Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lunch break and a trip to Pig’s Eye

Nothing new happened in class yesterday. In my sewing class I worked on my t-shirts, and in sketching class I continue to struggle. The only excitement was at the start of class as I spent five minutes frantically searching for my blue ribbed interlock fabric before remembering that I only had red ribbed interlock. I really do not have anything to say, but fortunately having nothing to say has never prevented me from voicing my thoughts. So today instead of writing about my classes I will write about my school and I will critique some other students.

Campus was always very crowded at the start of this semester. There were long lines in the cafeteria and at the coffee shop, and open seats in the lobbies were hard to find. Now seats are always available, and even at lunch time the lines are never long. Where have all the students gone? Have they dropped out, or are they just managing their time better so that they do not need to sit in the lobbies for hours? Maybe they are all in the library studying. I have not needed to go to the school library; maybe I will visit it next week.

I bring lunch with me to school – usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bag of Skittles. I have not yet purchased anything from the cafeteria, but last week I looked at their menu. Hamburgers cost $2.25 while veggie burgers are $4.10. To produce one pound of meat a cow must eat somewhere from eight to forty pound of feed. (PETA will give you the higher numbers; the cattle industry will use the smaller numbers in response to PETA and the larger numbers for tax purposes.) I understand that there is a much greater demand for hamburgers than for veggie burgers, but the difference in price still strikes me as a little extreme. I will continue to brown-bag it.

My school has a basketball team. I have never been to a game and I have no plans to ever go to one. I do not even know where they play. I have never been a fan of college sports, and my current school has not inspired in me any feelings of college pride and loyalty. This in no way means that I object to my school having a basketball team. On the contrary, I think having a team is a good thing for this school. Even if I do not care about college basketball other people clearly do, and they should have the opportunity to play (if they play) or attend games (if that is what they like doing). So I was very upset to learn that this year will be the final year for basketball at MCTC. I understand that state budget cuts are affecting all public schools, and that basketball is not as important as academics, but I think it is still important enough that it ought to be kept. Maybe the school could raise the price of hamburgers. It is sad that the program had to be canceled to make me care about it. Last year the team’s record was 33-2. I hope their final year is just as good. I do not know what the team’s name is, but GO THEM!

Last year ten apparel design students at MCTC made outfits to be shown at the school’s Diva Project Fashion Show. The ten outfits were recently on display at Metro State University in St. Paul. I do not know why this display was in St. Paul at a school that does not have an apparel design program, but St. Paul is where they were so across the river I went. I found the outfits both daunting and inspiring. They were well made and the designers used a number of techniques that I have not yet learned. The students who made these outfits are only two years ahead of me in school. It is a little scary to think of how much I need to learn, but the thought that in two years I will be able to make outfits like these fills me with hope and confidence. The apparel construction impressed me, but the design and styles did not. Of the ten outfits on display I thought seven were quite unattractive. The remaining three were no better than OK. With most of the outfits I thought the designers got carried away adding too many features. The three I thought were OK could all have been very nice if their designers had not added so many bells and whistles. This is a problem I have noticed with a lot of student designs. The designers make the items far more complicated than needed. I have not yet designed any pieces for school, so I do not know if the overly designed garments are what teachers want or if most students just do not know where to stop. The outfits brought to mind a line from A Chorus Line, “Different is nice, but it sure isn’t pretty.” I feel the purpose of fashion clothing is to draw notice to the person wearing it, not to the clothing itself. I could be wrong about all this though; perhaps I just have a lousy sense of style. We will see what happens after I start designing clothing instead of working from patterns.

Wow. For someone who had nothing to say I certainly rambled on. I have some news about my UW-Stout saga, but I do not want to take up any more of your precious time. I will be back in a day or two with the Stout update.

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