My health issues and lack of professional kitchen experience have put such a strain on me at school that my Chef and I ended up having a long talk. Chef Joe Muré is a very large man, very friendly, and (as is required by the CIA) very experienced in the profession. He was greatly concerned that I would get "eaten alive" by the very brusque atmosphere of a professional kitchen, where chefs and cooks have little sympathy for bouts of bronchitis and little understanding of GAD attacks. Mind you, Chef wasn't telling me I was a failure -- on the contrary, I showed skill in technique and was a wiz at the academics aspect of classwork. My problems revolved the pressures of the kitchen, the speed required for service and the necessity of having a rhino-hide to handle the emotional stress. Chef feared that if I were to go on Externship at my current state, I'd be traumatized and likely never be able to finish school.... which (in his opinion) would be tragedy for me and a crime for an instructor to allow. So, on his recommendation, I agreed it would be best for me to withdraw from school for a bit to get some experience (and build confidence) as well as deal with my health issues.