Marco Zappone, a Vancouver Island University baking program student, poses by a wood fired brick oven on the Nanaimo campus. Zappone and his peers are back to school for fall semester. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

VIU students back to school for fall semester

Baking program student becoming acclimatized to Nanaimo campus

New students are finding their way to their first classes today at Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo campus.

A few courses started up before the Labour Day long weekend, but for most university students, today, Sept. 3, is the start of the fall semester.

Irlanda Price, VIU’s associate vice-president of student affairs, said there will be some 2,300 new students for fall semester. Among resources available to students are counselling services, services for students of aboriginal and international origin, a health clinic and peer-supported learning, said Price.

The university hosted more than 700 new students for Rock VIU, an annual welcome-to-campus orientation event last Thursday, which included a drum café, barbecue, faculty block parties and a carnival. A special event was also held at VIU’s Shq’apthut Gathering Place.

RELATED: Orientation day rocks VIU’s Nanaimo campus

One of the new students acclimatizing himself to campus is Marco Zappone, enrolled in VIU’s baking program. Baking program students saw class start Aug. 26.

Zappone, who has a health sciences degree from the University of Lethbridge, said he decided to learn about baking because it is universal. No matter where you are, you can use baking and no matter what country, the method is the same, he said.

“With convenience of fast food and technology and everything, I think a lot of home [economic] skills are starting to fade out and that’s something I really cherish with me and my family, is making home meals, making breads from scratch…” he said. “I think that’s really important.”

Being a specialized program, there are specific supplies that he had to purchase.

“We need to buy attire, we need to buy recipe books, basic text books,” said Zappone, who also said he carries around notepads, which he can use to write down ideas.

“You never know what you might forget,” Zappone said. “Just write everything down, not typing, but writing.”

Zappone wants to “dip his toes in the water,” working at bakeries and cafés, getting a better understanding of the industry and eventually sees himself opening his own business, possibly a traditional Italian pizza place.

“My favourite pizza, people make fun of me still, is plain pizza, like Margherita,” said Zappone. “Simplicity is sometimes best.”

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