Goodbye fall, hello winter!

Campus15The temperatures are dropping and the evidence of fall is slowly disappearing, and so is the fall trimester! I can’t believe that my first term at Johnson & Wales is ending tomorrow. What an adventure these last ten weeks have been. Lots of high points, a few low points now and then, but so many new experiences! I’m always learning new ways of doing things, and working just a little bit faster with each class.

My Fundamentals class, the fourth lab of the trimester, was a nightmare. I loved my chef (he’s somehow earned the nickname Chef Cutie Pants within my class of 18 girls), but piping and knife cuts were two things that I’m still just not good at. To my chef’s credit, he tried really hard to keep working with me on it. There’s a certain amount of muscle control that I just don’t have and he seemed to understand, and suggested several different ways of standing that might help me compensate for that lack of control with a lot more practice.

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Add an injury to that segment and it just wasn’t a good time. Some guy in Philly managed to mow me down while he was staring at his phone even though I tried to step out of the way, and I ended up straining a ligament in my right foot. I wore an air cast for two weeks which helped, but I couldn’t wear it in labs so I was still moving at a snail’s pace during my practical. I still finished though, and somehow managed to get an A in the class. That was pretty weird, I didn’t even know if I would pass, let alone get an A. But I won’t ask questions! His final remarks on the last day were so encouraging, especially after all of the effort I put into piping that didn’t really pay off. With Fundamentals behind me, I was so ready to move on and enjoy my next lab.

Enjoy it I did – how can you not like learning to make ice cream pretty much every day? Hot and Cold Desserts is so much fun and I love my chef. He hasn’t taught the class much so he’s a little disorganized, but he’s so funny. After being with an instructor who just nitpicked everything to pieces (never a bad thing, just emotionally exhausting after a while), it’s such a nice change to be having so much fun every day.

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While this isn’t technically a plated desserts class – that will be in the spring – we get to play around with plating techniques quite a bit. Good thing, because it’s not easy. I’m trying to develop an eye for it, but it’s going to take a lot of practice. It’s nice to get a little exposure to it this segment so I’m not completely at a loss later!

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 We’ve covered ice creams as well as a few flambéed desserts, which were terrifying and a lot of fun. We’ve also done some American classics that pair well with ice cream, like apple crisp, blueberry cobbler, and apple strudel.

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I’ll be finishing up this term with a 3.8-ish GPA. Not too shabby since according to North Miami, I’m not physically able to handle the teaching environment at JWU. It’s an accomplishment that I owe completely to a few administrators here in Providence and to all of my chef instructors. Since getting here I’ve felt nothing but welcome, and most of my instructors have done everything they can to help me succeed when they see the effort I put in. I may not be the fastest worker, but I’ll show up at quarter to six in the morning for extra practice every time.

I’m so incredibly happy here. I’m learning things about pastry that I never imagined I’d be doing already, I’m staying involved with tons of clubs on campus, and I’m learning what my limits are and how to push past them every day. Because of what I went through to get here I know that every day I spend here is such a gift, and I definitely treat it as such.

That being said, I’m so excited to be leaving in three days to spend ten days in weather that’s not below freezing! I’ll be flying home for Thanksgiving and our term break on Saturday, and I can’t wait to spend a week and a half at home. It’s not always fun to be so far from family, so any chance to get home is always appreciated!

Tomorrow is the last day of my Hot and Cold Desserts class, then it’s on to Viennoiserie after the break. With such an amazing fall term behind me, I can’t wait to see what’s ahead!

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