School is a fascinating idea. A place where children can learn about an abundance of knowledge on subjects as far as the eye can see. You see, I absolutely love school. The books, the pens, the hand-raising, the power of knowing a subject. As a small child, I had dreaded school. Starting in the first grade, I would get anxious and scared of going to class. Making myself physically ill was the only way to avoid the teachers and the students. I couldn’t handle my teacher, who was above all nasty, so I transferred classes. My new teacher was caring, and she helped me with my anxiety problems. She even let my mother volunteer in the classroom a couple of times a month. School got better, and I had fun learning. I even ventured on the “Star of India” where I stayed the night on an old ship in the San Diego Harbor.
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” – Socrates
In middle school, in the middle of eighth grade, anxiety hit again. I couldn’t handle the thought of walking into the classroom. I became detached, and slowly isolated myself. I got transferred to “New Directions” – a school environment where most studies took place at home or in small class settings. I was getting by in school, but I hated it. Most students were there for disciplinary reasons; And I was not.
In ninth grade, I started school with “Dehesa”- a charter school. I participated in science classes, art classes, and field trips. I studied whales while boating in the San Diego Bay. I won an essay contest and got a behind-the-scenes look at SeaWorld. I was given the chance to explore subjects that interested me; cooking, and learning the hebrew language from my Rabbi. I was given the freedom to work on more films in Los Angeles with my flexible schedule. I taught elementary school kids at the local Chabad House. I was able to express my thirst for knowledge in a setting which I had never before experienced.
Moving to Oregon my sophomore year, I had decided to start my studies at a high school in town. I fell in love the minute I walked in the doors of this amazing high school. It made me feel like family, and I adjusted quickly to my new environment. Spending most of my time in the culinary arts room, I thrived in my growing knowledge of food. I quickly became very involved with the culinary arts, and the theater department in school. I tackled obstacles and attended classes at the local community college to head-start my culinary career. I ended my high-school career with a whopping 3.98 GPA. Days after my high school graduation I was already in my culinary classes.
I could dedicate multiple posts just to my experiences at Cascade Culinary Institute. I grew into a confident young woman, who could take over the world. Competing in competitions and becoming a member of the food community, I knew I had made the right choice in learning about the food we eat everyday. I graduated with honors and within weeks I was working at Walt Disney World in their culinary department.
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. – W.B Yeats
During my time at Disney I realized I wanted more. I loved getting my hands dirty in the kitchen, but I also loved the smell of a freshly printed cookbook. My desk was a mountain of a variety of food magazines. I was hooked on food literature; so much that I have so far accumulated over 100 cookbooks ranging from Julia Child, to a 50 shades of Chicken parody.
I decided to start school again after my one year residency of the state was up. Out of state tuition is through the roof, and after waiting a few months, I attended a local community college to earn general education credits. After earning some of the necessary credits to transfer I applied to my university of choice.
Yesterday I received my acceptance letter.
If you would have asked me five or six years ago if I was ever going to attend a university, I would have said, “No.” How would I be able to handle the stress of a high-stake university if I could barely handle the stress of middle school. Looking back, I am extremely proud of my accomplishments thus far. The little girl who was once a damsel in distress, is now a brave golden Knight.