Thursday, February 27, 2014

Too much in Common

by student blogger Stephanie

I'm from a relatively small town. Pretty much all of my classmates from high school stayed at colleges around my hometown and either went into fields of medicine or education. I decided, as a Sophomore in high school, that I not only would be following a different career path, but that I had to step out of my oh, so, comfortable zone I found myself living in. 

Point blank, all I knew at that time was that I loved food. Many a dinner party and making meals for my family on an average of three times a week out of pure enjoyment were tell tale extensions of that love. I knew that I needed to foster and follow that. Cooking is not only about taking care of others the best way you know how, but it is an outlet for your own peace of mind, and creativity.

And that is how I ended up at The Culinary Institute of America. It's the mecca. It is exactly the place you want to be if you are to the point of obsession about food in all aspects. In the time it takes me to walk to and from class, I can overhear conversations on the sidewalks, in the hallways, and over meals, about various ingredients, food service, and technique from all of the diverse programs and classes that are offered to us. I once, overheard a student talking as passionately as ever on the phone, sharing his plan to slow roast brisket for seven hours and he continued to go on about the marinade he would use - all in passing. And all the while I wondered who he could’ve been talking to. Information is everywhere.    

I can't remember the moment when I first saw a poster for the CIA’s campus newspaper La Papillote declaring that all interested writers reach out with a submission for the paper. But I do know that that same piece of paper hung on my desk for more than a month, and stared me in the face, until I finally got up the guts to send in my first piece. To my surprise, it was eagerly welcomed by former Editor-in-Chief, Giulianna Galiano - and the rest is history! I continued to write anything and everything that was of interest to me from that first article, through extern, and into my final semesters of my Associate degree when I, myself, took over the role of Editor. 
When I think about the route I have been taking during my higher education within the CIA, my path and sense of direction in which I saw for myself has certainly differed even from my classmates that are as passionate and curious about food as I am. And I still find myself explaining my career goals and aspirations to a number of my culinary and baking and pastry counterparts just as I did in high school, but on another level. Others’ experience may or may not compare to mine, but we certainly have one thing in common.

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