Faces I Will Never Forget

I’ll be the first one to admit I can be a bit antisocial when I meet new people, although I have been working on trying to be more outgoing. That being said, I don’t usually go beyond tolerance if I know I’ll be moving on in the near future and if there’s a good chance I’ll probably never see those people again. I think everyone has met people they can’t stand, kudos to you if you find the good in everyone, and people that they just get along with, but nothing more.

However, every now and then you come across people who you want to stay in contact with beyond the short time period you’ve begun to get to know them. Sometimes you find people that have so much in common with you, from music preferences to your usual order at Panda Express, that it’s kind of freaky but in a good way. Sometimes something just clicks and you find the time and space to let someone new into your circle and, after a while, you’re glad you did.

But just like everything else, there are usually two sides. The good and the bad if you will. Maybe appreciation and disappointment are somewhat better words. Have you ever experienced a moment when a complete stranger says or does something that really changes you or offers a simple, friendly gesture that turns your whole day around? Something that makes you arrive, sometimes quite suddenly, at some sort of realization that teaches you about yourself or life in general. Then, in a blink of an eye they’re gone. You probably didn’t get a chance to say goodbye or even thank them. The only trace they left behind is the impact they made on you. An abstract idea. A memory.

“You don’t know who is important to you until you actually lose them.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

People will come and go throughout our entire lives. Sometimes we control this, but most of the time we don’t. That’s the way things are. Appreciate those you have right now before it’s too late and never forget the ones you have made a difference in your life.

2012 Summer Studio: Culinary (Ai) – cont.

Almost immediately after I published my last post, I realized I hadn’t mead any mention of what I cooked and concocted while at The Art Institute of Colorado, so I shall do so now.

The first day in the culinary lab consisted of a lot of knife cuts and food prep work. Everyone made some sort of breakfast food that included eggs, be it a simple omelet or a breakfast burrito like I made. We also made salsas as table groups. That afternoon, everyone made different variations of sushi that contained mostly vegetables, but occasionally crab meat as well.

The chili cook-off was the highlight of day two. It was a bit like the show Chopped on the Food Network. We were given a whole bunch of ingredients, some basic instructions and given free rein to make any type of chili we wanted in a given time period. It was so much fun and we got to taste and vote on everyone’s chili afterwards. I was shocked to learn that I placed second in the contest because I had never made chili before in my life. Here’s what I tossed in the pot: garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, green chili, habañeros, pinto beans, chorizo, chicken stock, water, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. We also made chocolate cupcakes and buttercream frosting in the baking lab. We got to color the frosting and decorate some of the cupcakes to take home. They were delicious!

On the third day, my table made quinoa pilaf and some crepes for the next day. The afternoon was filled wilt tex-mex foods. Again, different tables were responsible for different dishes. I made queso blanco by myself after my table helped me prep for it. I also made dough for corn tortillas and helped prep for tortilla chips.

On the fourth and final day, everyone was extremely busy. We were preparing a buffet for our parents. Everyone seemed to be doing a little bit of everything. I made a ton of crepes that someone else filled with ice cream. I was also in charge of concocting punch, which was very interesting to make, but turned out to be very good. It was so much fun and then we got to sample everything we made (after sharing it first, of course).

2012 Summer Studio: Culinary (Ai)

Image

There’s a difference between thinking you’re going to like something and knowing that you’ll love it. I am ninety nine percent decided on pursuing a career in culinary arts by going to college for a bachelor’s degree in culinary management. The Art Institute of Colorado’s week-long summer program definitely helped to further cement that decision.

What better way to explore and get a feel for a college than to experience the classes and instructors yourself not to mention the area you’ll possibly be living in? While at Ai, we were given tours of the main campus and The Towers, or the dorms. We didn’t live in the dorms though; we stayed at The Curtis Hotel. We ate breakfast on the second floor of the main campus each morning and then the culinary students took a bus to Ai’s culinary building where we spent most of the day in the kitchen, and one time baking labs.

The chefs who instructed us were very nice and did an excellent job teaching us. They explained and demonstrated the techniques and everything else we needed to know very well. I know I felt comfortable asking questions and I’m pretty sure all of the other students did as well. A couple of the chefs present were actually current students a t Ai and were able to answer any questions we had with a student’s perspective. Our group, according to one of the chefs in charge, was so good that he said that if he had us in training for another six months, he could open a restaurant with us working it.

I had an absolutely amazing time at Ai’s summer program and I am now seriously considering choosing that college. I had an experience I will never forget. I had so much fun learning hands-on every day. I also got to meet some pretty cool people who I plan on keeping in contact with. It was an awesome week!

Thank You For The Love

Image

Nobody likes to be alone. Some people would say that the more friends you have the better. I might have to agree with the statement in some cases, but when your friend circle has a radius of over one thousand miles things can get kind of difficult. I think a lot of us take our friends for granted because we’re so used to having them around almost every single day. Sure it’s easy to pick up your phone and call them or turn on your computer and message them, but it’s not the same as talking to them face to face.

I just want to say thank you to all of my friends, both close and far away. So, here it goes. You all mean the world to me and I miss you more than words can say. Each and every one of you is special to me. You make me smile when I’m having a bad day, laugh when I feel like crying, and you have always listened when I needed someone to talk to. You made me feel accepted because you loved me just as much when things got ugly as when life was beautiful. I think it’s great that you can laugh at my sometimes really terrible sense of humor even when I know what I said wasn’t the least bit humorous. You helped pick me back up when I fell even when I refused help. You are like the light at the end of the tunnel for me. I can never thank you enough for that. I want you to know that no matter what happens I will never ever forget you. I will treasure the memories that we’ve made and all of the good times we’ve shared.

So here’s a quote to show you what a real friend should be and to encompass what I mean:

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
― Elbert Hubbard

I’ve learned that sometimes it’s not necessarily have to be the years you’ve lived that teach you the most, but rather the many miles that you’ve traveled. I understand now that it’s true what they say about not realizing what you have until it’s gone. Share some appreciation with the people who have made and/or are making differences in your life. Take the time to tell your friends how much they mean to you before it’s too late.

It’s A Matter Of Perspective

Here in America, it’s considered common knowledge by many people that black cats represent bad luck, but there’s always that other end of the spectrum. For example, did you know that in Great Britain and Ireland a black cat is considered good luck? People’s interpretation of and viewpoints on things vary based on location as well many other factors and, of course, the individual in question.

The classic glass of water example is another type of perspective problem in regard to the whole half full or half empty dilemma. If you look at the situation literally, are you filling the glass up or are you pouring it out? Maybe society’s tendency to overreact to things has simply made the glass twice as big as it needs to be. Ever think of that? And just like the light that hits that water, we’re bent on trying to convince others that we’re right. It’s time that we start doing instead of telling. It’s time that people turned off their televisions, got off of their couches, and went out to go make a difference in this world. I have a feeling it could use it.

And now here’s a quote to make you think about your own perspective on life:

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”
― Alphonse Karr

Colleges Most Like Hogwarts

Who doesn’t love Harry Potter? Please don’t raise your hand if you don’t, it will only make me sad. But to those of you remaining who find the world of Harry Potter irresistible, keep reading. Most Harry Potter fans won’t deny that they’d love to attend school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I would certainly jump at the chance. However, us normal humans have to choose from colleges that aren’t hidden in the magical world, but that doesn’t mean the schools available to us are any less majestic. On a list I found of colleges most like Hogwarts, the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York hold the top two spots. There are also three other schools on this list: Colleges Most Like Hogwarts. Check it out!

Do What Makes You Happy

Between social networking, mass media, and the ever-present peer pressure, you can be easily distracted from the right choices. On the inside, everyone wants to be their own person. Some of us succeed and some of us succumb to going with the flow because it’s easier. But in doing that we sometimes do stupid things because we’re afraid. Afraid of letting down the people in our circles or having those same people make fun of and laugh at us. You shouldn’t be scared to stand out and do things that go against the norm once in a while. Plus, you never really know what other people are going to think of something until it actually happens.

Yet at the same time, if we never did what other people do we would never try out new things. Many of us are firmly stuck in our ways. We don’t like change, some of us fear it and others may loathe it. For example, let’s consider music. I have never liked any of the current music I have been exposed to and when a friend and I decided to swap a short list of songs by our favorite artists, I went into it with an already marred attitude towards the band she recommended to me. A misconception at it’s best because that same group I was reluctant to listen to has now earned a spot among my top favorite bands.

What I’m attempting to say is that you should be your own person who is not afraid to make conscious decisions on their own, but you should also try some new things once in a while. Maybe this quote will help get my message across:

“If you must say yes, say it with an open heart. If you must say no, say it without fear.”
― Paulo Coelho

Don’t do something just to make someone else happy if what you are doing doesn’t seem right to you. In other words, follow you heart. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do anything for anyone else, you should give sometimes, but make sure it gives you that good feeling and be fearless when you say no.