The past is not simply the past, but a prism through which the subject filters his own changing self-image. Doris Kearns Goodwin
In preparation for this first post in the FACS Image Shake Up blog challenge, I must admit that I’ve struggled more with the tone than the content. I know what I want to say but just how to say it is not easy. I fear that the things I have to share may come off more critical than inspirational and that certainly is not my goal. As I’ve considered this dilemma, I’ve found my mind going back to an instructor in my Home Economics Ed. classes in college.
Dr. Dorothy Keenan taught several courses within the Department of Home Economics Education at Southern Illinois University when I was a student there in the early 1970s. To say that Dr. Keenan was tough as nails would be to downplay the toughness of your average nail. She was petite, slim and advancing in years but you didn’t mess around in Dr. Keenan’s classes. She informed you of the rules and expectations for her class the first day of the course and she cut no one any slack. Truth be told, she scared me to death! Please don’t get me wrong, Dr. Keenan was never mean or unkind. She was simply all business and very serious about the importance of education.
Dr. Keenan was probably ahead of her time in her appreciation for the importance of building a positive self image. Good grooming, professional attire and preparation were always high on her list of expectations for her students. You knew that if you arrived at the door of her classroom late or wearing anything that she deemed inappropriate for a Home Economics major, you would be turned away, no excuses! She wanted Home Economics students to stand out from the rest of the students on campus because of our sense of style and standard of dress.
Now you’re probably wondering why I’ve spent so much time taking you on this walk down my own personal memory lane. Well, it’s really all a matter of context. If you read the quote at the beginning of this post it may make more sense. I learned so much from Dr. Keenan about teaching methods and managing my classroom! However, it may be the professional pride she instilled in me that had the most lasting impact. In other words, she shaped my image of what a Home Economics/Family Consumer Science professional should look like and that’s where I think we need to start rebuilding the image of FACS.
You are the face of your FACS program. Think about the image you’re presenting at school and in your community. Is there room for improvement?