Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 38: Failure and Success

I was exhausted last night. I came home, curled up in a little ball on my bed and fell into a coma. All the stress of the last two days gone, I finally dreamed about something other than school.

We had a bit of a make up exam today, each student was given a list of things to cook, some people had to re-do dishes from yesterday, I got a whole new dish; chicken broth with spinach chiffonade and tomato concasse, the exact things I'd been criticized on the day before. It went well, and I was able to add a few more points to a score I was already happy with.

I was really shocked to get my written test back, In my mind, I told myself I'd be happy with 80%, but I got 94! (Huh??)

When we got to the last page, the one with the "chicken and no oven" question, Chef T called attention to my contraption and that I had even drawn a picture. "What did you put your chicken on again? Was it a broomstick?" Not quite, but I noticed I got full marks on the question anyway!

Can you read what the chefs wrote to the right in red? 
The top word says "sneaky?" the bottom says "smart".

In my eyes, I've had a successful week, but other people who have done even better are still beating themselves up over their marks.

Success, failure, it's all relative. I know 8 weeks ago I couldn't even cut flour properly. Perhaps I put less pressure on myself because I'm not planning to "cook" when I finish. (Hello! It doesn't pay enough!) Or maybe because I'm older and I've been through failure, many times, and I've realized, I didn't die, I'm still here.

In fact, most of my best stories stem from some failure on my part; failure to catch a plane, failure to understand someone, failure to pick the right boyfriend or failure to properly pick thyme leaves off stems.

I have a new outlook on failure these days, and my sister will attest to the fact that whenever we really screw something up, one of us will say, "Well, at least we have a story to tell!"

And that's how you turn failure into success!


  1. From that diagram I think the only thing you are missing is the lawnmower motor.

  2. There's no lawnmower in our kitchen, but plenty of blenders!

  3. It'll do! a blender on each side and Zzzzzing!!

  4. Sometimes our perceived failures lead to new discoveries, not only for the task at hand, but about ourselves.

    I have enjoyed reading about your experiences in the school. Well written and insightful.


  5. I would like to know how the Chefs would have done the turkey. Was there an answer? I loved your are your father's daughter.

  6. Look under the last post , Day: 37 Practical Exam!