Sunday, April 17, 2011

Exam Week

Monday, April 18 starts my week of practical exams. On Monday, I'll be executing my own tart recipe which includes a jelly and a filling with a garnish. I feel really good about this one, and I'll be sure to share more once it's over.

On Tuesday, in my Candies and Confectionaries class, we already took our practical exam - the piping exam we had back in February - so instead we'll be playing around with different types of sugar. This is new so hopefully it will be interesting as well, and since it's not an actual exam, the pressure is off.

On Tuesday afternoon/night, in my Advanced Bakeshop class, we'll be executing a recipe for a macaron torte. This will be the first time ever that I will attempt a final practical exam in school without having practiced it beforehand. I could have made time to do so, don't get me wrong, but I don't have all of the necessary ingredients on hand so I made the decision not to practice. Instead, I invested my time in some side projects that I was more interested in, as it relates to Easter. Hopefully it will work out in the end, but it very well could be the first time in my life I actually miserably fail at something I really care about. (Well, second time of real failure, if you count that whole year-plus debacle of a failed job search.)

When class is over on Tuesday, regardless of how things go with the exam, I'll be greeted at home by my parents and my grandmother, who are making the drive down to spend a few days with me and celebrate Easter. So any negative feelings from class will be easily wiped away by their smiling faces and the thought of the upcoming days of eating great food on their dime. Yes.

I'll have to squeeze in some shifts at work on Wednesday and Thursday, and my final practical exam in my Petit Fours class will be on Friday. I'm executing three recipes, only two of which I have fully practiced, but the third requires skills I have with new reliable recipes, so I think that one will go as planned.

In general, though, I've set a strategy for the week that is unlike any previous exam week in my life. Let's be honest, I've been through a lot of school over the years, and I usually set a plan to dominate exam week. But this time it is different because, like I mentioned, I haven't fully practiced and prepared the way I normally would. (The former academic counselor in me kinda hates myself, and any former students would easily have the right to shove this in my face. Go for it, I won't disagree... anyway.... ) There's two outcomes, of course. It will either be great and I'll feel good about it or it won't be very great and I'll feel bad about it. But that's life, right? You have to pick and choose your battles, and I'm choosing to do all I can really handle in my current state of existence. It's an interesting personal test for me, in a way. I'm trying to rely on the skills I've been developing and the knowledge I've gained without the practice. So this is a testament to the work I've put in over the long haul, and we'll see if it pays off. It might not be the best time for such personal experimentation, you might be thinking, but like I said, I have to pick and choose my battles here so this is the agenda. Time to work. Let's see what happens.

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