Eminent Reflection

After twenty seven hours slaving away in the kitchen, hours worth of research, and years of acting preparation for my take on Julia Child, eminent was a success; and I lived to tell the story. What surprised me the most about Eminent, is how much I enjoyed it. Last year, eminent was my favourite project out of all the things we did that year; but I assumed it was because of my passion for my eminent person. This year I chose Julia Child, who I didn’t know much about previously, and still thoroughly enjoyed the project. I think that because of the high stress level of eminent, you are unable to appreciate all of the small things that occur during your research, so when the project is done, you can relish in your success, and realize what a great job you did. I did a lot more research on Julia Child’s mannerisms this year, as I had to embody her in a respectful way, and I was particularly afraid that the audience would think I was mimicking her. I would say that my acting skills improved during this portion of my research, and I even got to put it on my resume. Perhaps, this should lead to my IEP acting goal.

I also developed what one might consider a deep connection with my eminent person throughout this project, considering how often I felt that I had talked to her. I started referring to her as “Julia,” which annoyed my family. Even my mom says that she feels she knows Julia, because of how frequently I mentioned her. I learnt a lot from this project without trying to, on top of the answers to questions which I knew I needed. I however, certainly didn’t know as many biographical details this year as I did last year. I knew the basic things, like her birthdate, but I didn’t know facts about her second cousins or anything, like I did in grade nine. I feel like those details allowed me to know my eminent person last year, in a way which I didn’t meet Julia this year. Those little details that mean seemingly nothing, form a picture in the end which could be important. So, if there was some kind of way which I could have spared some extra time, I would memorize little facts about Julia in the future. For example, wish that I knew her childhood address, or her first boss’ name.

My favourite part of Night of the Notables were the speeches, as can be expected. I love acting and public speaking, so getting up on stage and embodying someone as special as Julia Child, was an honour. I loved being calm backstage while my friends were nervous beyond compare, I loved our little energy warmup right before and after the evening occured, and I loved that we all celebrated each other’s success. Everyone was helping others who in a last minute struggle had forgotten items at home, or who’s hair needed more bobby pins, or who needed a hug to calm them from the crying. I love the friendly community which TALONS encompass’ and I love how close we are, despite only knowing each other for a year and a bit.

I would like to recognize all of the work which Mr. Morris put in. It was especially hard for him, considering it was his first eminent evening, and he had to somehow teach, us grade tens how to do something new to him. He did a great job at making my eminent experience as easy and stress free as possible. And the grade nines seemed to do pretty well at eminent as far as I could tell. Congratulations on a job well done Mr. Morris. Congratulations fellow grade tens, we did awesome; and good luck to any future TALONS working at conquering eminent. You will do great!

In the words of a very wise woman:

“Learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all, have fun” -Julia Child

Julia’s gateau

Now I have a story, which I would like to share, about an eminentish experience which I had.

As some of you may know, I have a younger sister, who has Celiac disease. Celiac, is an extreme intolerance to gluten; gluten can be found in wheat, rye, barley, and similar products. Because of her Celiac, my house is entirely gluten free and dairy free. If you’ve ever tried to bake gluten free, you understand the challenges of flat cakes, crumbly brownies, and dry goods which are supposed to be moist.

As a sister of a Celiac, you might think that I would know better than to choose Julia Child as my eminent person, and choose to bake as my final presentation. But, I chose Julia Child, and I chose to make crepes for my learning centre, because why not challenge myself. Because of the gluten free challenges, I knew that I would have to alter the recipes a little bit, but little did I know how much.

I used a crepe recipe which I found online, requiring four different kinds of gluten free flour, none of which might I add, are bleached. So I made these crepes, and dealt with the challenges which I had, while learning how to make crepes (it was only my second time ever seeing a crepe). The crepes were gritty, and had an overall bland taste. I wasn’t sure exactly what crepes were supposed to taste like, but I couldn’t quite understand the hype for anything that tasted like that. Especially considering the multicolour brown spectrum of the crepes, due to the flours which I used. I got my mom to try it, but she was hesitant due to their appearance. After one bite, she cringed and told me to try a different dish. I however, was determined to make my crepe cake succeed.

So, I spent more time on the internet, searching for a  recipe, especially when the reviews contained words like moist, beautiful, and “almost like gluten,” I also required that the flours were bleached, so that the people who visited my station weren’t turned off by the appearance. Finally, I came across a recipe which looked perfect. I made the batter, left it refrigerating overnight as the recipe suggests, and made my first crepe with the new batter, the next morning. I was so excited, but then the crepe came out of the pan, thicker than most pancakes. I tried a bite, and it tasted awesome, so I figured that I just needed to improve my crepe skills. After six more that I produced came out looking like pancakes, I figured something was wrong. My dad helped me when he came in the kitchen, and saw how thick my batter was. I forgot to add a whole cup of milk! So after some alterations, my batter looked like thick cream, which was perfect according to my parents.

I tried again, and the crepe turned out a lot thinner. I continued to make the crepes, and each time they turned out thinner and thinner as my skills improved, until they were nearly paper thin. I took a break for lunch, came back, and realized that every one of my crepes had turned solid as rocks. They were like taco shells, crunchy, and definitely not what I was looking for. After some research online, I came back with no results. No one had ever complained of anything like this happening to their crepes… Where had I gone wrong? Because of my drive to succeed, I continued to try different techniques. Finally, I tried continuously pouring water on the crepe while it cooked, so that it almost looked soggy. This somehow worked, as after an hour or so sitting, all of the moisture was gone and the crepe looked normal. I made fifty six crepes in total, but only used twelve in the final recipe, because I wanted my crepe cake to look attractive, taste good, and have an appealing texture.

Finally, the crepes were ready, and I began making the altered filling for the cake, using apples and cinnamon, trying to accommodate for our current diet. I layered the crepes with the filling, and put butter all over it, trying to keep those crepes moist. Julia wanted me to cook the cake within an hour of serving, but I couldn’t quite do so. Instead, I completely prepared it, then my mom put it in the oven an hour before she came to the speeches. As I was downstairs getting ready, she dropped it off at my learning centre, all ready for the guests.

It was warm, which the guests liked, and they all enjoyed the texture and flavour. The crepe cake was completely finished halfway through the night because it was so popular. I only received one complaint about the cake, claiming that the crepes were slightly crunchy, which I expected. However, I didn’t expect that same man to come back to my station three times to have more of the cake… Perhaps that is why it was gone so soon. The point of this story, is how important perseverance is towards your success. I spent nearly sixteen hours working on this cake alone (although there were two other dishes which I was monitoring at the same time) and without those hours, my cake would not have tasted as good, but my family probably also wouldn’t have been as sick as we were of crepes. No pain, no gain I suppose.

Julia Child’s kitchen – a delectable tour

Bonjour TALONted folks,

Eminent is finally finished, and I feel like I can breathe again. Here are two videos of my learning centre.

This is as close to a “tour” as one might get of my learning centre. My station was fairly small, and I was the main attraction. However, quite a few people came back for more of that crépe cake! Ignore how frequently I say “here we have”… I’m not sure what was going through my head there. Also, because of the video quality, you can’t see it, but the red poster in the back reads, “Julia Child 1912-2004 shhh don’t tell her”

Unfortunately I couldn’t film this until after the learning centres had been toured, when most of the food was gone, and the utensils had been used. So, I included another video of me properly serving food to one of my guests. I didn’t know that this video was being taken, which is why I don’t look at the camera once. oops.

Bon apetit!

My very own nuggets of wisdom

Hello folks, here are my three “wise nugs” from my practice interview with a clinical counsellor.

  1. If you care about your clients, you are a good clinical counsellor. Your success rates, grades, and assessments do not define your strengths.
  2. As much as this job is the “study of the brain” sometimes, our own brains are the ones we can’t understand. Try not to overthink things.
  3. Be prepared to listen to people. Arguably, the most important part of this job, is being a good team member.

Thats all!

The spice of life

Hey, Hey, Hey!

So… eminent is fast approaching and I am being overwhelmed with deadlines, and dates, and wow! Anyways, I figured (when I say I figured, it really means it was assigned) that I should post a rough outline of what my speech might focus on/what I plan on talking about. If you don’t know, my eminent person is Julia Child. She was a chef who inspired home cooks all over America, to pick up their pots and pans, and give French cooking a try. If you need more of a refresher than that, feel free to check out my nifty guide to all things Julia

So lets hop into it, shall we?

Throughout my speech, I am going to try and have a continuous metaphor between spices on a chicken (which I will be seasoning during my speech) and my life. This is because Julia had originally aspired to be a writer, and was a huge fan of poetry and the sorts, before and after being introduced to cooking.

Exposition: I’m hoping that someone is going to introduce me, and make it obvious that I am filming my cooking show “The French Chef”. I am then going to pull out a chicken and start preparing it for cooking.

Inciting Incident: I will mention my parents, and how they never quite achieved my definition of success. I will talk about how making money, doesn’t define a persons imprint on the world. It will be obvious, that I, Julia Child want to do something meaningful with the time I have. I will crank up the heat in my ‘oven’ because what is the point of wasting time letting it slowly heat up, if I can fast forward and make the most of the time I have… see the correlation?

Rising action: I’ll really drive the point home about how concerned I (Julia) was that I would be unsuccessful in my life endeavours. How after years of trying, I was thirty four, without a job or partner, and rapidly losing hope. I will select the spices which I want to use with care, as I want everything to turn out perfectly, but it never seems to. This is when I meet Paul, and accidentally spill the spices. All of the hope that I had for my chicken (or life) is flipped upside down, because I had been barking up the wrong tree, or putting all my eggs in one basket. But, I finally am introduced to food when I meet Paul, and therefore realize that a chicken requires much more seasoning anyways. Bland food, is well, bland. At some point here I will say “Everything in moderation, including moderation” which is a famous Julia Child quote, so I’m sure a few people will recognize it.

Climax: I put the chicken in the oven, and hope for the best, just as I begin working on the cookbook which took over a decade to finish. Once I put that time into the cook book, it becomes my obsession. Without it’s success, I will go broke, so this is an extremely defining time in my life.

Falling Action: I will take the chicken out of the oven, and carve it up for eating. I will realize that by taking so long seasoning certain parts of the bird, and accepting my mistakes for the rest of it, I have created a more diverse, and full chicken and character choice, which I do not regret. It has the whole “Don’t rush into things too early vibe to it”.

Resolution: I will end with the classic Bon Appetite! And take a bite out of the chicken. My face of pure joy will showcase the fact that I am proud of what my life has become.


Alright, see you again soon folks!