Culinary School: The Journey begins…

After far too long THINKING & DOING NOTHING about it, a conversation with one of my co-workers spurred me into action. Here’s how it went…

I was at my office printer, waiting for my group of recipes to print. Ray, Professor of Pharmacy Administration in the college where I work, came by and spied one of the pictures on the printout and recognized it as a recipe.

He said, “Are you a culinary person?”. I tapped my belly and said “Heck yes!”, and we had a conversation about my culinary training, the supper club that we organized over a year ago. Then Ray knocked me down by telling me that not only is he a culinary person as well, he is enrolled in the Culinary Arts Certificate program for his own enrichment at Cincinnati State Technical & Community College (“CSTCC”), a local community college! He said, and these words ring for me, “You should check it out“.

So I did.
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First things first

With my Consotium form submitted to my employer and my application for admission submitted to my host school, I felt like everything was in order to begin Fall term at CSTCC.

When it came time to register for classes, I tried to do so on the web only to find out that I “have not been admitted into a degree program” at CSTCC. A call to the Admissions Office down there got that straightened out, and, after waiting two business days as they instructed me, I tried to register again.

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Testing Day is Upon Me

One bright Monday morning, I went down to CSTCC to take my pre-admission math test.

I entered the cramped & hot (the air conditioner wasn’t working) testing lab and signed in at the front desk, and was told that I’d have to wait a little bit before I could go in because the testing lab was full at the moment.

Settling in to the uncomfortable chair, I waited and talked to the girl running the testing lab. She told me that I’d only have to take the math portion, and that the test was computer-based and performance-driven. Apparently, the worse I did on the test, the more questions it would ask me. If I did well on the harder questions, I’d have fewer of them to answer.

Fully expecting to be there for the rest of my life (I am no math wiz!), I entered the testing lab which was full of young students (they all look like babies to me) staring fixedly at their computer screens. Settling in to a desk by a window, I began the test.
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Getting Registered

I had only two classes for which I needed to register: Cooking Skills and Methods and Theory of Cooking.

I logged into the CSTCC website to register for classes and was thrilled to discover that finally, finally, finally… everything in my application was complete and I was able to register.

So, entering the “synonyms” (course numbers) to specify which class, I anxiously attempted to register for classes online. All fields completed, my finger poised over the SUBMIT button…

I pressed SUBMIT.

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The Bill Arrives

Thinking that everything was all right, I eagerly opened the envelope that arrived from CSTCC.
Tearing it open, I found my class schedule and a bill.

A bill? I thought this was free.

Hrm. More calls… I found out that the form I filled out way back when — the form that transfers my tuition benefit from UC to CSTCC — needed to be turned in to Cincinnati State. And I’d forgotten to turn it in. So, I headed back down to CSTCC to submit the form. After waiting in line for a while, I got to the registration desk and submitted my form and waited anxiously while the clerk typed and typed some more.

He then told me that the course numbers on my form did not match any known course numbers at CSTCC. Apparently, between the time that I completed the form and submitted it, CSTCC changed their course numbers. I asked the clerk what I needed to do to correct the problem. He said that I’d have to go back to UC, get another form, complete it — “Correctly, this time,” he sneered, and re-submit it.

He must have seen my face fall because he said, “Unless…”, and dialed his phone. Fortunately, he was calling the professor of the program. Fortunately, the professor was at his desk. Fortunately, the professor verified that the OLD course numbers on my form were, in fact, equivilent to the NEW course numbers at CSTCC. I was back in business.

The clerk waived the tuition from my bill, and I went to the cashier’s office to pay the $91 fees.

ANOTHER Bill Arrives…

I was mildly surprised to receive a bill from UC today. With a midly “how bad can it be?” attitiude, I opened it to discover yet another bill. This time, from UC.

Apparently, UC’s tuition benefit is only 6 hours per quarter, and I’d registered for 7 hours at CSTCC. I found that there was a form at UC to request additional tuition benefit hours, so I secured that and submitted it.

Hopefully, that’s the end of the bills. We’ll see!

Yet Another Bill…

So, I get another envelope from CSTCC.

With trembling fingers, I opened it to find a schedule — showing me registered for both classes (YEAH!), and a balance on my account. A balance of more than $300.

While unwelcome (who wants to spent $300?!), it was not completely unexpected; the $300 was for the uniforms and knife kit.

I jumped online and paid the bill, comfortable to once again have a zero balance.