Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Scholarship Essay, for your enjoyment

I Have a Dream
By Lindsey Bivens

It was a sunny Saturday morning on a little street in a town of no more than 4,000 people. A little girl wakes up and jumps out of bed in her Strawberry Shortcake pajamas with a grin from ear to ear because today is a very special day. The night before, this little blond three year old and her mom baked wonderful chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies that were bound to wrangle in each and every customer at the garage sale event of the summer in front of their home. Forget the fact that the customers were there to find great deals on slightly used items, she decided that the real reason the customers came were for the cookies. So after pulling on her clothes and her mom putting her hair in pig tales, Lindsey’s Kool-Aide and Cookie Store was officially open for business and with each purchase that day you received a one of a kind maple leaf that was handpicked from the yard out back by the owner herself.
It’s amazing how life can change since the day this photo was taken. Days turn into weeks, then into months and years then suddenly you realize that the dream you once had may no longer be the case. Just being in the kitchen creating treats for family and friends to share fills my memories throughout childhood. Seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they took a bite of a freshly baked apple pie or started their second slice of fluffy chocolate cake, it was always worth every minute that it took to make. Granted there were inventions within the kitchen that didn’t always turn out the way they were supposed to, like the roast that made the whole family sick, but we try not to talk about it. But as each year passed, suddenly becoming a veterinarian or maybe even a scientist took over for the dream of a pastry chef. And so making Lindsey’s Kool-Aide and Cookie store would only be a memory until many years later.
It would be a little over a year ago it suddenly became clear what path my life was taking. On the road of corporate responsibilities and piles of paperwork, I struggled for a bit more creativity in life. Did I still have a dream? And if so was it too late? So many of the people that I had gone to school with were already in the midst of joining the workforce, while doing things they loved. At least I knew what I would do when I retired! I had decided that when retirement finally came I would open a bakery in a little coastal town, just making people happy each and everyday with a cupcake and a smile. It wasn’t until someone asked, “Why wait?” and that’s when the dreams of a small little girl came flooding back ready to become a reality.
So why come to school when so many have simply opened a bakery at the drop of a hat, with no previous training? Only because there is no reason to do something unless you are willing to go all the way to the top. With each moment I have the privilege to be a Western Culinary Institute student, I receive unsurpassed education that will prepare me for anything and give me one step above the rest. Only having previous training in the privacy of a household kitchen, I look for the detailed training to excel me into the workforce so that one day I am standing behind a display case full of colorful treats in a bakery I can call my own.
After receiving the respected associate’s degree and taking the leap into the pastry world I look forward to mastering my skills from baking the finest loaf of bread to sculpting a masterful sugar showpiece while continuing the education process every step of the way. Completing this while creatively carving my niche in the pastry community through the next five years, I will continue on to establish a bakery of my very own using the best skills that have been accumulated throughout the journey. A bakery that while creative in every way draws in the surrounding community to establish a core customer base and community support, never forgetting that the smallest chocolate chip cookie is just as important as the biggest wedding cake.
So now I can truly say that I do have a dream, and I am on the path to making it a reality. And as proud as those around me are for taking these steps, I am finally proud of myself for being able to answer the age old question of “What I want to be when I grow up”. So while Lindsey’s Kool-Aide and Cookie stand may have been a fun idea at the time, that little idea has grown in leaps and bounds and is now the building block towards a future that I can’t wait to start.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Portland Oregon- Day 1

So I have officially moved out of the small town of Redmond, OR to the big city of Portland, OR. While some may be sitting there saying..."what's the big deal?!", just trust me. There is a big difference! Yesterday was day one at my new home, which in two weeks will include going to school at Western Culinary Institute for the next 15 months. Being from a small town, I knew that this culture shock was going to occur whether I liked it or not. Luckily to assist with not getting lost in this large city was my handy GPS navigator, who I have decided to call Marge, leading the way and always getting me home in one piece. So throughout my travels yesterday I found that there were five things that every person should know should they move to the big city.

1. Know how to parallel park: I used to take this for granted since there was only two major streets that you had to do this on but now you better know how to do it if you want to part anywhere close to the place you are going. If you don't know how to parallel park....get used to taking the bus.

2. If it's 4pm, get home!: About 4pm every person seems to start converging on the streets and traffic is incomprehensible. Sitting in traffic, at a complete stop on I-5 makes you wonder how people do this each and every day.

3. Just because the walk sign comes on to cross the street, it doesn't mean people will stop: Crossing the road to get to the first Whole Foods I could find, I assumed that the flashing light that said I could walk gave me the right of way. Well, some people might argue that. People were turning left and right just trying to get somewhere but they weren't very patient to stop for people crossing the street. Keep an eye out at all times or when you are crossing the street... run!

4. There are 20 choices for everything you need: No longer is there one McDonalds, one Starbucks, or even one Fred Meyer. Now there are one on every street corner and each have their own little quirks. It's almost overwhelming!
5. Stores aren't always one story: So my husband and I are at Target picking up a few last minute things for me for my room. We walk around the whole store looking for sheets for my bed and we can't find them. There was no way that a Target wouldn't have sheets! So it was at that time that we look to the middle of the store and notice an escalator. What the?!? So we push the basket over there to the escalator to find that not only is there a second story but there is a handy thing between the up and down escalators that moves your basket for you. It was at that moment I turned to my husband who was fascinated by this newly found invention, and the only thing I could think was "We're not in Redmond anymore!".

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Blacksheep Gathering

You hear the rumors. "Oh, it's huge and the best show all year!", at least that is what I have been told. It wasn't until I arrived this past Saturday in Eugene, Oregon for the Blacksheep Gathering that I began to learn what everyone had been talking about. The incredible number of booths, all with brill ant colors of yarn in very type available. Then for those spinners there is the roving. Now, being a person that has only dabbled in spinning there is quite a bit I don't know (which only increased as the day went on) but what I do know is that the ball of roving in the picture is unimaginable. A booth couldn't help but walk into after seeing this site, was covered in these large balls of roving just waiting for someone to take it home to spin it into beautiful yarn. Of course the thought passed my mind about taking one of these beasts home but I knew there would be no way to avoid the look on my husband's face, the one that says "What the hell is that!". So instead I decided that I would take the first step towards learning how to spin these fibers so that one day I may take on the challenge of this magnitude. I now have some small batts of fiber and a drop spindle to work towards getting out of the spinning challenged category. Granted I have tried to spin with a drop spindle previously, only to end with lots of profanities and no yarn. One day I hope to move up in the world to a spinning wheel but for now it will be myself versus the drop spindle, and this time I will win the war!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Graduation Day

So yesterday, Saturday June 13th, 2009 I officially graduated. Now, it only took 10 years to finally receive my Associate of Arts but at least it came. The ceremony of putting on the ridiculous caps, the gowns that look like they are supposed to be ugly curtains and the long speeches from alot of people that I have never seen before seems a little overrated. But I do have to say it's nice to have graduated officially. If you can tell that is me standing in the middle of that stage shaking hands with another person I didn't know as I receive my so called diploma. The funny thing is that I already received my actual degree in the mail two months earlier, but lets just pretend the ceremony made it official. It was interesting, suddenly receiving a cardboard envelope in the mail that held my diploma. All I did was open it, think "Woo Hoo! It's about time!", put it back in the envelope and went about my day. I do have to admit that I called my mom and dad then I called my husband, just to let them know that I actually finished...finally! So throughout this whole process my life has turned upside down, and as my mom reminded me in an e-card the other day, graduation is coming again in 15 months. And so the countdown to moving day begins, 7 days exactly as of today. But I know throughout everything that's been endured lately that I have learned who my true family members are, the ones that supported me on my way through the first of my two college graduations. So here is a thank you to the ones in the photo, my dad behind the camera, my uncle Keith in Vancouver, and my father-in-law as well (who was knee deep in landscaping across the mountain). You guys are the reason that I am on this road towards a great future, growing my dream of a bakery one cupcake at a time.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My First Sock Dying Adventure

The knit group got together today on this rainy Thursday and decided to learn the art of dying sock blanks. It was hilarious to see every one's different methods to the madness of dying. Some simply squirted kool-aid all over, some created patterns, and I being the nut that I am decided to paint a picture. In my head I pictured it coming out much different. Beautiful red poppies in a garden with a blue sky, definitely not what I ended up with. Actually what I ended up with looked like a painting by a 4 year old. But the experience alone was interesting. I would definitely do it different next time, I might adopt the squirt method and just go crazy. The only problem is that I ordered only one blank from Knit thinking I wouldn't do this again. I probably just did that so I would have to place an order again cause I love getting stuff in the mail!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Stitch n' Bitcher's Navy Blanket

The Redmond Oregon Stitch n' Bitchers decided that we were going to do a charity project in the midst of all of the knitting projects that we each were working on. This started many months ago with a yarn swap for Christmas. Then we took the yarn we received in the swap and made any size square we wanted with any type of stitch. Now I knew what I was getting myself into when I came up with this project because I have done this type of blanket before, but this one took the cake. The squares were so different and so colorful that many of the ladies thought that this was going to be the most ugly blanket they ever saw but surprisingly enough it turned out great and everyone contributed more than their share to the squares and the edging. Putting the pieces together was like the game Tetris, which luckily I am very good at! It was great to see everyone come together and when we gave it to the woman who would be sending it to one of the Naval ships along with others that were donated, she loved it. It was so heavy so it will keep a lucky sailor warn in the depths of one of the many ships. I am so proud to have been apart of the group that did this and it's amazing how generous everyone was! But I do have to admit.....I was so glad to finally give it over to her and out of my hands!!