Beginnings · School · Work

Welcome to Culinary

I have been a busy, busy girl. Good things only, though, I promise.

First, I went to a special Hospitality orientation, and we had a group of industry people come in. After their little chats, there was an opportunity to ask questions. My favourite question was as follows:

Question: What do you do to cope with the stress of the job?
(All Panelists) Answer: Drink.
Follow-up Question: And for those of us who don’t drink?
Answer: Drugs.
Panelist #1: But seriously, strong family and friends, keeping the life/work balance… and therapy.
Panelist #2: I thought the wine was the therapy?

At the end of that q/a session, the entire room was pretty much doubled over.

Good times.

I told my mum this, and she didn’t see the humour in it quite so much. Keep in mind, this is the same woman that was terrified I was going to become an alcoholic because I took a bar tending course.

All joking aside, though, the four orientations I ended up attending were actually quite interesting, though at some points they were a little tedious. My time in university both did and did not prepare me well for college. On one had, some of the same styles of learning are used, and being able to balance lots of different activities, classes, and modes of learning are required; on the other, college – not just class-wise, but educator-wise – seems a lot more hands on. I’ve noticed even in these first few days that the speeches and activities we’ve been invited to partake in focus a lot on group work, and on the involvement of the school with the students’ learning. As someone coming from a school that is almost the size of my home town (between undergrads and grads, U of T expects around 80,000 students to attend St George campus for the 2012-2013 school year), this is amazing. I haven’t had this much of a hands-on style to learning since my first year abroad, where our class sizes were roughly 20.

Anyways, on a slightly related note, I’ve also been frequenting my school bookstore (bought my chef uniform – and the puffy hat!). The number of times I have dropped by is a little ridiculous. Good ridiculous, but still. They didn’t have my size jacket for a while, since GB is changing the uniforms, and I didn’t want to buy the old one (I’d have to replace it anyways), so I’ve developed a good report with one of the salespeople there. I did manage to buy my knives (so much lust), and my small wares. Didn’t get my aprons and etc. for a while, though, and at that point, one of the gentlemen – the one I’ve been dealing with since I first went in – asked me if I was interested in applying for a job. Apparently my keen attitude towards buying my supplies makes me an attractive prospective employee.

If you recall, I quit my last job on the 13th of August because I didn’t want to have a job during college. Since then, I have been offered two jobs. One was the aforementioned job in the bookstore, which I was tempted to take because it may or may not involve discounts on books, and goodness knows I need those. The second, which was far more tempting, and which I have accepted, is as a Peer Tutor. The latter job pays 12$/hour, is a job with the school, and is funded by the government. Best part (though this could be contended) is that they aren’t allowed to ask me to work more than 15 hours per week, which for me is perfect. Plus, you know, I get to use my BAHon. for something other than a pretty piece of paper on my wall and a blurb in the cover of my future cookbooks (it’s going to happen).

I can see it now. “FarrahKaya is the world famous hostess of the show Foodstuffs With Farrah, and the author of such titles as, “Gluten-Free is Good!” and “Diabetic Desserts”*. She graduated from George Brown College after receiving her BAHon. at the University of Toronto. She now resides in downtown Toronto with her Dachshund Frank**, and her Jack Russel Wishbone***.”

This would happen.

Anyhow, I took the tutoring job, and therefore stuck to my resolution about not having a job during college for roughly two weeks. Go me.

I’m honestly starting to get a little worried about all the stuff I have going on this semester. Granted, I have been exempt from English, and I’m going to look into getting exempt from General Ed. requirements due to the fact that I’ve taken a good number of them, so I had an extra space in my timetable. But then I went and signed up for French in Continuing Education so that when the day comes – and it will come – when I am offered an internship or (and) a job at a patisserie in France, I can say “oui oui” without a second thought to language barriers.

Now, besides the job, I have a full course load (that includes the French), as well as another out-of-school course which only takes up about two hours, but the class is ten ’til eleven, and then I have class I believe at either 12 noon or 1pm until nine that evening. I feel that after that day, no matter how much homework I get, it will be more of a “must… have…. bed….” sort of night. And maybe some Buffy (damn you, S, for reminding me how much I love all things Joss Whedon).

I’m excited.

I think I’ve covered everything I intended to cover, though I’m sure I’ll remember other things as the next little while progresses. I feel I will have lots to blog about, given my life is so full of adventure-type-things at the moment, and also given that, partially because of school and partially because I love to cook (and partially because I have a new stove), I will be experimenting with a lot of the recipes in my new cookbooks (!), and so I will share some fabulous recipes with you soon enough. As well, I have been inspired by a few cakes (here, here, here, here, and here) – that are more like artwork than actual food – to experiment more with my baking, and I shall post my progress here. I’ve done a few, which I’ll see if I can post later. The photos are on my phone/iPad/memory card (in other words, I need to find them), so once I figure out where I put them, I’ll throw them up here. Sadly, this blog does not allow you to taste them, but one day, hopefully, dear reader, I will be successful and wonderful enough at making cakes that you’ll want to hire me to make yours for your special occasion.

And if you need to fly me to mon amour Paris ou la ville de New York, c’est encore mieux!


(*patent pending)

(** I’m a horrible person. I should note that one of my girlfriends suggested I “seem the type” to have a Dachshund – aka Wiener Dog – but she would never get me one, because she is well aware that I would totally buy it a hot dog bun Hallowe’en costume. I would post a link to an adorable photo of this, but there are too many cute ones to choose from in Google Search. True story.)

(*** If you remember Wishbone, give yourself a dog biscuit.)

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