Back to School at Thirty-Two

This past winter was unusually warm this year, which has lead straight into summer. Spring might have happened, but it was so fast I missed it. As a baker this means that hot dog and hamburger season has started a lot earlier than expected, before the school sliced bread glut has had a chance to die down. So work has been busier than usual for this time of year, which is good and bad. Good because even during a recession people still love our product and that makes me feel good, bad because within the next few days I’m going back to school and I love my job enough that I’m worried how they’ll hold up without me for a couple of months.

So a while back (the timeline seems hazy, looking back) I was in these two absolutely toxic relationships. This first was with my, then, husband and the second was with my job. In hindsight, the relationship with my ex always had some level of unhealthy toxicity, but the job hadn’t always been that way. At that point I’d been in the print industry for almost twelve years and I honestly thought that I was going to be in it forever. The company I worked for had really shitty upper management, whose philosophy seemed to be spend a dollar to save a dime. There was one time where the general manager made a foolish (and ill advised by everyone, including the far superior floor manager) choice that cost the company the equivalent of giving every employee a dollar raise for a year. This was all because he didn’t know what he was doing and his ego refused to listen to the people who did.

I’d had a series of amazing floor managers who not only knew what they were doing, but were great bosses and that was why I stayed. During the end of my print career my life ended up falling apart and I was fired, offered my  old job back and refused. I tried one more foray into print and it was the worst job experience of my life and the shortest I’d ever been employed. Every so often I’ll get a call from a print shop looking to hire me, either from people I used to know in the industry or an old resume that I posted online. So I guess there’s that.

Long story short, instead of doing something that I was learning to hate but was good at, I decided to try something I love, but didn’t know a thing about. Luckily for me, I picked things up fast and found that even if I was baking professionally, I still loved it. I worked through the hell of corporate bread, learned the motions and was able to land a job at a really awesome legitimate bakery (legitimate bakeries are the typically the ones that aren’t chains, if you want real bread don’t go to a grocery store or Cobs). It’s the kind of job where I actually want to better myself, thus the apprenticeship and going back to school.

See, I never went to college after high school. I took college courses for fun and a lot of courses pertaining to print, but I never actually did to college thing. I happened to fall into something I liked at seventeen and did it until I didn’t like it anymore. So here I am, thirty-two and preparing for college. I know a lot of people that went back school far older than I am now, but I’m still nervous. I’m worried at how much older I am than the other students, I’m worried about my pace (from what I’ve heard school pace is painfully slow compared to work pace and I’m not known for my patience) and on the flip-side, I’m worried about the workload(in my school handbook most of the quotes are about people failing and how much harder it is than people thought.). What if I can’t do this? What if it’s too hard? What if I’m too old to pull this off? When I say it aloud or write it down it seems silly and fickle, but when I hear it in my head it’s terrifying.

I’ve already paid my money, taken the time off of work and gotten my back to school shoes (industrial baking shoes!), so I guess I’m doing this no matter how much self doubt I have. So no matter what happens I’m glad I’m doing this, because despite what Yoda says there is a try and I’m going to try my hardest. Who knows, I might just pull this off.

 

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2 thoughts on “Back to School at Thirty-Two

  1. The worst day at a job you love will always be better than the best day at a job you hate. Good on you Kalin for following through with the baking thing and of course “Baking” being a proper trade, means going through school to improve your apprenticeship. When I went to SAIT, the number of people I met as classmates were quite varied in age. I highly doubt you’ll have any issues.

    Besides, I don’t think for a New York minute that you even closely resemble 32… I even have a hard time thinking I’m 40!

    Keep up the good work, and have fun this weekend eh?

    • Thanks! I’m really excited and a few of my fears have been eleviated after orientation. It’ll be a very intense eight weeks, but I’ve got more experience than most of my classmates, so I should be good…I hope.

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