Monday, November 29, 2004

All My Dreams Are Coming True

Yesterday morning when I woke up I wanted to be a Culinary Scientist. In fact, every day I wake up wanting to be a Culinary Scientist, but I knew I probably wouldn't ever achieve that goal, because to become a Culinary Scientist, among other things, you need to take over 300 hours of classes at a school accredited by the American Culinary Federation. The closest school to me was SIU-E which is a little far away, and in Illinois, and as a Missouri resident, I would get charged up the wazoo for the few classes they had. It wouldn't be enough coursework, it wouldn't be paid for by my company because they could care less if I have any culinary skills, and I couldn't afford it. I was going to have to get a new job and move or something. It seemed pretty hopeless, and I was pretty much resolved to the fact that I was stuck. It made me sad and depressed.

When I woke up this morning, I still wanted to be a Culinary Scientist, just like every other day. But today at work I got this in the inter-office mail from a colleague:

It's the magazine of the Research Chefs Organization, which administers the Research Chef and Culinary Scientist Certification programs. I'm the only one around who has any interest in this magazine, and I'm the only one who doesn't get it. Somehow I didn't make it onto the right mailing list. Anyway, looking at the magazine got me looking for a way to receive it myself, and while poking around on the web site, I got to looking at the certification requirements again, and for kicks, I went to the ACF website to see what schools are accredited in my area. And what do you know, two schools came up in Missouri this time, and one of them is the St. Louis Community College.


I went to the SLCC website to investigate further, fully expecting few course offerings and even fewer courses I'd like to take. I only want to learn about food, and have no interest in management or running a restaurant or working in a restaurant.

I was wrong.

There are a million classes I'd love to take. Pastry and Baking and Special Foods and Cake Decorating and Garde Manger and it goes on and on, and if I took them all I'd have twice the hours I need for certification. And it's so very local, and it's a community college, so it's not hugely expensive for me, a local. I swear this wasn't there before. I suppose someone at SLCC forgot to tell me that they got accredited.

I submitted my application immediately. I won't actually get an Associates Degree or a Certificate or anything, so it was pretty simple. The first class I have to take is 6 hours, however, and I'm not sure how I'm going to pay for that up front, along with the "uniform, knives and bar towels" they list as the necessary accoutrements to be acquired before the first class. But I'm hoping I can stop making payments on my current student loans while I'm in the class, and that should take care of it. The rest of the classes are only 2 or 3 hours, which'll be nothing. No problem. And they're all offered at night.

I think I just died and went to heaven. Any minute now I'm going to wake up and life is going to suck again. I'm a little bit in shock.

Of course, This 6 hour class meets for over four hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so I'm going to have to make a major sacrifice and miss knitting and church choir for something like four months. It's going to be really difficult. But everyone will understand, right?



Anonymous said...

Hey Beth, that is so cool! All the best to you in that endeavor -- I hope you can get your current student loans suspended so that this isn't so much of a strain (and so you can buy those bar towels!). Follow your dreams... good luck!


Lauren said...

I'm excited for you. I love when things work out so perfectly like that. Yay for not having to drive to Edwardsville!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is awesome! Count on me to live vicariously through you. I took a tour of the Culinary Institute of America and it was about the most inspiring thing ever. (Except the part where they said that students gained an average of 35 pounds in 2 years). Congrats on fate falling your way!

Gwen said...

Totally Cool!!! I know this is something that you have been looking for since you came to St. Louis!!! I think you should go for it.

Talk to the student loan people. My roommate got forbearance for many different reasons during the time we lived together.

I'll buy a bar towel to support you!

Teri said...


I know this is a path you've been wanting to follow for quite some time. I'm very happy for you and wish you all the best!

Suzie said...

That sounds very cool! We'll miss you for 4 months, but we can always keep in touch through your blog.