Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Pssst! Lovers of Learning!
How do you pick a vocational school?
Do what I,
(a graduate and class speaker of the 10-Week Course at the International Air Academy) did!

Judge a school by its advertisement on late-night television - and then enroll the fuck out of that shit!

When I decided to devote 10 whole weeks to the IAA (as we Alumni call it), it was down to a few questions; 'Where?' and 'What?' were biggies, but how was I going to make that decision? That's where Late Night Television came in and was able to make me see what a visit to the actual campus couldn't.

Here are some of the past contenders and a overall view of what their ads had to offer:

(Jingle: "Look how far your mind can take you! / With Apollo College!")

This ad shows a wistful girl strolling across one of Apollo College's many two gardens. She looks dreamily toward the sky as if looking directly at her Apollo College memories which are shown in a montage above her Sade looking head.

Shown are the good times...or is it a glimpse of the future? Maybe she just graduated and wanted to roam the Apollo College one more time as kind of a victory lap? Who knows? What we do know, is that it looks like she is having the time of her life checking dental charts while an old lady nods and smiles, and it also looks like the same time of her life is being had while she nods and smiles at another patient while ticking things off of her clipboard. Then there's the time she held the stethascope to the heart of a little girl's plush bear (awwwww) the A.C. is a great time! There she is hugging her Apollo College friends...and what looks like a very special teacher. The one she is allowed to date now.

Now the ad is back to reality. Our heroine dental assistant/medical assistant keeps strolling as the camera pans back to reveal the mighty campus of Apollo College (which is actually located in a mall) and she smiles the most private of smiles. The smile of someone who is in store for some seriously good lookin' & free dental care.

(Jingle: None - but 'go-getter' thumpy music inspires throughout).

Cut that cake! Carve that meat! Put that thing on the pastry!

That's what life looks like at The Western Culinary Institute. Even without the ad, they were a narrow escape in my elimination process. This isn't because it looks like a crappy school - oh no.

The Western Culinary Institute is actually hailed as one of the top cooking schools in the's just that it was two blocks away from where I used to live, so my whole building was lousy with chef students. Also - these people looked very mean. You'd walk by their alley and it was the kind of silence you'd (not) hear right before a gun-fight in the Old Town Square, and then realise that about twelve sets of eyes were on you. You'd turn around to see a group of chefs just staring and smoking at you. It was my husband who first pointed that part out. He used to stay in the area (a block away from me and the Western Culinary Institute) and one day he said: "Have you ever noticed the chefs...really noticed they notice us?" From that day on, I smoked and stared back...anyway...the ad: A lot of action shots of carving and decorating various foods to music. Not much to tell, but again - probably a great school. I just didn't want to live and breathe The Western Culinary Institute. What was I afraid of? Probably becoming addicted to the student-chef lifestyle.

(Jingle: "Inter-na-tion-al Aiiiiir Ac-AH-DAH-meeeee..." *smoooooth jazz sax*)

Did I want to travel to far away lands? (YES!)
Did I want to live the life of a born traveller? (YES!)
Did I want to see the world and travel to distant lands? (YES!)
Did I want to travel? The world? And see the world through travelling? (YES!)

It didn't matter that this question was asked a zillion diferent ways. The ad got me with it's scenes of stewardesses in crisp blue trailing their rolling suitcases, scarves tied just so around their necks, sauntering off of planes, laughing gaily as they meet up with thier other steward & stewardess friends. "What a flight!" their shared looks seemed to say, "I'll say! But it's so worth it! Being a steward or stewardess is fun!" The ad showed these people at work and at play as they accepted drinks off of trays adorned with exotic flowers, as they looked out onto the ocean.
Even the Reservations Department in these ads made it look like booking flights was the new great sex-glow, so you should learn how to do this right now!

It completely worked on me. I made fun of the ads every time I saw them and did a retarded lip-synching of the jingle...but in my heart of hearts, I really wanted to be a stewardess.
Not a flight attendant. A stewardess.

Flight attendants ask if you'd like the steak or chicken. Stewardesses purrr if you'd like the steak or chicken. I was going to enroll in this school, get one of their loans, ace all the classes and become the gal who would single-handedly bring back The Stewardess and smoking on planes. That was my mission. become a stewardess, (I found out) you'd better be willing to live like a 22 year-old college student, be paid like one working part-time, be willing to be on call literally 24 hours a day, seven days a week, willing to take shitty routes and also be willing to kiss your social life a huge goodbye for a long, looooong time. The hoops to jump through to reap the wonderful benefits (which aren't a lie) are too many to mention...and the benefits really kick in after around 5 - 10 years of really excellent service. I guess I don't have that kind of patience.

I'm still glad I went, though. If I ever changed my mind, I've got paperwork I can use. And I have one hell of a wiggle in my gait.

Is there a special school you'd like us to know about?
Write us!
Biz & Jordi
Old Goat Funhouse, USA


At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a soft spot for Ashmead myself.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Biz and/or Jordi said...

I enrolled the fuck out of it and have never been prouder of me.


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