I am still a little unsure why Kaimi invited me to be a guest blogger here at T&S. I enjoy reading many of the posts, but I have been entirely too intimidated to comment (although my name did get included in Kaimi’s post: Mormon Makeover shows). You can’t blame me for my fear with comments like:
“One of the problems with BYU is that in the world at large certain degrees from there are seen as a joke–particularly anything in the biological sciences, but also those degrees in family science or whatever they are called”
But here I am, and my “joke” degree is all I have to give in the way of academic pedigree. At the least though, what I can offer to you during my two week stay is something a little different for everyone to read. Whether this difference comes from my choice of topics or my comparatively poor writing skills will obviously be up for debate.
I appreciate everyone’s questions in the welcome post. I have been at a slight loss trying to figure out what to write about, as I feel very much like a pioneer here with my “unique” background. I think that my posts in the coming weeks will touch on many of the subjects that have been brought up so far as well as some others. But, in the end, if my time blogging here has any ill effect on T&S’s prestigious reputation, you can all blame Kaimi.
So, back to my “joke” degree in family sciences. I obviously don’t think of it as a joke. But looking back, BYU might have. The fashion design program at BYU was part of the Clothing and Textile Department which was part of the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences. I use the past tense on purpose because during my freshman year it was announced that the Clothing and Textile Department would be closing. Luckily, I was able to be part of the last graduating class. Now, the only fashion designers that might come out of BYU will be from the athletic department.
Based on the numerous comments regarding BYU’s academic value in Nate Oman’s “My School” post, many of you might think closing this department was a step in the right direction for a school that wants to go from mediocre to well-respected in the academic field. Well I am here to argue that BYU was my school too.
In the classes of the BYU Clothing and Textiles department:
1. I found creative and intellectual stimulation from students, teachers and (what I found to be the most unlikely source) the entire BYU environment.
2. I found incredible fulfillment in designing and constructing clothing (not unlike the fulfillment many of you might find in crafting a good argument or writing beautiful poetry).
3. I was able to study what can very easily turn into a “worldly” and “materialistic” subject — fashion — in a church setting.
4. I came away with a more balanced university education as opposed to the narrow one I would have received had I attended the popular fashion trade schools.
5. I became skilled in a valuable trade–one that has given me many options so that I have always been able to balance family, church and career.
6. I learned skills that have helped me to better serve in the church.
President Hinkley has made many statements about how women should get an education and not just for education’s sake. He has counseled that we need to be prepared for whatever life might bring.
“It is a time for education. The world that lies ahead of you will be fiercely competitive. Now is the time to train yourselves for possible future responsibilities.You have available to you tremendous opportunities for training your minds and your hands. You will wish for marriage and the companionship of a good husband. But none of us can foretell the future. Prepare yourselves for any eventuality.”
I feel really lucky that I was able to be educated in an area that I not only find extremely fulfilling, but practical as well. I really find it a shame that BYU could not see the Clothing and Textiles Department for the great program that it was: one that was helping women fulfill the Lord’s counsel as given through His prophet.