I've been lurking for a while now and this is my first post. I'm Melissa, 21, and I'm from Singapore.
I already have an offer from a local diploma program, that has a degree pathway to JWU. We do 3 months in school, and a year in a rotating cycle of 1 week school + 2 weeks apprenticeship. 6 months apprenticeship in an Asian kitchen, and 6 months in a Western kitchen.
I deferred my place to June 2015 because I don't have the money for it yet. I'm so so lucky that I grew up in a pretty well-off family, but my parents don't support culinary school so I'm on my own here. It's not too steep - I just need to cough up about $4000 USD.
I feel stuck between culinary school and college. I'm not sure if anyone's ever felt this way? It's not that I see college as some security blanket (it is, actually, in Singapore).
I love reading and writing with all my heart. I love the social sciences and I know I'm good at it, and I get steady feedback that I'm good at it. Before I started working, I always thought I'd become an academic.
But I also love working in a professional kitchen. It's hot, greasy, and exhausting, but I keep coming back. I don't see myself opening my own restaurant, but I could def see myself teaching after working in the industry long enough.
My head hurts from thinking, and I guess I just wanted a hug. I worry that if I don't take Anthony Bourdain's advice to just stick to what I know (writing in acadamese), I'll fuck up with no more chances at age 30.
I went to law school (it's an undergrad major in Singapore) for 3 semesters, and then dropped out exactly a year ago. Tl;dr - it was my mistake, my parents badly wanted me to do law instead of anthropology, and I was afraid they'd cut me off if I didn't. We're all cool now, they just want me to go back to college.
Food Service Experience
I've been working since I dropped out, and have about 9 months of part-time food service experience. I'm just a trainee/minion in a casual diner, nothing fancy.
I'm not a home cook. My mom is the head of our kitchen, and everyone stays out. I'm not completely clueless - I can make basic risotto and sear a butterflied chicken breast without fucking it up. But I def have a long way to go when it comes to training my palate and eye for presentation.
Edited by Melissa Tsang - 11/25/14 at 2:17am