December 3rd, 2012
It has been 5 years since we started this posting on a blog about Ellen Swallow Richards. In hindsight, I wish we had a counter on the site so we could see how many of you have taken advantage of this compilation of information on Ellen and her followers. We do know that over 600 have viewed the DVD after it was posted on YouTube. That is good news except for the fact if those 600 had ordered a copy for $20, our Centennial Fund would have grown exponentially. Nevertheless, 600 more people now know her great legacy.
Over a century after her death, she still has followers who want to give her the tributes and accolades she often missed out on while she was alive. Today one of those followers, Dr. Michael McGuire, who runs a blog on water history, has posted a story on Ellen. http://thisdayinwaterhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/december-3/ You can access his blog at the above link.
Dr. McGuire is one of those 21st Century scholars who loves history and is willing to help us portray Ellen as one of the most scholarly women of her time and her century. Her legacy does indeed play out today in the thousands of Family and Consumer Sciences professionals who practice in areas she could only dream about over 100 years ago. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLEN
June 22nd, 2012
In a recent MSN Money piece epidemiologists proposed that being poor was part of the problem causing obesity. The end of the article was priceless as Dr. Adam Drewnowski, Director for the Center for Obesity Research at the University of Washington in Seattle, said “Bring home economics classes back to schools. It would do more for obesity prevention than any other thing.”
We need to get this man on our side! He gets it. Here is a link to the article.
December 20th, 2011
Women’s History month isn’t until March 2012, but Ellen and AAFCS are ahead of the game. We are advertising our Life and Legacy DVD in their Women’s History 2012 Gazette. This will take the story of the founding of Home Economics over 100 years ago and its founder Ellen Swallow Richards to an entirely new audience. We know others need to know our story. Don’t forget that March is an excellent time to feature the history as well as feature all the things that Ellen is credited with to make the lives of families and individuals better.
December 20th, 2011
My friend, Gretchen Grozier, from the Jamaica Plain Historical Society has sent me the most fabulous MIT fleece jacket.- to keep me connected as part of the Boston-.MIT family. Ellen would have thought it a most practical gift and so do I. Usually our North Carolina mountain weather is such that this jacket would cover me every single day. However, here it is the 19th of December and our temperatures are at 60 degrees. Who would have guessed it. Two years ago at this time, we had 10 inches of snow and were housebound for days. Thanks, Gretchen. As always, I have a wonderful time in Jamaica Plain and this time celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the JP Library was indeed a great experience.
December 12th, 2011
As a serendipitous thing, this afternoon, I went online to search for a web site that promised free business cards. Now, I am no newbie in this as I realize there isn’t any such thing as FREE. However, the cards are really quite nice and with the exception that they charge to ship, they do not cost. The neat thing about the web site, though, is they take the information you give them for the business card and use it to customize other articles that they encourage you to purchase—as in T-shirts, ball caps, etc. They have an entire business package there right before your eyes, all with your branded theme which you chose to make your business cards. If I had found this when we were first marketing the Ellen DVDs, it would have been a great thing. Hence, I am not marketing them much anymore so don’t really need slick materials.
December 8th, 2011
Recently, I have been working with a graduate student from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Ranae Aspen, on one of her assignments relating to the environmental work of Ellen. At the left, you can see where I have posted her final paper on Ellen as an Environmentalist. She also has a Powerpoint that I am still trying to post. Watch for this soon.
Also watch for another Powerpoint that was developed by Gayla Randel from Kansas relating FCS to the STEM movement. She has created a great historical powerpoint that relates to the current science, technology, engineering and math initiative in our public schools.
December 4th, 2011
Ellen’s Birthday on December 3 marks 169 years since her birth in 1842. It has been 100 years since her death in 1911. It is amazing how her teachings of over 100 years ago are so relevant today. Just yesterday, I had a phone interview with an author who is writing a book on simpler domesticity. As we talked of her thoughts, it was clear that those who are returning to a more simple way of life today are following much of what Ellen was talking about long ago. Her ideas on the “ART OF RIGHT LIVING” relate closely to those who desire to grow their own food, make their own clothes and possibly even live off the power grid by producing their own power.
Just last week, Bob and I were able to meet our new Purdue Health and Human Sciences Scholarship student, Rachel. It was so evident that I was still in a promoting mode as I told her of my journeys with Ellen throughout the Centennial Celebrations and since then. I told her to ask about the DVD on Ellen’s life as I knew they had one in the College as I gave at least one away at another visit. She is preparing to teach Family and Consumer Sciences classes and she needs to know this history.
July 13th, 2011
I found this on our lane today. Initially, I thought it was a wildflower called a Turk’s Cap. However, when I went to the internet to verify this, it appeared that it may be a Carolina Lily. They are from the same family although the Turk’s Cap has flowers that are 5-6 ” across and these were only about 2 1/2 ” across. They look much larger as I took them up close with my camera. These were designated the North Carolina State Wildflower in 2003.I found this on our lane today. Initially, I thought it was a wildflower called a Turk’s Cap. However, when I went to the internet to verify this, it appeared that it may be a Carolina Lily. They are from the same family although the Turk’s Cap has flowers that are 5-6 ” across and these were only about 2 1/2 ” across. They look much larger as I took them up close with my camera. These were designated the North Carolina State Wildflower in 2003.
June 13th, 2011
I am a Family and Consumer Science teacher in Southern New Jersey. As part of my Masters Program in Instructional Technology, I am going to attempt a simulated interview with “Ellen”. I would like to include the blog as one of my research pieces with your permission, as well as link to the blog.
I think the “interview” will help to solidify the belief that I have that Ellen was one of the first innovators in Instructional Technology with her philosophy of education. Still fighting the notion that what we teach is just fluff.
This was the first time I attempted to research Ellen and I was blown away by her. What a woman, or even a man! My project was to create a simulated interview with an educator who had an effect on education through technology. I chose to do the interview through the site - xtranormal.com. Through animation of cute characters I hope I was able to create a snapshot of some of the highlights of her life. My target audience is for an introductory Family and Consumer Science class in middle school. An Interview with Ellen Swallows Richards is my video. It runs about 10 minutes. I do hope you find it a positive spin on an incredible woman - I believe that I will have to do more searching into her and the other women who started Home Economics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5g__AOX28&feature=youtu.be
As to why this project: It was suggested that we “interview” a person who had some influence in “instructional technology” - the integration of instructional theory into education. Since I had never really studied Ellen Richards, I thought she had a direct influence on the instruction that I had received throughout my career, so she would be a perfect candidate to study. I also feel that since Home Economics and Family &Consumer Science are always being on the chopping block, that it would be a good way for people to see that we don’t just teach “crafts”.
The research that I found truly amazed me, as well as the students in my class. I see this project as a jumping off point for some more research, as I am just beginning my journey into this Masters Degree. I think that the sort of video captures some of the highlights that so influenced Ellen and the development of the integration of Science into practical life skills. I hope that people will be intrigued, and continue to research her contributions to society and the discipline of Family & Consumer Science.
Southern Regional Middle School: FCS teacher
75 Cedar Bridge Rd
Manahawkin, NJ 08050