Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Semester review, part 1: the other classes

The semester is finally over, and it is time for me to share with you what I learned. Two of the five classes I took this semester had nothing to do with apparel design, but were still required for my major. I will begin my review with my thoughts about those two classes.

SOC 110 – Introductory Sociology I expected this class to be inane and painfully dull. If it was not required I would not have even considered taking a social science class. My plan was to get it out of the way early so that as my apparel classes become more difficult over the upcoming semesters I will not have to spend time with other subjects. I was pleased to discover that my expectations were unfounded. The class was both interesting and fun, and the professor did a great job presenting the information to us. I always looked forward to the lectures. The class was not easy. I needed to spend a lot of time studying, and the paper and two essays I wrote took a lot of work. I am pleased to say the effort I devoted to this class paid off; I got an A.

None of the topics covered in the class related directly to apparel or fashion, but I was able to write my paper about the fashion industry. Early in the semester the professor gave me an article about fashion from a sociology journal. It was not for my paper; it was just something he thought I would find interesting. He was right. The article, “Fashion” by Georg Simmel, is about the driving forces in fashion. I agreed with what Simmel had to say, and what I found most fascinating about the article was when it was written. The language seemed a little archaic, but at first I thought that was just how sociologists wrote. I was more than two pages into the article before I realized how old it is. What Simmel wrote about fashion in 1904 is true today. Simmel suggested that the driving force in fashion is the desire of rich people to distinguish themselves from the rest of us. New fashion is expensive, so only rich people can afford it. Soon poor folk will be wearing cheap knock-offs, so the rich people need something new to wear.

Although I enjoyed this class a lot, I have no plans to take any more sociology or other social science classes. I will only take classes required for my major and minor.

PKG 100 – Packaging and Society I would not have taken this class had it not been required. Unlike sociology I expected this class would be both interesting and relevant to my major, but as was the case with sociology, my expectations were wrong. Part of marketing apparel is how it is packaged, and although this class is required for all apparel design students the packaging of apparel was never mentioned. The instructor spent the entire semester talking about how food and medicines are packaged. I got an A in the class, yet I feel I did not learn anything. Well, I did learn that the period following the fall of the Roman Empire was called the Dark Ages because the sky was dark for 800 years, but I suspect that may not be entirely accurate. The class is over, I got a good grade, and one more requirement has been taken care of, so I will not drone on about it any more

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