Culinary School Re-cap

Back in November I posted about my campus visit to Johnson & Wales University (JWU).  In the post I discussed how JWU has been my dream school since high school – so we are talking 11 years I have waited to even apply there.  I had planned to originally apply while in high school and my Grandma Lu said she would help me financially sadly though while working one day I tore my rotator cuff and had to put my dream of culinary school off.  Life caught up with me and off to work I went.  Went to college for a semester and again, life caught up with me so back to work I went, as you can see this tends to be the cycle of my life.  Well I decided to put an end to that cycle.  When we moved to Rhode Island last summer I couldn’t find a job anywhere. After months and months of applying to places and getting no calls for interviews Bryan and I talked about it and decided that maybe I should finally apply to JWU and see if I get in.  They offer a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Nutrition which is right along the path for my future plans. My final goal is to become a Registered Dietitian and work with people who have food allergies and be a personal chef on the side.  To teach them how to take the recipes they love and create them to be allergy friendly.I applied, went for a campus visit and a week after the visit I was accepted!  I couldn’t believe it.

Eleven years later I finally started at my dream school.  My first term of school (it is a trimester based system but when I said “almost finished with my first trimester” people got a bit confused, I am not now nor will I ever have that kind of trimester, so I refer to them as terms instead, makes life much easier) started in March and ended two weeks ago and consisted of all academic courses.  I took Public Speaking, Leadership, Biology and Menu Planning and Cost Control.  During the first week I kept think “what did I get myself into??” I hate public speaking, I’m sooo not a leader, eh – biology is fine and menu planning/cost control I was just lost, a complete underdog in that course.  I gave myself a goal at the beginning that I would be happy with B’s in most of these courses and if I ended up with at least a 3.5 GPA that would be awesome.  I was pretty much the only freshmen in all my courses.  I was placed into sophomore courses because I was able to transfer in a decent amount of courses/credits from my previous school (thankfully!), this also means my program will end up being a bit shorter than expected (yay!!).

My classes were Monday – Thursday from 7:10 am – 11:15 am.  Not too bad of a schedule.  I would get up a little after 4 am, take the bus to Providence and be home between 12:30 and 1:30 every day.  Which left me the rest of the day to do homework, stuff around the house and make dinner for Bryan and myself.

The classes weren’t too hard.  As I said I hate public speaking but managed to hold my own in that class.   I went in to my menu planning and cost control class feeling like the biggest underdog but came out on top which made me feel really good.  On the first day of that class she asked us to introduce someone in the class but saying their name, goal for the class and summer plans.  My goal for the class was to pass it, and I accomplished it. The funny thing is I am in school with people who are at about 10-12 years younger than myself and the best part is seeing their faces when they realize that I’m almost 30.  I know I don’t look it at all and I’m happy about that but it’s still really funny when they find out.

I was a bit annoyed with some aspects of this first term namely the orientation and the “pick your work-study job” event, completely unorganized and took FOREVER.  I try to be good about these things but man does it get under my skin after working in higher education for nine years there are just easier ways of doing certain things.  With that aside, the rest was fine.

I made it through and have to say I’m pretty darn proud of myself.  I haven’t been in high school 12 years now and haven’t been in a college class for at least 6 years and managed to get a 4.0 in my first term of school – yep I got all A’s!!

Right before finals was a bit of a hard time for myself and my family and wasn’t sure how I was going to finish the last few courses.  My grandfather, one of the most amazing man in the world suddenly passed away from a hiatal hernia. I can’t put into words my love for my grandfather and the sadness that surrounds his death.  The fact that he will not be physically present when I get married still brings me to tears, I know he will be there on that day but it just isn’t the same.  He is not there for me to tell him about my grades, he is not there to share in my excitement when Bryan and I do get engaged, he is not there for me to call and laugh at the way he answers the phone and most recently I realized as tears flooded my eyes he is not here for me to send a father’s day card to. I miss him dearly.  During all of this my dad and I were going through a bunch of photos of my gramp so we could put together a collage to show at the funeral home, not the easiest thing to do.  After seeing the number of photos and realizing that these photos could be lost Bryan bought me a scanner, so now I have the ability to scan all these photos, edit them in photoshop (remove dust etc.) and make sure that we never lose these wonderful memories of an amazing man.  If you wish to check out a few of the photos you can see them on my Flickr page.

Next term I will taking: Intro to Baking and Pastry, New Word Cuisine, Soups Stocks and Sauces, Traditional European Cuisine, Essentials of Dining Room and Food Safety and Sanitation.  My schedule will be a bit different – still Monday-Thursday (except if there is a Monday holiday then we will have labs on that Friday) and they will run from 7am-1pm.  Each course runs for 9 days and then on to the next one (except the Food Safety and Sanitation course – that is a hybrid course that only meets in class a few times the rest is online).

Now that I have a bit of time on my hands, the blogging, recipes, reviews and giveaways will continue.  Thank you for reading, your continued support, encouragement, kind words and patience during these last few months.


4 thoughts on “Culinary School Re-cap

  1. I am so happy for your success in culinary school, Jenny. All As is awesome, but I’m not surprised. 😉 But I’m sad to hear about the loss of your grandfather. That is very, very tough. I’m so sorry. Hoping you’ll keep those special memories close at hand for the times when you need them most.


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