Author and Professor Camille Paglia makes a persuasive case for “Revalorizing the Trades” in an an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
I find it interesting that even though this was written a year ago, her statement that “Jobs, and the preparation of students for them, should be front and center in the thinking of educators” is very much a part of the current conversation.
I think she takes a particularly enlightened view by maintaining that “The elite schools, predicated on molding students into mirror images of their professors, seem divorced from any rational consideration of human happiness.”
She advocates for “alternative career tracks” for students who want to do something more fulfilling and tactile, rather than sit behind a desk pushing paper or pursue the typical high-status vocations like medicine and law.
“Concrete manual skills, once gained through the master-apprentice alliance in guilds, build a secure identity,” she says. As the director of a documentary film on master tailors, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve gotten a host of amazing comments about MEN OF THE CLOTH on my IndieGoGo page in which people extol the importance of carrying on the craft for a younger generation. Jessica Montoya says:
As an under 30 seamstress who sews custom suits and other garments on a regular basis,I feel that it is extremely important that the art of tailoring is kept alive and passed on to a new generation of creative artisans. Education and awareness is key to keep this art form around and attract young talent; I feel that the MEN OF THE CLOTH film has the potential to raise awareness and I can’t wait to hear more of these old tailors’ stories with the film’s completion.
I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on this.