1. Chef Dave
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    Chef Dave Member

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    Hello All ... Chef Dave Here!

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Chef Dave, Aug 1, 2008.

    Hello All!

    I'm Chef Dave and yes, I am a real chef. I've been a breakfast chef, a fine dining chef, and a personal chef. I've also worked just about every position in a restaurant from bus boy to manager. Having tired of the long hours, the relatively low pay (especially for those of us who were under contract since we weren't eligible for overtime), having to work weekends, holidays, and evenings, I left the restaurants and am now working as a high school culinary arts instructor.

    I didn't need a teaching degree ... although I do have one as I was an elementary teacher for 17 years before I got a culinary arts degree and entered the food service industry.

    I used my restaurant experience to lever a Career and Technical Education (CTE) teaching certificate. In addition to teaching culinary arts, I supervise a student operated restaurant.

    In my spare time, I work at a local food bank where I train volunteers in how to receive, inspect, date, label, and store incoming shipments of food. I run a demo kitchen to teach people how to use the meat and produce we give away. I also prepare frozen meal entrees for people in need of "emergency meal" packages.

    I came to this site because I'm an aspiring writer. I've been working on a fantasy now for nearly eight years. The fantasy is set in ancient China and has undergone two complete rewrites.

    One of the hardest lessons I had to learn as a novice writer was that time and effort do not necessarily mean that all of my words are golden. My initial draft was overly descriptive. One friend told me that it read like a travel monologue. Given all the time I had spent crafting this, I tried to tweak it. It took me a year to realize that there's some truth to the old adage, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

    I scraped the entire manuscript and started over ... with much better results.

    I'm now into my third draft and think that this is the one that's finally coming together. I posted an except of chapter two on the fiction board.

    I look forward to being an active member of this site.

    Regards,

    Dave
     
  2. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    Hello Dave and welcome to the Forums! :)

    I hope you enjoy your time here and help others as you receive help.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hello Dave, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    I'm also a Dave, although not a chef. Cooking is a hobby of mine, but having done restaurant work when I started college, I stayed clear of the business after that.

    Posting your own work should not be the very first thing you do here. It is really worthwhile to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize reviewing as a critical writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  4. Chef Dave
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    Chef Dave Member

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    Hello All!

    Thank you for your welcome.

    Posting my work was not the first thing I did here. I think I offered 2-3 critiques before I did this. I've also responded to requests for information.

    Regarding the lounge, I typically stay away from them.

    I have found that when people let their hair down, anything can happen. People asking for advice about personal problems sometimes take exception to the advice they've been offered. I've had people yell at me for America's growing problem with obesity as though I am somehow solely responsible for this health issue. I've had vegetarians criticize my use of meat products. I've had parents say the most horrendous things about teachers and the quality of education even though I am just one teacher working at one school. I've even encountered twelve year old kids who have compared schools to prisons and have suggested that schools actively suppress their constitutional rights.

    Conservative Republicans have jumped on me for being a moderate. Liberals have jumped on me for being a conservative moderate. Animal rights activists have criticized the fact that I removed Sonoran green toads from my pond after they consumed a hundred dollars worth of fish and woke my neighbors up at 3 AM with their horrendously loud croaking.

    I don't mind having people disagree with me ... but I don't much care for the personal attacks that inevitably come after the disagreements escalate.

    Given this experience at one writers' forum and three teachers' forums, I've pretty much learned to stay the heck out of lounges.

    I'll discuss writing. I'll support research. I'll critique ... but I won't do anything beyond that.

    As the old saying goes, once burned, twice shy.
     
  5. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    Most of that I found rather humorous, and too dangerously close to home.

    But, as far as the kids go, Wait till you watch them go off and get a job working in a cubicle, they will be begging to be back in high school again.

    We have a "No being a putz" rule on this forum. So you're pretty safe here.

    Fully respected but then again this is the internuts, you can't make everyone happy so don't try.

    Welcome to the forums and I hope you do enjoy yourself here.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think you'll find this forum somewhat different in that regard. We demand respect for other members in all posts, and if a thread begins to approach a flashpoint, it gets shut down right away. Domer members find this somewhat rigid, but the majority seem to prefer that we do things the way we do.
     
  7. Chef Dave
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    Chef Dave Member

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    This is good to know.

    I see nothing wrong with politely worded disagreements ... but when we can't agree to disagree and shrill voices begin shouting personal insults ... yikes ... :eek:

    There is absolutely no excuse for bad manners.

    I've been at other forums that have policies which are not enforced ... or policies that are belatedly enforced long after everyone has gotten upset. A preemptive policy seems like a good idea.

    I may consider visiting the lounge under these circumstances.

    Thanks again for the heads up.

    D. Chin
     
  8. Daisy
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    Daisy New Member

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    Welcome Chef Dave,
    Glad to have you with us. I'm sure you'll enjoy the site.
    They really are serious about keeping the peace... and thank goodness or I wouldn't still be here myself.
    I look forward to reading some of your reviews and work.
    Regards,
    D.
     
  9. Inkwriter
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    Inkwriter New Member

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    Welcome!
    I fully agree with you! A debate or two is good, but when the guns start coming out then it's time to zip your mouth. :)
    I'm going to now read your story excerpt.
    Enjoy the forums!
     
  10. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Welcome to the forums, Chef Dave. :D
     
  11. yellowm&M
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    yellowm&M Contributing Member Contributor

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    welcome! :)
     
  12. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. Oasis Writer
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    Oasis Writer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Welcome :)
     

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