Most people who go to college, or back to college, have several fears. There's the typical fear of showing up to class completely naked, or failing a class that you really need to pass. One of the worst fears has to be wandering around a strange building on your first day (or week) and not being able to find your classroom.
Let me back up a bit. This morning I was very nervous for my first Intro to Culinary Arts 101 class. It's a 5 hour class every Friday and the book is huge! So I was intimidated. I left the house 40 minutes early for a 30 minute drive. I ended up getting to the school with 7 minutes to spare. Which would have been great if I didn't pull in to the faculty parking lot first. I drove by this half-empty parking lot and thought "Hey, why isn't anyone parking here?" and then pulled in. I drove in a little circle, found my parking spot and was approached by a security guard who asked if I had a parking permit. Um... noooooo (smile sweetly). Back out of my nice cozy parking space near the building I needed to be in and drive aaalllllllllllll the way around the building to the back parking lot for "students" and park. In the back. Of the parking lot. Extra seven minutes totally lost.
Ok, but we're still good. If I walk quickly I can get to the door and find my class easily. I remember right where the hallway is from my orientation tour last week. I think. As I march in to the school with pride, my steps slowly lose steam and I realize I actually have no clue where I'm going. Walk down this hall.... no room 012. Walk down that hall.... there's a gymnasium, workout room, locker room.... no room 012. I backtrack a little bit, walk down a few hallways I've already been down, and 15 minutes go by. 15 minutes *after* my class started! My heart is thumping like crazy, my mind is about numb from freaking out. I finally get up the courage to ask someone just where in the heck room 012 is because I'm 15 minutes late and oh my gosh I just need to get to my classroom right NOW!!!!!!!! Oh, down there, across from the bookstore? Ya, I walked by that a hundred times. Ahahahaaaaaa (nervous laughter)
Finally, I walk in to the classroom and just my luck someone else is as late as me. Yay! It's always a good feeling when you're not the only screw-up. I was able to get a seat and receive the syllabus excitement free.
My next obstacle came when I realized I was one of few people in the room who had no "kitchen" background. And by that I mean, professional, working in a kitchen of a restaurant. Any restaurant be that pizzerria, buffet, cafeteria, sit down, fast food, etc. Out of 20 students, three of us just like to "cook at home". I hate being in the minority! Another subject I was in the minority of was that I seemed to be the only one who didn't know we need a chef's uniform and our own cutlery. I mean, how would I know that?! Everyone in class knew because they had been in a culinary class before, or because the bookstore people told them. I, of course, fell in to neither catagory. But yes, sadly, we went and spent quite a large sum today on cutlery for me. I ordered my uniform online, praying that with the holiday weekend it gets here by next Friday.
Here is all of my lovely cooking utensils that were required. I chose to buy a toolbox to carry it in because I heard one of the other students ask the teacher if she wanted us to buy toolboxes or cutlery bags. She said it didn't matter.I also chose to buy my own measuring cups and spoons because the kitchen director said that with a class as large as ours it might be best to buy our own, but we didn't have to.
That brings me to my next freak out moment. The kitchen itself. I have no idea what anything in that kitchen is! Ok, not "anything", but close. It's a professional kitchen. Like I said before, I know nothing about them! Being in one and having the teacher and kitchen director go "here's this and this and this and this.... here's the rules.... yadda yadda..... ok, off you go, good luck!" makes it even more intimidating.
Now I need to be off and reading my first 4 chapters of my very large 40 chapter textbook. And hopefully next Friday won't be as hard. At least I'll know where my classroom is! That's a start.