I wanted to give a general post about culinary school and the few things I can look back on and wish I knew then- I know a few schools will take you with out any kitchen expirience- this is a bad Idea- it is a really bad time to figure out you dont like the pressure of a line- when you are 6 weeks from graduating. if you are intersted in Pastry- forgo the full culinary- I wish I would have - it would have saved me alot of money ( and time) if i hadnt been talked into by the admissions person to go to the full program. YOU WILL NOT BE A CHEF WHEN YOU GET OUT OF SCHOOL. ( my chefs told me a billion times, but I thought I was going to be the next susan spicer, no really THEY ARENT KIDDING...YOU WILL MOST LIKELY BE A LINE COOK for some time - unless you have former high end kitchen training. Dont Miss Class- School goes by so quickly - you miss so much by missing class. You dont need expensive knifes to be a good cook- just sharp ones. They guy you work with from Equador cooks circles around you Culinary schools are not the same - that is true- but most of it is up to you- I have seen CIA graduates walk into the chocolaterie and beg for a job- and I have seen really good workers from the community collage programs smoke some of my "real" culinary school friends. It has so much to do with loosing ego- wanting to work hard and having a drive to be the best- but knowing you HAVE TO PAY YOUR DUES TO be great. Some people get a break and do very well out of school- but most of us - just end up with a greater knowlage of food and the love of salt. And that is a heck of a good start.