Cum Laude Café

So far in my twenty year old life as a boy, youth and an adult, I wonder: am I a gingerbread man?

From my creation and all the way to the present- the most time consuming endeavor has been all those harsh years in the oven. The oven is my current residence. The atmosphere is hot and dense. It does not help that I live with very many other gingerbread men, with little proximity between us. Molded equally, prided with the same colors and cooked in the exact same temperature as everyone else. The ugly edges are trimmed away. Me and my gingerbread kin's purpose is to satisfy and to be enjoyed. The process of our creation is quite complex, and to satisfy all the costumers it is said that the baker uses many plates at the same time to finish the pastries to reach the deadline. Others get the exclusivity to rest alone and delight in comfortable mid-oven temperatures. Many things differ me and my metaphorical alter ego Gingerbread man, but one fact can't be denied. We rose from dirt and will some day become it once more.

Even though I have spent nearly all my twenty years in the oven, does not mean i am nearing completion. For the baker it seems more important to finish the recipe than to give us the proper substance and texture. More somberly put, that is a quarter of a life, and I still am not completely cooked. The bakers alarm clock will not ring until at least 5 years from now. After that, I will hopefully prove myself worthy of nice cookie jar, in which I will slowly and anxiously wait to be processed by the baker's costumers.

There is a crust starting to form underneath me. I’m stuck in the paper. Black and white. It stings quite a lot. If only the baker had smeared with some margarine first. Has he forgotten the recipe? Does he not want gingerbread of high quality?

It is that old kind of oven. The one with horrible patterns on it, and a dim glass from all the burns and almost stratified fat with almost rock-like texture. This oven is my world right now, and will influence me for a long time. Without it, I could not be other than dough. I can't change now because that would render rather inconsistent and unstructured pastries.

You have no idea how many sorts of pencils there are out there. I have tried most kinds. There are flexible ones, the ones with ink that can be erased away with friction and even pencils with multiple heads. My fondest writing utility might be the computer, but a led pen with a 0,5 mm opening combined with some soft and nice led is a fantastic tool that I value incredibly much. I use it daily for hours at a time. Hence the variants, the variation of me purposing them has been limited to sketches and note-taking.

There came a beautiful and distraction free day that I remember very well. It was a Sunday, and for those who does not know, stores are closed in Norway on Sundays. My family was traveling to my grandfathers house. I found an old book about animals, in which there were beautiful illustrations. It was dusty, but very much alive. Fascination at first sight led to a strong desire to learn. However, catastrophe of major magnitude struck. I had to acknowledge that the only pencil around was miles away, and the only drawing utility was an old pen that came along a sudoku book we had in the car. If you know anything about drawing, you know very well that sketches and assisting lines are required for a novice to create natural and proportional figures. If you have neither a pencil nor eraser, you will end up with a good figure that looks rather unfinished.

Luckily, it was only one day until I was able to buy a set of new pencils. It took few months until they where sharpened down to small stumps, looking like the pencils you inherit from your older siblings.

“My parents tastes the same as me. Which year is this again?”

The book was that weird little spark of interest that has in some way or another catalyzed my own desire to teach myself something new. Some people are lucky to get these influences in their lives, and some get nearly any at all. With a tiny glimpse of introspection, I have concluded that I would not sell any of my works. That, just because they simply would not sell at all. But they could have, if drawing was an interest I could develop and stimulate along with other people that felt passionate about it. Without the tools and source of inspiration- I would still be horrible at drawing! My attention would have drifted away from drawing if I had no tools available.

Humans have developed more and better tools than the pencil, the ruler and the eraser. The temperature of the oven should be regulated for the gingerbread. The baker expects you to taste good after so much effort. If you taste ok, the baker seems to leave the recipe untouched and used over and over again. Only horrible pastries would make him change it.

“I want to be a scientist. I want to understand. I want to teach away everything I know”
“Alrighty then! Lets turn on the grill and hope for the best! Give me 5 years and i'll teach you how to turn on the switch”

The impulses I got came from parents, siblings and friends. If not for them, and how they presented problematic topics and how to solve them, I probably would never have had any interest in the heat of the oven. I feel relatively well cooked and imprisoned at the same time. Relatively well cooked meaning that that I don't have the possibility to dream really big.

A gingerbread silhouette. The uncooked core tastes somehow ok. It certainly looks like a gingerbread man. But I would have imagined that the thoroughly cooked ones were what the baker was after? It seems that it is not only the list of ingredients that have grown old to the new customers taste, he has also forgotten to evaluate the temperature needed.

So, despite all the babble about cooking- I must remind you that there are more to a gingerbread man. These pastries seem to be the most complicated creation ever, but that is quite far from the truth. The only thing left is the glaze.

The characteristics of a thinking gingerbread kin looks quite different from how they are today. They come in the same size with almost identical decoration. They are also controlled by a set of mock bakers. As comprehensive as that topic is, I will leave it for a different time. However, it is a very important matter to point out that the kin voted themselves for these bakers. Is it a direct consequence of not thinking? You decide.

“We need new ovens. ASAP!”

Though I cannot brag about any extensive life experience, I can along with basically everyone state with confidence that a baker has formed me in basically all forms. If he did a bad job or not is a subjective matter. He could have done better. Remember now, especially all of you that reside inside the inferno, the fact that you have been baked and shaped for a purpose. If not, there would not be any structure. The shop would not go around as planned. I have not lived a life on the outside yet, and I certainly do not know my purpose. Hm, maybe you feel the same way? My belief is that many do, and it is not breaking news that it is hard to decide. The point is; that we need new influences earlier to create more distinct personalities with passionate gingerbread men and women, and that the threshold for meeting equals should be lower.

It is an idea that aches. It is stuck and troubles me in my sleep.

It is Cum Laude Café. An ambitious and extensive concept of social evolution. A well educated individual standing behind the counter, ready to sell you a snack and passionate answers to your questions. The café would work as a breaker of barriers between the academic and the social. The employees would have to wish for the same as me, raising the greatest generation. I would want them to be the center for every nerd out there that wants to learn new and exciting stuff. A magnificent collection of literature, hard questions, puzzles, demonstrations, groups, competitions, board games and every other nerdy thing out there. Though it kinda sounds like a school, the difference is clear: you get to chose your own favorite topics, and which questions in the world that startles your imagination.

My brain seems to have rejuvenated. I have moved away from a small town, and into a center of knowledge and inspiration. I grew up in a fairly small city with few or no inspirational sources except for my closest people and school. I dearly wished that I could have gotten these impulses earlier. I'll leave you with the idea, and I hope that many people feel likewise.

Thank you for reading!

Today on Cum Laude Café:

Puzzle your way to discounts on our exquisite gingerbread!