So I’m noticing something about community colleges: people are dropping like flies. My class started with a healthy 115 students and has already dwindled to 80. From my experience, I’m learning that a lot of students in community college have heavy loads in school and out of school and still come in day after day. Some of my classmates work two jobs to support themselves. Others work full time jobs, come to class and care for their families or sick relatives. A few students are re-entering the academic world after being in the corporate world or being incarcerated.
Many students have had to stop because they can’t maintain school and other pressing responsibilities I’ve failed to mention. I feel blessed and grateful that I am in a position to come to class. Regardless of the reasons people stop, it’s definitely noticeable. Today, as I washed my dishes from lab, I had a conversation with a Chef teaching an advanced class I’ll be taking next semester. We talked about a few things, but what I remember most was what she said about finishing the culinary program. “You have to want it,” were her exact words. “You have to want it so much that you give one hundred percent of yourself on campus, then go home and practice. If you don’t practice, you’ll never be good.”
With the Chef’s words in my mind, I began to practice all of the things I felt uncomfortable doing or have been scared to do in class. One of my biggest problems so far has been not wanting to fail. I want to excel at every project I encounter without a mistake. The problem is that’s pretty much impossible. In general, no one comes out of the womb knowing how to do anything. You have to learn to do things like walk, talk, eat and write by practicing. I’ll tackle one or two things at a time, but I am vowing to become comfortable and proficient as a pastry student. For the remainder of the month, I will grab my pastry bag, fill it with melted chocolate and write because as of now my chocolate writing looks like a seven year old did it. I will also fill another bag with practice buttercream and pipe borders. Instead of letting fear stunt my growth, I will practice.