Monday, September 24, 2007

Giving it the old college try....yet another rant.

There's a squawk going on around these here parts; a squawk concerning Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth. That's a school about three hours up the road from here, over next to the big D.
You know, the Big D as in Dallas.

Here's what the flapadoodle is all about: Student attending the Seminary are now able to earn a concentration in homemaking as part of a bachelor of arts in humanities degree.

Course work includes seven credit hours of nutrition and meal preparation, seven hours of textile design and clothing construction, three hours each of general homemaking, "the value of a child" and "biblical model for the home and family."

The dean of women's programs (women's programs! Boy does that look odd to type in these modern times...) at the seminary told the Associated Press that the course's main purpose is "to strengthen families." The school's web site states the program "endeavors to prepare women to model the characteristics of godly women as outlined in Scripture."

Here's the rub: The degree is available only to women.

Huh????

Or a Bernie put it: Does the college have classes for men only to endeavor to prepare men to model the characteristics of godly men as outlined in the Scripture?

Such as: How to mend....fishing nets?
Such as: How to cook breakfast... as in "on the beach, by Jesus"?
Such as: How to care for children...as in suffer the little children to come unto me (oh come on...you know who said that!)
Such as child development...as modeled by Eli, the total disastrous father who nevertheless was given Samuel to raise.

In my Bible (and I have many versions, King James, New King James, Jewish Bible, New International Version....I could go on and on....) there is a passage about this: Neither Greek or Jew, or Male or Female. Galatians 3:28, go head, look it up.

The Bible speaks specifically about male/female interactions and characteristics (husbands love your wives, look for ways to die for them to raise them up; wives, honor your husbands, look for ways to admire and esteem them...that just one passage I will suggest.)
I just don't see anywhere where home making skills are limited to only females.

Did you know that the Bible discusses (if you want to get literal about it) that men should be the one's doing the dishes? See II Kings 21:13. Yeah, go ahead, look it up.

I wonder what SBTS would have to say about that?

Do they know that there is an entire book in the Bible, nay, an entire chosen people dedicated to the imperative that only men should make coffee? (Think about it....)

I have zero beef with having classes in home arts (or home making/home economics/family studies and consumer science or any other name that might be given to courses that help folk effectively manage their families and households.)

I think it is pathetic that fewer and fewer people can cook using ingredients "from scratch" or sew on a button or know not to smack a two year old just for saying "No."

Fewer and fewer people know about the different kinds of insurances available, which ones are a rip off, and which ones do what they are intended to do. Few folks have a clue how to understand how to calculate a total or applied cost of a purchase.

These things are important and are covered in Home Economics course work. Individuals and families are failing in financial and interpersonal levels in ways that basic home economics education and home making skills could easily remedy.

I think college level is a little late for a lot of this information. On the other hand, most teens can't see the relevance until they are in the midst of the decision making process. They find themselves at a loss for information at a stage of life when they have neither the time nor money to attend college to figure it all out.

A lot of these things in another era were learned "at my Mother's knees" or "at my Father's side." Classes in the basic subjects just weren't necessary. The information was used, and put into practice daily anyway, for all in the household to see.

Bernie chimed in again on this subject: "Most women aren't the problem in households anyway, it is the men that aren't yielded to God as they should be that are the problem."
(My husband...I just love him to pieces!)

He's right. Few families go down the tubes because Mom can't sew on a button or make a cake from scratch.

Now days "Mom" can even park herself on the couch and watch the Home and Garden Network and pick up instruction on these topics any way. Or she can head to the computer and do some web surfing or (gasp) even consult a local librarian to find a book on these matters. After she usually puts in a ten hour day at work. And does the dishes that her husband ought to be doing, if he is a scriptural literalist.

SBTS is OK for offering the classes, but they should also be open to men. What better place for a man to find a wife?

Ha! Hahahaha, snort, giggle....that's a little inside joke.
Those of us who went to college to get a home ec degree were often accused of seeking the degree to get a MRS. degree (also known as getting a husband.)

I always pointed out that there were NO men in my classes, so it wasn't a very good hunting ground for that.
At my school there were degrees offered in Forestry and Business and Agricultural and Wild Life Management (no, not Frat parties, real critters out in the woods...)
Those courses were just loaded with men. If I was just husband hunting, duh, I would have enrolled in some of those classes.

What I should have told everyone asking me if I was in Home Ec:

No. I am enrolled in pre-med.

That's right...a bachelor of science degree in Home Economics in the 1970's had the exact same science requirements as pre med. It was a tough degree. Some of my classes were three hours of class time, and had an additional twenty hours of lab time each week. TWENTY HOURS! And that was just one of my classes. Before we could turn on an oven we had to be able to write out all foods by their chemical structure. Before we could stitch a stitch we had to memorize all the physical and chemical design within any given fiber. Do not pooh-pooh my home ec. degree.
There was a lot more difficult degree to earn than most people ever imagine.

From time to time I have pondered the idea of getting my degree in theology. Bernie has a Bachelors degree in theology, I know what is required. At age 53 I could nail that degree in a heart beat, albeit the Greek component has me skittish. I am not good with foreign languages.

My research skills and life long study of Scripture would make getting a PhDiv in Theology a piece of cake. I've seen some of those doctoral thesis papers, phfff...give me a break. Actually I have assisted pastors with their degrees, doing the research to pull information to support their ideas. That's what librarians do: Help people find what they need to read to become knowledgeable.

I can find and read and understand anything I need to get a theology degree. It rankles me to have to pay a school to hand me a piece of paper saying I was able to do it.

Since I'm not one who thinks women should be ordained (a slippery slope...once a woman does something, then men don't think they have to do it any more) a PhD degree in theology would only allow me (as a woman, according to my own interpretation of scripture) to teach at a college, and since the Bible says I'm not suppose to teach men either, I guess I would be limited to teaching home ec classes to women.

This is sounding suspiciously like something out of the Middle East. If this lead to wearing a burqa, so help me I am going to eat like there is no tomorrow, and I'll order my burqa's from the Sassy Fat Girl shop so I'll have room to grow.

And speaking of growing...look at this lovely vine!

It has such a pretty pink and lavender shoots tangling up like a microscopic examination of a extruded synthetic fiber. I would know, I used to study microscopic slides of extruded synthetic fiber.
I've been watching it grow in my pantry all summer. You know, it is just too hot to garden outside here in Texas during the summer. I was pleased that something wanted to grow with out water or much sunlight, and without me doing a thing for it, so I just let it sit and sprout on top of one of the cans of soup.

It was too hot to eat soup this summer, so there never was a reason to move it.

Now I've gotten rather fond of the thing; I could never bring myself to eat it now.
I'm thinking of planting it outside, just to see what will happen.
An abbreviated version of being a Proverbs woman:
"...she plants a vineyard."
Proverbs 31:16
(And as Bernie finished his breakfast, he blew his nose, said "You don't see women executives raiding corporations. You don't see women executives being investigated by the SEC. It's the men who are always doing illegal stuff..." his voice faded away as he walked away from the table and headed to his office.
I was more than happy to pick up his breakfast dishes and load them into the dishwasher.
I'm pretty sure that men washing dishes only applies to dishes that can't be put into the dishwasher.
Scripturally, I'm covered.)

6 comments:

Lovella said...

Okay, I'm laughing, you seem a bit feisty this morning. I can picture the whole scene before my eyes. Breakfast with Jill and Bernie.

Since I never attended college . .yikes . .that's a bit admission in itself . .I guess I can't really have an opinion on this one . .I do intend to teach my man how to make a pot of coffee though.

Laura said...

Ah,my mother. What a wonderful spin on women's lib/equality/he can do dishes too. Good thing I chose to obey the whole "when I was sick you cared for me" thing. Maybe I'm paraphrasing. Guess a research librarian will correct me! I definately hit the "when i was thirsty, you gave me something to drink," even if it took me a few walking into the room and exclaiming, "dang! I forgot your water again. Let me go get it right now." Or does it count if I brought the water just so they could take their pills?

Kathy said...

Wow, only available to women. That sure stands out in our times. I got a bang out of this post - and I enjoyed your walk - eh - your report of your walk. Never seen magnolias with the rust colored leaves in the back.

Vicki said...

I love your rant! You really had me laughing!

The tuber vines are pretty interesting, too.

Kate said...

Do plant that sweet potato. They have lovely leaves and make a gorgeous vine. You will enjoy it for a long time. K Q;-)

Beth H said...

Wow, what a lot to think about. I enjoy your blog--even the rants, though I came for the hats. Thanks for all of it!