by Laura Schmidt-Hong
Sophomore Noah Shanshiry has a passion for culinary and graphics and is part of a work-study for both subjects, in addition to being a full-time student at North.
Q: Why and when did you first get involved in the culinary work-study?
A: My culinary work-study just started this year. I decided to do it because I love cooking, and I thought it would be a great idea so I could get some other jobs.
Q: What first sparked your interest in cooking?
A: I first became interested in culinary when I was little. I used to have a toy kitchen that I would play with. I went to a culinary camp in sixth grade, and I took a class in eighth grade. If there was a culinary club option, I took that, and my cousins also encouraged me to take culinary classes.
Q: How do you balance your time between schoolwork, the culinary work-study, and the graphics work-study?
A: I manage my time by doing long-term assignments over a few nights. If I have lots of homework, I’ll do some in culinary workstudy – same with graphics. They’re really flexible about it.
Q: What is a normal day like for you?
A: I arrive at school at 6:45; that’s when culinary starts. I set up the coffee station, brew coffee, and bring it to the self-serve counter. I might help students set up the scones or the baked goods. At 7:30, I open up register one and my friend opens up register two. We both run until 7:45, then I go to my classes until b-block when I have a free and go to extra culinary. C-block is my regular culinary class. For the rest of the day, I have academics. Then, at the end of the day, I go to graphics and work there. The time I leave graphics depends on when I can finish my work or can get a ride, but I’d say around 5:56 I’m out. I’ll go home and do homework, then start the next day.
Q: How have you benefited from your involvement in culinary and graphics?
A: I’ve benefitted in culinary by being able to teach others about the tools we use and by helping teach other students. For example, if someone’s having trouble ringing up customers, I can help them. For graphics, I can also help students use the printing machines. Often, Tom, John Paul, and other students show me things; I have people I know I can trust.
Q: What challenges have you come across?
A: Some deadlines in graphics are challenges. We’re always trying to figure out how to make something look its best, which means we sometimes go over the client’s deadline. In culinary, the time constraints are also challenging. Because it’s food, sometimes you can’t finish the project you’re working on in only one block. I’m getting better at managing time in a block, though.
Q: Who have been helpful mentors to you?
A: Definitely my cousins Samantha and Ariana. Samantha graduated last year, in 2014, and Ariana graduated in 2012. They’ve been a great help; they always have feedback, they try the food I cook, and they see all my graphics work, too. Also, I love all of the culinary staff so much. If you need to talk to someone, you can talk to them. You can tell they’re very passionate about what they do, and when a teacher’s passionate about what they do, it’s an amazing class. And definitely my graphics supervisors, Tom and John Paul. They’re passionate and love kids. I can talk about how I feel, if I’m feeling anxious, and they help me get through problems. We find positive ways to solve the problems and work together.
Q: What are your goals for the future in both programs?
A: My goal in culinary is to go to culinary school in the future to expand my skill set. For graphics, it’s to use advanced features of graphics computer programs, which allow me to be more creative in my life. I also love designing things from scratch—for example, designing a letterhead means I think of an idea and see how it looks on paper, which I can get really creative with. Also, if I see a design that I like, I try to recreate it. It may not look exactly like the example I saw, but it’s still fun to try. In my day-to-day life, I’m also able to make a lot of my posters for school on the computer using the different programs that we use in the print shop, which means my posters always look really cool.
Q: Will you pursue your interest in cooking and graphics in post-secondary plans?
A: I hope to go to culinary school, and I’ve been thinking about teaching culinary at the high school level. I hope to one day have software on my computer, so I can design at home; if I decide to one day have a cookbook, I can design the cover and some pages inside.