Student Bo Stelmach: Level 1 Experiences #1

Insight from the Inside

It has been 6 weeks since the beginning of life at the Stratford Chefs School.  This is not your typical school environment.

We are a compote of green and experienced cooks; some of us have owned businesses, some have worked in offices. Some of us have children older than many of the students here at the school. Some are fresh out of high school, and others haven’t been students for nearly 30 years.

But we all seem to have one thing in common – the desire to succeed at the school. I think few of us realized, even though we were duly warned, that SCS would become our life. Orientation luncheon was fun, relaxing and casual – truly a party; immediately thereafter, however, we were eating, sleeping and dreaming school.

So six weeks later, we have stitches, crutches and other casualties. We’ve lost only one student, in week one; anxieties have arisen, fatigue has set in (there seems always to be someone “cashed out” in class), and some tempers have flared. We had an issue with theft early on. Yet people have been able to maintain a sense of humour.

If there are two big lessons I’ve learned, they are, “Go to class” and “Don’t whine.” Everyone is busy; everybody has challenges; everyone’s tired and nobody has it easier than anyone else. If you work hard, you’ll likely be rewarded for it. Did I mention, “Go to class?”

I would welcome your input at any time if you would like to add your voice to the next blog. Let me know what you’d like to see, or like mentioned. The one comment that came through for this one, when I asked, was, “Pastry classes should be longer.” It seems like that wish has already been granted, with classes bumped up to start at 7:40. I guess the lesson there is, “Be careful what you wish for.”

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