First Week Frenzy

I’ve never quite understood why educational institutions choose to start new school terms in the middle of a week. In some cases, it can take 2 or 3 days for students to become acclimated to their new surroundings, much less to try and work their way through stacks of syllabi and textbooks, or Heaven forbid…even manage to finish homework assignments during the first 2 days of class. Whew…I’m exhausted just replaying this past Wednesday in my head! I need a break already. OHhhh…maybe those people who thought of having a short starting week really DO know what they are doing!

Despite the crazy schedule, this first week of classes really did rock my world, as it offered me the opportunity to step outside of my creeping depression and get active in life again! I do think I’m beginning to heal, because I noticed that my attitude was much more “glass half full” than it’s been over the past few months. For example, the ongoing construction at the Appleton campus has caused a temporary lack of parking spaces. It’s not overwhelmingly horrible, but it’s apparently enough of a hassle for some people that they voiced their negative opinions and grumbled quite a bit in the halls on Wednesday. However, I was NOT one of those grumblers. Instead, I parked in a remote corner of a lot and walked clear across campus, soaking up the glorious weather along the way! The opportunity even afforded me the gift of realizing that we have a nature preserve area just north of the entrance 10 parking area. Oh my GOSH…I was SO excited! If I hadn’t been on my way to class, I would have stopped for a walk right then and there. Instead, I will grab my camera and take a walk over there this weekend so that I can have some good exploration time.

Oh, another awesome thing happened to me this week, too. Far be it from me to hold back on happy news….

In last week’s post, I talked about my stage fright and how I feared there would be greater expectations of me as a second year student. Well, I was right. My very first class of the semester was a cooking rotation class called “convenience bakery”. As is the case with all culinary rotation classes, I’ll spend 3 hours per day, 4 days per week learning about a specific culinary area. That rotation runs for 3 weeks, and then I’ll move on to the next rotation class. In the convenience bakery rotation, I’ll learn the ins and outs of making convenience pies, pastries, cakes, cookies, soft desserts, and heart healthy products. (Are you drooling yet?) There are competencies in each station that must be achieved in order to pass the class, along with a written exam, and class participation points. That’s all challenging, but reasonable to achieve with hard work and dedication. However, Chef Jenn threw me for a loop when she assigned me to be her sous chef for the next three weeks! For those that may not know what a sous chef is, you can check out this awesome video produced by eHow.com that explains it well:

What Is A Sous Chef

I’m super excited about the adventures and learning experiences that are in store for me as I work with Chef Jenn. Yesterday, I helped her take inventory and place an order. I was AMAZED at the amount of product that is ordered solely for the bake shop. However, after realizing that the school bakes for at LEAST 6 catering events a month, in addition to the needs of the cafeteria, and the supplies needed for the bake shop culinary courses, I had a much better understanding of why we were ordering 25 pounds of shredded coconut!

LET THE BAKING BEGIN! In case you’d like to bake along with me, here is my homework assignment for the weekend. It’s a recipe from the heart healthy station of my rotation class, and I’ll have to bring in samples to share with the class next week. Practice makes perfect, so I’ll probably make several batches of them.  THe fact that they’re delicious AND healthy is just a juicy bonus!

Morning Glory Muffins

Have a wonderful week. I hope to see you back here soon!

Becca

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