I feel like a bell that has been gonged continuously for months and now that the striking has stopped, I am still ringing. Nearly all the students are gone today. They left in ones and twos over the last few days. Some left happily with family, off to tour Italy before returning to their home, others leaving without a good bye in embarrassment or frustration; our table reduced to a smaller and smaller group at each meal. Yesterday was our last breakfast with Jason and this morning, my roommate left. Our good-byes were dampened by the tension and unhappy surprises at our graduation.
We had several students who were not committed to attendance and some that spent more time drinking and hung over than in class. Those students did not graduate. Although you could probably guess it was coming, watching as students dressed up for our graduation dinner, were called off the bus before we departed and told to stay behind was hard on everyone. Then at the dinner, as we were called up alphabetically to receive our certificates and our Chef Jackets, some students were not called up. Once it became obvious that they were not going to graduate we were all stunned into an uncomfortable quiet. Our collective disappointment in not receiving our promised Pasta Machines or Sommelier Tools was overwhelmed by our sad embarrassment for our classmates. It was a nearly silent trip back home.
Those of us who are requested internships (stages) at our registration are still waiting to hear if we will get placements. One of our assistants could wait no longer and made arrangements to fly home on Wednesday. Another student, who didn’t plan in advance and has no VISA, found a restaurant up north that was a friend of a friend who would take him. Rinnah and I are the last two here who are waiting although I am not sure she will wait much longer. Her husband, who came to spend a few weeks with her before she started her second three months of stage, is leaving tomorrow and she may leave with him.
I am simply and completely trusting God for whatever may come next. I did a little searching on Craigslist, and some temporary work sites, but it just got me agitated and frustrated, and I like the feeling of calmness so much better, so I quit. Chef says he is looking, he is at his computer for hours, he asked for a copy of my VISA today, which is required, and after that nothing. He did tell me that we may know something by Monday, to go relax.
Right after Kristine left I didn’t know what to do with myself so I went and packed also. I cleaned out and consolidated and left just enough stuff out for a few more days. Then I didn’t know what to do with myself again. The regular routine, the regular faces, the regular chatter, and regular noises were all gone and the people left behind are subdued by the sense of not-knowing. In my past life, not-knowing would throw me into a fit of doing. I always felt like I HAD to be in control over what was going to happen to me, and to be in control I had to know what was happening. If I couldn’t find out – I would take control of it myself and force an outcome. I would probably would have been checking out by now and paying for ticket changes rather than wait and see and trust anybody or anything other than myself.
Gratefully, today is different for me. Although I yet might have to change my plans and return home much sooner than expected, I won’t be worrying about it. It will happen or it won’t. I will stay or I will make a different plan and it will all be OK. I will keep you posted.
Oh course, no matter what else happens, or doesn’t happen – I can make a kick-ass Pollo Fra Diavolo and a Gianduia Spumoni that will knock your socks off. 🙂