I got up this morning about 6:20am to get ready to head over to the Carpentry/Preservation Carpentry campus in Arlington. Took two buses to get there. A bit of confusion looking for the second bus because it was UNDERGROUND! But anyway, I got there with a few minutes to spare. There was a father and son pair also waiting to take the tour of the place. It was pretty cool. Got to see the “classrooms,” watch students at work, check out all the power tools, meet a couple of instructors.
The campus, which was more like one big warehouse, got me excited about possibilities for my future. I must admit though, being there also made me a little anxious. The North Bennet Street School doesn’t discriminate on age, sex, race, etc. (just like every other place shouldn’t), but being female, I couldn’t help but notice the dominance of men in the field. I wasn’t ignorant of this fact before, but just seeing it firsthand really hit me. I saw only four women there – two younger and two older. If I get in, it’ll take some getting use to. I know it’s probably just my imagination, but when I entered the shop and all those guys looked at me, I felt like I was intruding and they were all wondering what a girl like me was doing there, or if it was all just a joke. I am well-aware that I don’t look the part. I got to hear a bit from one of the beginner students (or apprentices, I should say), and it made me feel a little better because she had absolutely no previous experience with carpentry. I’m pretty much in the same boat unless you count the spring break trip I took last year to New Orleans, partnering with Habitat to build homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina. That was sort of my “awakening” to pursue carpentry.
Yeah, so it’s been about a week since I toured Le Cordon Bleu. I know it’s probably not wise to make a decision so quickly, but after letting some of the buzz die out from my visit, I think I’m going to wait it out (second week of May) and see if I get accepted to the carpentry program. It’s a big risk, since I’m pretty much rejecting acceptance to Le Cordon Bleu, and especially if I don’t get accepted to North Bennet Street School, I will have to go back to Northeastern. I really would love to learn all those culinary skills, but the timing just isn’t right. I don’t know, maybe I’ll change my mind later.
On a slightly different note, I think I have anxiety of being late. It’s a bit unusual because I’m Chinese and you know how we are with time. I blame it on American culture for training me to be punctual. Haha. It’s like an internal battle. But yeah, last night I had a nightmare that I couldn’t make it to tour the school or I was going to be REALLY late. In my dream I was also at a gas station in the middle of nowhere trying to figure out how to get there. I somehow found the number for the school and called to tell them I wasn’t going to make it, but the call was just really LOUD (like when my sister talks normally) and it made no sense at all. I couldn’t get my point across. I think I was at a gas station in the middle of nowhere because right before I fell asleep I was reminiscing about my recent road trip. (Side note: Whenever I get that worried feeling of being late, it always makes me think of this short story by Roald Dahl that I read in middle school titled “The Way Up to Heaven”)
Yep, so the long wait begins. In the meantime, I need a job.