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So last night was a no go to Alle Psallite practice, due to taking care of the Taxman and other family business.

In that regard, we had a long, overdue talk with El Brato regarding his plans for the future. Currently, he is just finishing his second semester at College, but he is considering attending Culinary School instead. I must say that, as long as this is something he really wants to do, I have no objection. He is still thinking about it, so we shall see.

In the meantime, we've started doing some research on this. And boy, culinary school is really not less expensive than regular college. And I am not talking Community College fee scale here. Nevertheless, I also believe that if you are going to be in this business -- or any other business for that matter -- you are best served by having the best education you can afford out there.

At any rate, the Boy is still thinking about it, but I think that we have made some good headway on trying to figure out what he wants to do when he grows up . . .

In other news, I took the second part of my dollmaking class with Susan Parris, and I am happy to report that Margot is coming along quite nicely and that she doesn't look like an alien so much.

I must say, I am not taking this class solely for SCA related projects. I really enjoy this kind of endeavor and the possibilities are endless.

As for Margot, she will be definitely dressed in 16th Century fashion, and I may even display her at an event or two. However, I have to clarify that this is an art doll, and not necessarily a copy of any extant doll. For one thing, Margie has glass eyes, and this is a feature that I cannot document at this point in time earlier than 1630 (and that's an if). For another, the only extant doll I know of from the Sixteenth Century is the little doll in the collection of the Livrustkammaren Museum in Stockolm, and she has an actual stuffed and embroidered head. (The stuffing is anyone's guess, as I have been told that it is a stiff material, but that one can stick pins to it.)

This doesn't mean that there were no other types of dolls. Take for instance the doll that Arbella Stuart is holding in her portrait. This type of doll can also be found in other children's portaits. I call them "period Barbies", but I simply cannot prove that any of them, whose heads were most likely carved in wood, featured glass eyes.

But Margie will still be cool to look at, will have a very nice period-inspired look, and will be extremely well dressed.

Stay tuned.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 8th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
Does el Brato have food service experience? The culinary schools my brother looked at while he was looking to move from cook to chef all required kitchen experience.

Little Bro decided against culinary school in the end in favor of doing some internships to get mad skillz and catering gigs to get exposure. It's a formula that has seemed to work for him, but he has all of my arrogance and all of a salesman's charm which may have done more for him than his training.
Apr. 8th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
He doesn't, other than the fact he cooks at home. I think that he'll have to figure that one out as well :-)
Apr. 8th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
If he is considering Culinary School, I suggest he talk with Sylvie. I don' know if her major was culinary or that is just what she was doing.

Of course you may have already thought of that.
Apr. 8th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
We thought about it last night. I'll chat with her if I see her at NOTT. :-D
Apr. 8th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
I won't be at NOTT (I'm visiting my boy instead), but I'd be happy to talk to him at some point. He should absolutely not go to culinary school without getting enough work experience to know what he's getting into. The New York Times had a great article a few months ago about how a lot of people rack up huge debts going to culinary school, and then realize they hate the industry when they graduate. There's a huge difference between cooking in mommy's kitchen, or even doing an SCA feast, and working 60+ hour weeks at a high-pressure high-end restaurant. I could deal with the pressure, and I could basically deal with the hours (though it does become your entire life) - what I couldn't deal with was my asshole boss. I do still miss the passion and intensity of that job, though.
Apr. 8th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
Excellent! Thanks for the input! :-)
Apr. 8th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
I'm surrounded by cooks
I definitely recommend talking to Sylvie, too. She was working for the catering company when we started living together, and was working for the hoity toity restaurant whose name I never remember when we stopped living together. While she looked into culinary school a couple of times, she was a liberal arts major of some sort, English, I think.
Apr. 8th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm surrounded by cooks
That's what I thought. If he really wants to be a chef, might as well tackle that from the beginning. I'll have a chat with La Silvie. :-)
Apr. 8th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
A note on education - a friend's son did the culinary school route. He was quite successful in the kitchen - chef at several very nice restaurants. However, he was not able to get a position in charge of his own kitchen because he did not have the business background. Said friend has now returned to school for his business degree, which I think he has completed. I need to check in with them to see how it all is going.
Apr. 8th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
That is one very good piece of information. Thanks!
Apr. 8th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
Since he is on the fence, I would suggest doing a summer "internship" in the culinary field he is interested in to see if that's really what he wants to do. Because commercial cooking and cooking at home are very different creatures. I thought for a long time about going to culinary school and then decided that's not what I wanted to do every single day so I opted for hotel/restaurant management.

Then I did my intership and decided I neither wanted to manage a hotel and/or restaurant. Thank goodness for interships. But the business degree has come in handy. :)
Apr. 8th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
That is a very useful piece of info. I shall pass it to him as well :-D
Apr. 8th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
Yes, what Greta said....and also make him watch "Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares," on BBCA. ;)
Apr. 8th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, but he's a huge fan of Chef Ramsey :)
Apr. 9th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
". . . he's a huge fan of Chef Ramsey."

Why? Yes, the man is a talented chef, but he treats others like shit. I've had too many bosses in my own profession who were like that (did I mention that architects, in general, are very egotistical?)

Personally, I like Mario Batalli and Rick Bayless. Talented chefs and very nice guys. The kind of bosses for whom you WANT to work your ass off - rather like my current firm :-)
Apr. 8th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
I recommend that he also read some of Anthony Bourdain's books. He wrote, "Kitchen Confidential," which is a very blunt assessment of the food industry from the point of view of a chef. He doesn't hold back, either.

Being a chef is a very tough life. Is he ready for the hours, the hard work, the years of grunt work and the discipline? If not, he won't survive.
Apr. 8th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
Well, he's about to find out, won't he? LOL

My suggestion, at this point, is for him to take a full time job in a kitchen for the summer. As "general kitchen help." That way, he'll figure out whether or not he likes this.
Apr. 9th, 2008 12:12 pm (UTC)
I think that is an excellent place to start. He won't learn what the food industry is really like unless he lives in it.
Apr. 9th, 2008 12:01 am (UTC)
The dollie link doesn't work... *pout*
Apr. 10th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
I just fixed the link :-)
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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