May 19, 2016

Graduation: Looking Back on My Time at CIA


Dear Students, Faculty, and Everyone Else in Between,

The phrase, “that changed my life” might be one of the worst phrases imaginable. Why? Because life is change.  To imply that only some events are life-changing is misleading. However, some changes do have more of an impact on our lives than others. The day I stepped out of a cab and into Rosenthal Hall for the first time was one of those important changes. That singular moment made me realize that determination can pave the way to greatness.  I had arrived at CIA and I knew that I would do everything in my power to extract as much from the life I would be living here as I could.  I can safely and humbly say that I succeeded. Life here at CIA has been a blur.  As I sit here writing this, I cannot help but think back to my first day in Chef Cerrone’s Fundamentals class. My classmates and I looked around at each other nervously, unsure of what we had actually gotten ourselves into. That moment seems so distant now.  We made a mistake when we arrived here two years ago: we blinked. Somehow we opened our eyes again to find that we had reached the end of time here.  Now that this chapter of my life is coming to a close, I find myself reflecting.  My last duty here as a CIA student is to recognize the people that have impacted my life.

To the chefs that I had the privilege of learning from: I became a better cook and a better person in your kitchens. I am constantly reminded of how remarkable each one of you is; I will forever be in awe. You all taught me more than cooking; you taught me discipline, humility, and accountability. Grateful is the word that comes to mind when I think of how I feel towards you, but that word does not seem like enough.  Thank you.

To the professors that taught me about table service: you opened up an entirely new world to me. When I stepped onto this campus, I wanted to stay as far away from the dining room as possible. I am happy that your classes made me realize how wrong I was about the front of house. I found a side of myself that I had been underutilizing. I will have endless options upon leaving here, and that is an incredible feeling. You have my sincere thanks.

To the students her that I have come to love: I will never forget you, truly. I will miss the daily run-ins, the late night diner visits, the countless inside jokes, the camaraderie of this industry, and the support that we have all had for each other. If you have touched my life, please stay in it. I know we are all going to accomplish great things.

To the editors and contributors of La Papillote: from the week I stepped onto campus, this paper has given me many gifts. I reclaimed my love of writing and rediscovered my determination. I learned about what it means to be part of a strong team. Being your copy editor has been one of the biggest honors of my career and of my life. I am proud to say that I served alongside each and every one of you. Never stop printing what needs to be printed.

Learning CommonsTo all of the people that work in the Library Learning Commons: when I was at my lowest points here at CIA, all of you made sure to help me; you picked me back up.  I would not have gotten through a handful of my classes without your expertise and your compassion.  Biggest of thanks to James and Sheri—you two are my angels.

To Chef McCue:  knowing you has been one of the highlights of my life. Your support has always guided me in the right direction. I am a stronger person for having known you. Whenever I underestimate myself, I think of what you would say. You have shown me what it means to lead with humility, compassion, integrity, and intelligence.  Keep fighting the good fight…and try not to scare too many more students.

To Professor Lauria: Seeing life through your eyes has been refreshing. There are few people that walk into other people’s live like you do. You are a shining star that has taught me that I can shine, too. Thank you for being the type of person that moves me. We are forever stuck.

My last words are to the students that will be here as this issue hits the stands.  My advice to you is to live each day fully. Never hold back, never miss an opportunity.  Extract as much knowledge as you can from this campus and its inhabitants. If you can do that you will leave with no regrets. CIA, it is not goodbye, it is simply see you later.

This is your senior copy editor, signing off.

Fondly yours, Sarah Lubitz

by Sarah Lubitz, Associate Degree in Culinary Arts, from La Papillote