Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pop Final

Last week was the last week of the quarter. We were supposed to finally do our fish on Monday, review for our final and then take our final on Tuesday. Except the fish order had not come in. Chef lollygagged around until about 9:30 and said that we would review for our exam.

Flashbacks to my first class, people weren't paying that much attention. I was sitting with RK and Mayfield and they were furiously writing as if God was handing down another set of commandments. They don't have two working ears between them so they kept asking for everything to be repeated. We have a syllabus so I didn't bother writing anything down. RK didn't even know what a syllabus was even though he has one.

Chef finally got frustrated and annoyed and asked how many people had read any of the book. Maybe half the class raised their hands. We have reading assignments each week based on what we are cooking, according to the syllabus. Then Chef asked who had read everything. The only hand left in the air was mine. Lots of dirty looks. RK snapped at me, "you actually read the book, everything!" Well yeah. It's the same damn syllabus as my first class which is a prerequisite for this class, so everyone should have read this stuff before. And on top of that I had to read the chapters to know how to cook whatever we were cooking, though sometimes I read them after the fact. For example, when we made fresh pasta I had to read up on that first.

Chef was furious. Fine, you've got an hour to read everything and then we're taking the exam. Dammit. I had planned on Tuesday. I still had a lot of reviewing that I wanted to do before the exam. Everyone was in a state of shock. Mayfield starts whining bout how he never thought we would be tested on stuff in the book. "I thought the class was just about cooking, stuff we do in the kitchen." I just wanted to bang my head into the table. These people need to understand that this is a culinary program. You need to decide if you want to be able to cook at a professional LEVEL, not necessarily become a chef, but the end goal is to have that ability. So yeah, that does mean understanding what a coulis is or what beurre manie means and how to use it. How are you supposed to interact with other professionals if you don't? It will take a lot longer to find a specific fruit sauce if that's what you call it rather than searching for a raspberry coulis. If you just want to cook a better soup, take classes at Sur la Table or Viking or Williams-Sonoma.

Out of nowhere, RK looks at me and asks, "I don't mean to be mean, but how much do you weigh?" WTF! I looked at him dumbfounded and just said a lot. "Yeah, but how much?" WTF!!! Guess. He guessed, I said yes, and then he goes, "I never noticed how heavy you are until I saw how you really fill out that chair." I really have no words.

The test was not easy but it was very much like the final for my first quarter. It was a lot of writing. I can't believe how bad my handwriting has become but except for writing an odd check once every other month or so, I hardly ever write anything. I think I did very well on the whole test except for labeling the primal beef and pork cuts. I went back and looked and only got half of them correct. Oh well. The worst part of all of this was that you take the test, then present it to Chef who goes over it, then he sends you back to answer the questions you left blank or got wrong but you get to use the book the second time around. Grrrrrr. I really hope he gives some of these guys Ds or Fs to make a statement because otherwise there isn't much incentive to do well or try hard.

Baby Face didn't show up. I don't get it.

After the test, Chef asked if we wanted to do our fish on Wednesday or next quarter. The class was split, some just not wanting to come in on Wednesday, some eager to do it. I could have gone either way. It actually had to be explained how we could cook fish in American Regional Cooking. Um, you'd make a regional fish dish. Duh. The naysayers won out.

Though the final was Monday, the last day of class is actually Thursday when we clean up.

1 comment:

Brook said...

Whoah! I have more to say but I finally have some money to got to the grocery store. Want my recipe for catfish?