Once the decision was made, I began looking into culinary schools. Location, cost, and duration were the biggest factors. My son, Rhys, who is two and a half would stay at home with his dad so, I needed to look at something pretty close to Springfield, and that alone, narrowed down the field considerably to basically four schools. Duration was the second obstacle to over come. I already have a BA and an MA, I didn't need to go to school for another degree like an AOS (Associate Occupational Science). Another degree would take me two or more years to complete, thus dropping the eligible schools down to two. Cost, was the biggest issue. The cost for culinary school is ridiculous!!! Why these institutions can charge $20,000 for a program that when you get out you'll be lucky to make $10/hour is beyond me. It's crazy! I guess they can, because there are lots of people who are just as nuts as me. Between my two eligible schools left I was looking at a school in Boulder and one in St. Louis.
Culinary School of the Rockies was awesome! They had both a 9 month farm to table program and a four month Chef Track program made for people just like me. The four month program was very appealing, however there was no financial aid available for the program through the school and it was 12 hours away from home. Although it would have been nice to return to Colorado, this choice wasn't feasible financially or personally. I just couldn't leave Rhys for that long of a period of time.
Thus, I decided on Le Cordon Bleu School in St. Louis. A bit more expensive, but the school offered financial aid both federal and an in house lender. I had to utilize both in order to cover the tuition cost as I still have outstanding loans from graduate school. The entire program should take about 42 weeks and I can come home on the weekend to spend time with Rhys. I can also live at my mom's or brother's house while in St. Louis during the week, so really a no brainer. On the bonus side, I should be receiving the same quality of education in St. Louis as I would at one of the other LCB campuses in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or Chicago.
At this point, I've got school paid for (Ouch!). I have a place to live (Ugh!). I've turned in my resignation (Whoa!). And now, I wait, and wait for school to start.