I started a pastry program a few days ago and the first two days are behind me and I have never been as discouraged as I am now!
Let´s back up a bit and get into details of this whole pastry program thing. I came to Vienna to live with my fiancé. I started studying architecture and after that I began studying English and Arts in Germany. It was not for long that I found I did not really like being in University. I hated the way I was supposed to learn, I have never been good with having no structure in life. In University I was able to create my own schedule and no one would care or even notice if I was attenting the classes or not. So very soon I started skipping classes. One reason for that was simply that it did not even make a difference if I was there or not, because the paper I was supposed to write at the end of the semester did not have to be based on the books we had discussed in class. So I thought to myself “why the hell would I waste my time there, if I can be outside with friends having fun?!”.
But still, all the pressure of the classes I did attend made me really dislike University, so what I would do after almost every day in class was, I was baking something. It calmed me down more than anything. I would read all kinds of books and magazines, I would learn about the process of making flour, the different types of sugar and the different ways of working with sugar. Just for fun I was reading about the beginning of making pastries and studying everything there is to know about chocolate.
At some point I always knew that I wasn´t going to be an English teacher forever. It was always my dream to open up my own patisserie. I was planning everything; how I would decorate the display window, what kind of menu cards I would create, I even calculated the prices for pastries I would sell. So, one day, after a really long day at the University, I was going home and just kept asking myself why on earth I was wasting my time doing something I hated when I could spend all my time persuing my dream. It was that day that I decided I was going to quit Uni!
I went to our student councelor and talked to him, I talked to a few of my professors and they all encouraged me to do whatever it is that made me happy. So, I went home, I dropped the bomb on my boyfriend and searched for a nice little patisserie where I could intern for a while to see if it was really everything I made it out to be. I worked in a tiny cute little pastry shop for a couple of weeks. I had to do a lot of things, I was making macarons, cookies, icecream, brownies, chocolate bars and so on. I was doing 10-12 hours shifts and I loved every second of it.
Anyway, after a few detours I finally moved to Vienna and signed up for two really intense pastry crash courses in order to try and pass the so called “master exam”. In Germany and also here in Austria it is rather hard to open a pastry shop without being a licensed pastry chef. The exam is extremely difficult and very very time consuming and tough. I was planning on studying for a year before taking the exam. But surprisingly I got into the early course, which I was not planning on, and now it seems as if I am taking the exam in exactly 3 months!!! So, I have three months to learn everything there is to know about pastries and different kinds of laws concerning having a pastry shop, hygene regulations, calculating prices, marketing and so on and so forth…