It is a lot harder than it looks

Last week might have been mid-terms for me at BYU-Idaho, but I am not sure it was the busiest week of the semester. This week one of the assignments is something we were warned about a couple of weeks ago (thankfully), but that does not mean that we all have the skills or extra time to do a project of this magnitude in the amount of time given. Fortunately, I have already taken FCS 245 – Pattern Making so I have had a little bit of experience, but only a little bit.

A bit of a rant

I have to say that this is one of my biggest complaints about BYU-Idaho and some of their courses – gross under-estimation of required time to complete assignments or gross over-expectation in the ability to complete the assignment.

For example, in one of my classes, it kindly tells me the amount of time that the assignment should take to complete. That is great! It gives me an idea that one assignment is going to take longer than another. I appreciate that. The problem is that the times are extremely underestimated! They take anywhere from 2-4 times longer than the stated time to complete the assignments to the specifications.

That or the expectation of the level of completed work is that of a middle school child. That doesn’t seem like a fair judgment to most, but let me remind you that BYU-I is a fully accredited private university that awards real degrees with its diplomas. I certainly hope that everyone is actually trying to earn their degree and putting in the level of work that goes with a college education, but I am certain that is not always the case.

Overachievement is not a bad thing

Maybe I am an overachiever. Maybe that is my problem. However, I have never half-assed anything in my college career and I do not intend to start now.

Why? Because here I am 27 years after graduating high school and I am finally back on the destination degree part of my life journey. Finally.

Yes, I have an Associates’ degree in Liberal Arts. it was my “settled for” degree because I was studying Visual Communications at Lonestar College when there was a recurring chat about potentially relocating out of the state of Texas. It was crazy talk, but we did not know that at the time it was repeated – again. The decision was made that I’d take the fastest track to finish my Associates because it would be a degree that no one could take away from me and ultimately it would stop my credits from disappearing because they would no longer be considered viable credits in Texas or anywhere else for that matter.

Anyway, that turned out to be crazy talk, but we all know that the price of a college education can put the average family in the poor house these days. Thankfully, Pathway became a viable option for me in 2018 and I was able to matriculate to BYU-I in 2019. The hope is that this would be the final attempt at completing my Bachelor’s degree.

It should not have been that hard

The truth is, I was a good student in high school. I graduated in the top 8.5% of my high school graduating class. My best friend was the valedictorian. I was friends with all the top 10% of the class. I was a part of the best of the best. Unfortunately, I was not ready for the college experience to turn my study habits upside down. I also worked my way through school at UT-Austin on top of my student loans. Just 3 years later, I was not doing well at all. I was barely hovering above academic probation. Life was spiraling out of control in the academic world. I goofed!

My redemption started at U of H and then again at Lonestar College, but the GPA damage was done. I couldn’t undo the time wasted or the fact that I could not make up my mind on what I wanted to be when I grew up. I never fit into any of those perfect molds. The things I thought I wanted were not what I expected. The excuses are endless.

A second chance

But here I am at BYU-I and it is my second chance. It is my clean slate so to speak. I get to try again. This time it matters because by golly I want the dang degree that I started 27 years ago. No, I don’t want to be a computer programmer anymore. I married one instead. No, I don’t want to be an English major with a math minor. I might never make it to law school in my lifetime. The reality is, I don’t want to do some of the same things I started out with on this journey that started in 1994, but I do want the degree. I want that silly piece of pigskin to hang on the wall and say, “I did that!” Now it means something deeper.

And that deep want and desire drive me – every single day.

It drives me on every single assignment I complete. It is nothing for me to complete 15-page papers multiple times per week. With a lot of life experience and being a mean researcher and can quickly uncover a lot of information. The English degree that I never finished gave me a lot of writing experience, so it does not take me long to mentally vomit what I want to say on the page.

I do not want to put only the minimum requirement here. With BYU-I, I can mold and shape my degree to fit me better than the standard cookie cutter that is used by other universities. Yes, my degree will be in a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies, but my studies will be in Basic Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Social Media Marketing, and Apparel Construction and Design. It will be more me and if I do my part to take full advantage of this really affordable education, I can apply the knowledge to other areas of my life like my small business or anything else I come up with in the future.

So I get frustrated when I put in 100% effort and others don’t. It isn’t easy. I did not say that it was. It is just necessary.

But I digress

One of the assignments we have to complete in my FCS 208 – Fashion Design class is “design a line” and all the stuff that goes with it. Not just one piece. That was all that was required in FCS – 245 Pattern Making. Granted, we had to do a whole lot more when it came down to making the patterns in half scale and full scale.

Still, many in this class have zero fashion design experience – none! They don’t even have any sewing experience. At all. They are in this class because they need an elective and they like clothes on the ruse that they like fashion. So this assignment is truly above most of their skill levels on some levels.

Maybe if it was “design a single outfit.” That I can see. That would be reasonable for someone that has zero experience in fashion, sewing, and has likely never taken any artsy courses. That would be enough to test the skills that are being taught.

But no!

The insanity assignment of the week

This assignment for the week immediately following mid-terms – where we had to submit a digital portfolio with certain requirements including classwork from the FCS 208 and at least 3 other courses in addition to doing a resume and writing a career goals essay on top of finding resources and other things that complete the actual portfolio – was to design a line. Not just one outfit with a color palette and fabric swatches.

The assignment is to design a line with 5 outfits that meet certain design features such as asymmetrical design, emphasis, and line. One feature per outfit. The line has to have a color palette. We have to have fabric swatches. Oh, and the fashion illustration sketches must be colored to indicate the selected fabrics. We did not even have to color them in FCS 245 – Pattern Making.

Do not get me wrong, I understand exactly why we are doing this. If you are working in the fashion industry, you need these skills BUT this is an introductory course. it is a mere sampling of what is required in the fashion design real-world working environment. And I am pretty certain that they don’t turn out 5 entire outfits with all this stuff BY THEMSELVES IN A SINGLE WEEK! They work on teams that help with this stuff.

Anyway, I got mine started last week. I needed a break from the insanity of last week and I started mine. I did 2 outfits – front and back sketches. That’s it. Just the sketches, no color, no fabrics. Just line drawing sketches.

Yay! Go me!

My laziness induced brilliant idea

This evening while we were doing our family movie night, I was sitting there with my iPad and decided that sketching would be a great thing to do. I had already completed almost all of the reading assignments for this week so I had time to spend playing around.

We are going to jump right to playing!

Oh my goodness, I was not prepared for the learning curve I found myself in!

First, I can draw to some degree. I may not be a Degas or Monet, but I can draw.

Second, I am not afraid of my iPad or Apple Pencil combination.

Third, I am not a newbie Adobe Illustrator user and I have even dabbled with Adobe Illustrator Draw on the iPad a few times. In fact, my doodles for the cover on my book (planner), Weekly Dinner Plan: Planning Dinner One Week at a Time, were done in Adobe Illustrator and Illustrator Draw on this very iPad with the same Apple Pencil.

Not a newbie!

There I sat through and I felt like I had never done this before. Crazy!

I am not saying that I did not turn out a decent fashion sketch in the two hours that I was sitting there working on it instead of actively watching the movie, but it was not as polished as I would normally complete on paper with a pencil. It took me twice as long too.

I will continue to practice and whatnot, but it will have to be in my free time and not when I am on a time schedule to complete an insane amount of work this week! I am excited that I tried, but I have to be realistic too. It is a lot harder than it looks.

My hat goes off to anyone who can draw just like on paper with their iPad and Apple Pencil. That is not me. At least not yet. Maybe one day.

Book pitch

So I dropped the title and link to my recently released book above. I think it is appropriate that I simply say – go check it out! And if you are so inclined, BUY IT! Even if it is not something that you are remotely interested in, purchase it for someone that is or can really use it.

That would make me very happy!

Anyway, I will close here until another day.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.