I can’t believe I’m back in school. I told myself after I graduated from KU back in 1998, that was it. I was done. But, here I am, at the local JC, taking culinary arts classes. Well, one class. I wanted to see if it was really what I wanted. Plus, all of the classes are from 6-10pm and a good 45 minutes away from home.
My instructor, Chef Charles, is a Cornhusker. For those of you who don’t know, it means he went to the University of Nebraska. No problems there, not a rival. He’s originally from Cncinnati, Ohio, currently works for Pilgrims Pride – R&D and has previously worked for ConAgra Foods. He seems alright, if a bit of a slow talker, who likes to talk. But, one of the things that didn’t warm me to him was that he mentioned the term mise en place, but didn’t pronounce it as I’d heard it prounounced before, and he didn’t spell it correctly when I asked for the spelling. Someone looked it up in the glossary and gave me the spelling I had written down. Maybe I just didn’t get his accent, who knows. We’ll see how things goes next week.
We all introduced ourselves, reviewed the syllabus, then took a tour of the kitchen. Each week we’ll have a 30 minute lecture, then we’ll be cooking for the rest of the class. Chef Charles said everyone had to eat what they made, unless they were allergic, well, at least try it. No problem here. I’m game for just about anything. I’m no Andrew Zimmern, but I don’t think I have to worry about anything like that.
When I meet people for the first time, I can usually tell if we’re compatible or not. Let’s just say, I didn’t quite click with any of my classmates. Not that I won’t try to be friendly or anything like that. It just would have been nice to be able to relate to one of them. And yes, I’m probably judging some books by their covers. I’m not perfect. Here’s the rundown (I can’t remember all their names! There’s only 10 of us, you’d think I could remember them all.)
S1 – female, glasses, brunette, pink polo shirt, jeans, huge belt buckle, pink & brown cowboy boots, 2 children, drawing unemployment, loves to bake, hates to decorate cakes
S2 - female, glasses, blonde, works for Love’s, going to open a restaurant with dad, smoker, skinny
S3 – female, older, owned a flower shop, cooking is second love, smoker
Carla - female, african-american, drives over 65 miles each way to come to class, 4 children, draws unemployment, finally has the opportunity to go to school, talks alot, said to me “I know you can cook good sh*t, all that sushi and stuff”
Shanna/Shawna - female, 18, hs student, wants to get out of school as soon as possible, has a 23 yo electrician bf
Heather - female, pitcher for JC softball team, loves to bake
Blake - male, 19, 2nd semester, hoping to graduate this semester, reminds me of Jerry O’Connell’s character in Stand by Me, only blonde, with glasses and a little bigger
LeWanda – female, african-american, wore scrubs
Tanya – female, hispanic, just quit her job due to health reason – cancer, just wants to learn how to cook
And Me. Definitely an eclectic group of students.
I still need to get my book, chef coat and hat. Hopefully I can get to the campus bookstore before my class on Thursday. I’m excited to get started.