Have you ever tried and tried and tried and tried to be good at something, and no matter what you do, you just aren’t that great at it? That’s how I feel about cooking–at cooking school, especially. Tonight was the pits. Chef Tom wanted me to cut down 8 cucumbers to the size of couscous, and when my pieces were larger and more uneven, he yelled at me, told me to try harder, and then took off points. He has never done that to anyone before. It was humiliating.
To make matters worse, with all of my absences (Cancun, one night of babysitting woes, and upcoming funeral in LA), I am barely scraping by with a D. I have no idea how I am going to pass this class if I get additional points taken off because I can’t cut down stupid, slippery cucumbers to the size of perfectly even couscous pieces.
As if that weren’t enough, my partner cut off part of his finger. I felt so bad for him, especially when I discovered his fingertip lying on his cutting board after he left the room. But the chef bawled me out for being slow and behind when my partner was basically out of commission for half of the class, and I had to mince SIX BUNCHES of parsley by myself–not even counting everything else I had to do to get our dish done. To properly mince parsley, you wash and dry each bunch, and then you pull off each individual leaf from each individual stem. I’m sorry, but it took me over an hour to do that to six bunches of parsley alone. It was a minor miracle our dish even got completed.
By the time I finished my dish, I had blisters on my hand from cutting. Not to mention I was nauseous the whole time because I am pregnant, and nausea is my pregnancy status-quo.
Done complaining yet? Actually, I would love to vent about arcane pedagogical methods that are accepted without challenge in my culinary program and arbitrary instructions that are impossible to follow , but I figure those can wait for another day. I think I might make an appointment with the head of the culinary program and voice some of these concerns there, but in the meantime, I have to figure out how to pass this class. If I don’t, I am toast. There’s no way I’m going to graduate from culinary school if I don’t. Prayers please!
When I came home and asked Abe if he had ever been in this type of situation, he sympathetically reminded me that he felt this way his entire college career, and that it was so terrible he ended up on medication. If I weren’t pregnant, I might be tempted to pop some Prozac before each upcoming class just as an anticipatory antidote to the misery/humiliation that’s sure to follow.
On that depressing note, I have some pictures Abe took of the girls. He spent the evening cleaning our storage room because one of our water jugs leaked and molded the baseboards. Afterward, he made up for neglecting the girls by having a dance party with them. Mary literally skipped across the room repeating, “This is fun! This is fun!” and when it was over, both girls cried.