient and flexible with my schedule. And I could tell the quality of the education suffered. I mean, for God’s sake, there were grammatical errors in every single paragraph of every single syllabus I received! Not to be a snob, but I expect my instructors to at least know the difference between there, their and they’re. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask. Oh, and reply to emails in less than 14 days. That’d be nice, too. Oh, and I expect my classes to require a bit more effort on my part than 10 minutes each week. I want to be challenged!
I was just really disappointed in my experience. And now that we’ve moved, I’d have to drive 90 minutes to get that same lackluster experience in person, and I just don’t know if it’s worth the stress, time or the cash. So I just now, this very second, dropped my classes. I feel bad. I feel like a quitter. I feel like I’m disappointing you guys. But at the same time, I feel better. I feel relieved. I feel like it’s the right move for me.
So what’s next? Well, I’ve been looking pretty closely at some online certificates in plant-based and holistic nutrition, which is right up my alley, obviously. I so desperately want to learn more about food that those certificates look super interesting to me! I would still love to eventually get myself into a professional teaching kitchen to learn execution, but I think to get that at a high-quality school requires some availability and flexibility on my part, which I just don’t have with my job. I know, I know. People do it all the time. People go to school and have a job and have kids and take care of their ailing parents. I know I’m not special or super busy. But I do know that I personally just can’t fit that kind of commitment in right now. And I think it is important that we all know our own mental breaking point and try not to judge ourselves based on what other can or cannot do.
The ironic part of this whole thing? I work for a major state university. Heck, they even offer us free credits each semester as part of our benefits package (which doesn’t matter, because there is no culinary program). And yet working there is the thing that’s keeping me from going back to school. Such is the price you pay for gainful employment. Hey, it keeps my mortgage paid and my Greek yogurt supply plentiful, and that, my friends, ain’t a bad life. As my Papaw always said, you can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything you want.