Monday, December 29, 2014

So it turns out my concern (meltdown) was warranted

Remember this? Apparently I didn't misread the email. The "full-time" Baking & Pastry program really has been cut down to three days a week/13-1/2 hours per day, with the occasional Wednesday, which are the culinary field trips I've already been on. Just like it said in the email. Just like I originally read it. And at a lot higher cost than the three days per week summer program I was originally going to attend. And to think how embarrassed I was when I had my "meltdown". When the school's owner called to talk me down he was insistent that I had misunderstood the email and schedule. I didn't misunderstand. I was right the whole time.

I didn't know that when I went to the orientation recently, determined to be positive despite the loss of hours and the misunderstanding about the email. I thought it might be awkward seeing the owner, but knowing the kind of guy he is I also knew he'd take the high road. Turns out he wasn't there. The culinary and pastry chefs ran the combined orientation, which was a lot less formal than the dead serious meeting my culinary class had a year ago to kick off our journey. It was hard not to notice the difference. The new culinary class doesn't even get their own knife set. They'll be using school knives.

It was a bit of a shock to discover that the program had, in fact, been slashed as much as I'd originally thought. I stayed calm while there and since then have been thinking about what I want to do about it. Now that Christmas is over and the program is coming up, I have made my decision, and a lot of it breaks down into numbers and getting my money's worth.

The tuition for the full-time program (five days/30 hours per week) was $14,000. It's a lot of money, but having already been through a full-time program at this school, I know they spare no expense, so I felt like I would be getting my money's worth. The summer baking and pastry program was three days per week and tuition was $6,500. Now for three days per week, I'd be paying $9,000. I felt like a true full-time program was worth $14,000. But paying $9,000 after the hours were slashed by more than half...not so much.

The school also has a baking program that meets once a week for 20 weeks and the tuition is $2,500. So I decided that if full-time isn't an option, I'd rather pay a reasonable amount for a part time program and so have switched to the once a week program. It's a massive letdown, a massive disappointment. Like I told the owner during that embarrassing phone call, I was looking forward to immersing myself in the program. 13-1/2 hours per week, especially after being in a full-time program, isn't immersing.

I'm really disappointed. I waited six months for this. I was the first person who signed up. I don't know who these students were they supposedly got feedback from who indicated that part-time would be preferable to full-time in a full-time program. Plus it's only a six month program, not the two year commitment like other culinary schools. If you're so committed to something, can't you dedicate a mere six months to it? I'm just so bummed. I was so looking forward to this, so to have it taken away to appease other students (especially after the fiasco about the email) just really rankles.

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