Thursday, June 3, 2010

The One Where I Find My Calling

I discovered this morning that the community college here offers culinary programs. I'm. . .pretty excited about that, considering I checked out a culinary institute nearby a few months back, and discovered it would cost me roundabouts $50k a year.

That's, um, more than 2 years' worth of salary.

I understand the need for an education, but I feel like you shouldn't have to give up eating in order to learn how to feed other people. The institute's program was a great one, but the guy who gave me the tour and information and everything was trying. . .a little too hard. He gave me the usual statistics, X% of people who go here find work immediately.

Well, considering no full class has graduated from this particular location, I don't see how you could promise that.

"Oh," he says, "those are statistics from all of the locations combined."

I see.

So, basically you're charging me $50k to maybe possibly get a job.

I also read this article saying that culinary schools may or may not be kind of overrated and unnecessary. They say (like this one place did) that they can definitely get you employment, but what they DON'T tell you is that, yeah, they can definitely get you employment. . .maybe as a dishwasher or a bus boy.

Note: There is absolutely nothing wrong with washing dishes or bussing. I've bussed. But I, at the time, had not spent a ton of money getting an education so I could be the person who makes the food that gets eaten off the dishes which are then bussed.

So this program at the technical college could be a great thing. I could either get a certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts or an Associate's Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. Since there are only 5 classes involved in the BPA certificate program, I thought (and D agreed) that I could do that, to have the certificate, and then start working. . .somewhere and go for the Associate's.

I read the requirements for the different things, and freaked out when I saw that the program required a 600 on the math part of the SATs. I freaked out until I realized that that is for people graduating high school right now, and I have enough college stuff (you know. . .a degree) for that not to pertain to me. But the conversation about it with D went like this:

Me: I was really freaked out when I saw that you have to have a 600 math on the SATs to get into the program.

D: Is 600 a high score?

Me: (pouting) Noooooo. . .

(I don't know if I've ever mentioned how much I hate /slash/ am bad at math. Hate it muchly. Am awful at it.)

The program for the certificate requires you to take Sanitation & Safety; Basic Culinary Skills; Baking I; Hot and Cold Desserts; and Cakes Design and Decorating.

Fun, right?

As soon as I win the lottery, I'll be able to pay for it, since I've passed the deadline for registering for financial aid until the 2011 Spring Semester.

I'm hoping I can make this become a thing.


  1. Hi! Stopping by from SITS.

    So, culinary school via community college/jr college is pretty good--I was the first to enroll in Keiser's Culinary School here in Tallahassee (I'm thinking your in south Florida?) and I really enjoyed the program (2 full years, summers included, since I was a night student). Attrition rate was inSANE--we started with over 20 people in our class and maybe 5 finished the program at the end of year 2 (internship included). Day pods were slightly better, life tended to interfere less, but it's something to keep in mind.

    Also... um... gosh, I hate to say this but, well... Baking? Is all about the math. Percentages and ratios mostly since baking formulas are done as ratios with everything compared to the weight of the flour(s) which can wig you out a bit when you see a recipe that adds up to 352% or some such. Don't let that discourage you if it's really what you want to do just know that you will have to face the math.

    Good luck whatever you decide and feel free to email me with any questions regarding culinary school if you'd like to pick someone's brain whose been there.

  2. Hey, thanks!

    Not in FL, actually. I'm in NC. A little further north! :)

    I should clarify here, actually. . .fractions and ratios and percentages, I can do. I don't LIKE it, but I can do it. It's when you get into ridiculous x=y=3z stuff that my head explodes. Fractions make sense to me. Letters equaling numbers does not.