Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No End in Sight...

I need twenty-four credits to graduate. Twenty-four. That's two more semesters, and some pretty chill semesters at that. In a perfect world, I would be graduating in July of 2013. That's only a year away. That is not far away at all--especially considering how quickly the last year has flown by.

When will I actually graduate??? Your guess is as good as mine. If you can figure it out, please let me know.

Here's my dilemma: next semester (which is Fall semester, the busiest semester of the year) only half of the culinary arts classes I need are going to be offered. Which half? The half that contains prerequisites for 50% of the classes that actually will be offered this Fall. Which means, that even though I should be able to take four culinary classes next semester, I can take TWO. And one of those two classes just so happen to be scheduled at the same time as one of the two Home and Family classes I need.

So, of the twenty-four credits I have left, this upcoming Fall semester will only allow me to take 8 of them.

Here is the Dilemma:

Do I:
A) Pay full tuition and take fluff classes, which requires sacrificing both time and money.
B) Pay tuition for only eight credits, thus disqualifying myself for any grants and scholarships, as well as the right to work on campus.
C) Take off Fall semester, which is immediately followed by my off-track, essentially totaling an entire school year taken off.
D) Magically befriend the BYU-Idaho scheduling fairies and make them add more culinary arts classes next semester. 

Eighteen year-old me would have opted for option A. In fact, eighteen year-old me lived option A for her first year of college. Current me is tempted to opt for option C, because current me is beginning to feel a lot of pressure and concern over the large sum of federal loans she has accrued over the past four years. Current me doesn't want to face the responsibilities and decisions of growing up. Current me wants to give up, as her financial situation is really starting to scare her. 

Yes, I'm scared to grow up. 

This is the second semester in a row that I have run into this problem. Last semester, my creativity and my mom's creativity combined led me to a practical solution. This semester, I am seriously running out of options. And it's making me freak out. A lot.  As much as I would love to live in the Rexburg college student bubble forever, the fact that I may have to stay here for who even knows how long does bother me. Just slightly. 

I don't mean to complain. And I don't mean to talk negatively about BYU-Idaho. I adore this school. I really do. And I am having a beautiful semester, and I actually have a job prospect, and I have been hit with blessing after blessing after blessing. And in two days, I get to go to one of the most beautiful places in Utah to spend time with 5/13 of my favorite people on the planet. Opposition in all things I guess. 

Luckily, I happen to be blessed enough to have been born to the wisest mother on the whole entire planet. Almost from infancy she has permanently engraved these words.

Day by day I live by faith. All will be well.

Coming soon: a happy post about things I'm learning this semester. I hereby declare that this little rant will be the only downer ever posted on this blog.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Let [everyone but me] Eat CAKE!

This semester is going so great! I love every single one of my classes, which is definitely a first. College life is definitely different once you finish your generals! Ah, the joys of being a senior. Even so, It is a very busy semester. My classes are incredibly time consuming. But, I am learning quite a lot. Right now the biggest focus of the semester (apart from training for the Princess Half) is Cake Decorating! This class is challenging me in ways that I have never experienced before, but I'm learning a lot, I tell ya what! We just finished the buttercream section, and turned in our third major assignment. I love working with buttercream! I have been able to learn such great piping skills so fast. I think buttercream will be my favorite forever, unless royal icing goes well (so far fondant and I are not very good friends). 

Our first buttercream assignment was a service project cake, meaning we had to make it for someone and deliver it to them. I chose to make a cake for some of my dear friends from Brit Lit. 

The sailboat is inspired by the marvelous day when we rode a ferry across the Irish sea to Inishmore. As you can see, I was still very new at the whole buttercream thing. My stars are two far apart, the border on the top isn't even, and the icing isn't smooth. But as my first real cake ever, I'm pretty proud of it. :)

Our second assignment was a floral cake board that demonstrated our skills in rosettes (pink), rosebuds, half roses, and full roses (yellow), stem work, and a bow. I really love how it turned out in the end (so did my teacher- I got 100% on this project), but this was the third attempt. The first time it was hideous. The second time, it was beautiful, but then it fell on the floor and I wanted to cry. But the third time is the charm! It looks a lot better than the first two.

Our latest assignment was our buttercream project. The criteria for this cake was that it had to be four inches tall, the top had to be subdivided in some way, and it had to have flower, leaves, and at least three colors.  While classic looking cakes are beautiful, I decided to try something different. I have found that with buttercream, I love taking classic techniques and using them for unique purposes.

So I made a four seasons cake!!! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The variegated colors on the sun and leaves are accomplished by painting the gel food color on the inside of a parchment piping bag, so it comes out over the original base color. 

The spring section is my favorite. Those are the most perfect rosettes I have ever made. The little yellow ones really do look like flowers to me. I also love how dark I got the green icing. But my absolute favorite part of this cake that I am by far the most proud of is the side.

I did basket weave! It's not perfect, but I am so glad that I tried it. I definitely have the most fun doing this technique, and a lot of people really love it on wedding cakes or birthday cakes and such. :) It's a good skill to have if I want to make cakes for $$$, which Sister Kusch says we will have the skills to do by the time we finish this class (in three weeks!). 

I am definitely having a lot of fun in this class. It will be sad to say goodbye so very soon (it's a block class, meaning I only have it for half of the semester), but then again, once it's over I'll suddenly have about 15 hours/week to spend on the 55 novels I have to read for Young Adult and Children's Lit. You win some you lose some. :)

P.S. Yesterday I ran THREE miles for the first time in my entire life, in 46:14, which is well within qualifying time for the Princess Half! That's already 23% of the total race distance! By the time July 4 hits, the Firekracker 5k should be a piece of cake! Also, I haven't weighed in yet this week, but my clothes are starting to get baggy. I'm wearing a pair of pants that didn't fit when the semester started, my belt is down one notches, and a belt I wear around my waist is down two. I love progress!