Is It Time To Bring Back Home Economics In Schools?

Is It Time To Bring Back Home Economics In Schools?

Sexist... or academic?
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The summer going into my fourth grade, my mom signed me up for sewing camp, a four-day program at the local all girls high school where young girls learned to sew and knit. I made pillows, blankets, and even pajama pants and loved every bit of it. I even asked for a sewing machine that Christmas.

I ended up attending that all girls' high school, but by the time I got there the room full of sewing machines was replaced with a chemistry lab.

As I fall into the struggle of what many call "adulting," I find myself Googling cooking prep tips, stain mishaps, types of laundry loads, financial issues and sewing tips. I feel grateful for the existence of the internet, but sometimes I wish I was more educated on the material beforehand. I wish I could use a sewing machine as effortlessly as I did when I was in middle school.

So, that made me wonder if home economics should make its return for the second course.

When I mention that my high school's domestic science room turned into a shiny new kind of science lab, I wasn't disappointed by any means, just surprised. I do not mean to diminish the prioritized importance of STEM and especially women and POC in STEM. I just wonder, why not have both? What could be wrong with bringing home economics back into the classroom?

You may be thinking, "Home Econ? What year is it, 1950? We need to move forward, not back!" That's true, and I agree. However, we're smarter now. Each day, more people are understanding the gender binary and that you can move in and out of those constructs. It's 2017, offer home econ at all girls' schools! Offer them at all boys' schools! Offer them at private and public schools! These classes can do more than teach young adults how to cook and clean properly. They can provide as a mental health aid.

In a podcast episode by "The Modern Domestique," or TMD, the hosts discuss homemaking as a form of art therapy. They mention that many find comfort in and destress by crafting, tidying up their space, cooking and, as the skyrocketing popularity of adult coloring books suggest, coloring. Ultimately, people like to keep their hands busy to distract them from the battle in their brain.

Home economics doesn't need to be a step back in the increasingly progressive academic playing field. It serves as more than a tips and tricks class about how to balance a checkbook or cook a perfect pot roast. Perhaps we can thread the needle and bring back a revamped home economics class that sheds light on modern gender politics as well as serve therapeutic benefits to adolescents and adults alike.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Minimalism Addresses Our Culture Of Consumption

Decluttering your life and consuming less allows you to live in the moment.

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Most of us, at some point in our lives, have become trapped by our culture of consumption. It's a disgusting display of wealth and social status that social divides us. This social divide does a great job at inhibiting our potential at building objective, meaningful relationships. Material possessions become our identity and we begin to lose a true sense of who we really are. It's entirely possible for us to exist as content, beautiful human beings without participating in the culture of consumption we have been duped into believing in.

The problem with our culture of consumption is that it has become a key aspect of every activity. We give too much value to "things," focusing less on their contribution to our overall wellbeing, passions, or happiness. We may experience temporary contentment or pleasure, but it seldom lasts forever. Minimalism eliminates the "things" from our routine, allowing us to find contentment from the simple things in life.

Minimalism is not an expensive hobby one takes up on the quest for self-discovering and happiness. There is this huge misconception that being a minimalist requires a fat wallet and that your life is now restricted by rules and limitations. This simply is not true. This misconception comes from the elitist culture which has emerged through social media outlets. This distorted perception has blurred the individualistic nature of minimalism. A lifestyle often associated as a fad is actually a lifestyle that de-clutters your physical and mental state.

Minimalists are people who…

  • Make intentional decisions; that add value to their lives.
  • Focus on personal growth and the quality of their relationships.
  • Live in the moment.
  • Discover personal potential by eliminating obstacles standing in our way.
  • Consume less and intentionally.
  • Gift experiences rather than material possessions.

There isn't anything necessarily wrong with owning material possessions. If you find importance in an object that genuinely makes you happy then, great! Minimalism doesn't have to look like white walls behind aesthetically placed black furniture. This concept focuses on the internal value system we all forget we control. Start small; declutter your thoughts. We easily get stuck in our routines that we forget to look slow down and just breathe. Living in the moment is by far the most valuable aspect of minimalism because it allows us to feel and experience every minute of our existence.

If you're someone who enjoys nature, there's more value to be found in the adventures we seek out and create than those created for us. Discover birds you've never seen before, wander down trials in your neighborhood, or uncover beaches no one else knows about. You'll find more value in the creation of your own adventure because those experiences are completely your own.

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