With the passing of my twenty-first birthday, one gift that I found truly beautiful was the book, Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom. After watching the 199 pages quickly slip from the fingers of my right hand to my left, I was intrigued to find inspiration for an article that would speak to the students at CIA.
For those of you who don’t know of this masterpiece, I’ll just give you a brief synopsis. It’s about this young man (Mitch Albom) and his wise, but fatally ill old professor (Morrie Schwartz). Every Tuesday in college, they meet up to discuss schoolwork, and even life lessons. As years pass, Albom, in his thirties, is living a life that ceases to grant wholeness to his being. He starts visiting his professor once again every Tuesday, and begins to unlock the true meaning of a successful life. It’s really a touching story. I’m not writing about this book to get you to invest in reading it. This isn’t a book review.
I’m writing about it because I believe Morrie’s words pertain to a lot of us at CIA. Whether we came here because we were lost in a passionless career path, or because we always knew our love for culinary/baking, one thing stays constant through all of us, and that is we’re searching for a direction through food that will give our careers and lives wholeness. One of my favorite quotes in Tuesdays with Morrie is something I believe to be an exceptional piece of advice:
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that give you purpose and meaning” (Albom 43).
For us, we start here with two years to make worthwhile (a little over three if you’re getting your bachelor’s). We build up our resumes through the experience of externship. We spend block after block honing our skills through numerous methods of cooking in various types of cuisines. We sharpen our minds with knowledge we acquire each day. This, I believe is a path many people don’t find even after college. To hold our time here more preciously and to leave with a more satisfied soul is a gift that will never lose meaning. Maybe it means taking that trip into the city to dine in that restaurant, or going with some friends on that skiing trip to Jiminy Peak that CIA offers. Maybe it means finding the confidence to converse with employers at the career fair. Maybe it’s joining that sports team or that club. Maybe it’s finding that courage to taste something new, or volunteering for the community. Maybe it just means flipping through some of the hundreds of cookbooks there are on the bottom floor of Conrad Hilton. Whatever it is, you should do it because you’re going to leave here and your time won’t come back.
You came here because you have a passion for food, no matter what direction you want to go with it. Once you graduate, I hope you will remember to take endless opportunities, acquire relentless curiosity, and never regret a minute of the time you have.