I have always been astounded by the power of words to inspire, excite, inform and encourage. As a result of my lifelong love affair with the written and spoken word, I have a sizeable collection of books of quotations. Without a doubt, my favorite book in that collection is a diminutive volume entitled AAFCS—100 Years of Inspiration Centennial Book of Quotations. Compiled by the Illinois Association of Family & Consumer Sciences, it’s a collection of wonderful quotes from past and current FACS stars.
Today I’d like to share with you a few of the quotes from this book that I find most inspiring and enlightening. I hope that you will consider each of these quotations a gift and that these words will ignite your passion and enthusiasm for our profession.
Home economics stands for the ideal home life for today, unhampered by the traditions of the past; utilization of all the resources of modern science to improve the home life; the freedom of home from the dominance of things and their due subordination to ideals; that simplicity in material surroundings that will free the spirit for the more important and permanent interests of home and society.
The function of home economics is to assemble and disseminate whatever may serve to promote the ideal for the home and the lives within. . . .The relationship to other divisions of knowledge and to other lines of activity must be recognized if the subject is to be seen in it proper perspective. It behooves each worked in home economics to survey all fields of knowledge, all lines of activity, and to glean therefrom whatever may serve the end we seek—improvement of homes and family life.
A home economist, it seems to me, is the person who, by whatever route she arrives, has an insight into the wide range of home and family problems, a discriminating appreciation of the importance of home and families to society, and a fund of sound knowledge of science or the humanities which she purposes to use in the solution of some of these problems.
A true professional attitude toward ourselves is necessary before we can expect anyone else to accord us professional recognition and status.
Home economics is the art and science of relating families to progress.
For most family and consumer sciences professionals, their work or how they practice is not just a career; it is a “calling”. The essence of the “soul” of the profession is our attitude and perspective, our feeling that we’re making a meaningful contribution, and that we have a vision for the future we’re trying to create.
In closing, let me remind each of you that you are FACS stars when you strive to be the best that you can be every day. Have a wonderful weekend!
I’ve been really good this year and I’ve worked very hard to try to help my FACS Friends save the profession we love. I think that we could make 2014 our best year ever if you’d just fill my FACS Holiday Wish List. You’re going to need a lot of help from my FACS Friends to get the job done, but I know you can convince them to help since we’ll all benefit from the effort. So here goes! For Christmas this year I want:
- FACS teachers in every classroom who are passionate about the importance of FACS.
- FACS classrooms that are equipped with the latest technology and teachers who effectively utilize that technology in their instruction.
- FACS instruction that includes reading fiction and applying writing skills in basic FACS lessons.
- FACS instruction that includes math and science concepts.
- FACS professionals who network with their colleagues through association with professional organizations and participation in conferences.
- FACS educators who effectively use social media to enhance the image of FACS and to stay connected with other FACS professionals and their communities.
- FACS professionals who look for every opportunity to showcase their FACS skills.
- Use their local FCCLA chapters to connect with their communities and showcase student accomplishments.
- FACS professionals who exemplify the value of FACS by making healthful diet and exercise choices.
- FACS professionals who follow the example of Ellen Swallow Richards and approach both their professional and personal from an analytical and scientific perspective. As Ellen would say, “Keep thinking!”
Thanks for considering the items on my Christmas list! Can’t wait for 2014!
December 3, Ellen Swallow Richards’ birthday, has become a true holiday for me! I call today FACS Founder Day because, as I hope you probably already know, Ellen pioneered the field of Home Economics. Each of us who practices the profession of Family and Consumer Science or Home Economics owes the very existence of our field to Ellen Swallow Richards.
Born in 1842, a time when opportunities for women were extremely limited, Ellen refused to follow the conventional path for women of her day. Blessed with a remarkable intellect, Ellen refused to be denied the education and opportunities she desired. Her tenacity and dedication to the application of scientific study to the improvement of everyday life make her accomplishments worthy of celebration! Here are just a few of Ellen’s most outstanding accomplishments.
- Ellen set up a program in the Boston public schools to prepare young women for education in the sciences.
- She established the first program in sanitary engineering at MIT.
- She established a women’s laboratory at MIT.
- Ellen established a scientific basis for home economics.
- She conducted groundbreaking studies into the adulteration of food establishing the framework for food safety standards.
- She conducted research into the arsenic content in wallpaper and fabrics, laying the groundwork for safety standards for these commonly used products.
- Ellen was one of the first scientists to advance the study and application of nutrition and healthy eating.
Throughout this #Save FACS blog series, we’ve been exploring actions FACS professionals can take to improve the image and profession of FACS. I’m going to suggest that the most important thing we can do is to ask ourselves one question, “What would Ellen do?”
Reflecting on the remarkable life of Ellen Swallow Richards should give us the courage and determination to save the profession she pioneered. Ellen steadfastly refused to be denied the education and opportunities she so richly deserved. We should follow her example and pursue the goal of advancing FACS with the same perseverance and tenacity.
So here’s my final #Save FACS suggestion! In the words of Ellen herself, “Keep thinking!”