I don't take myself too seriously anymore.
My Involvement in OHEA:
I have lived across this country, in part, because of my father being in the Canadian Navy at a time when families were moved from coast to coast and in between as a regular part of duty.
I had my first introduction to Home Economics at Esquimalt Junior High School, in Esquimalt (part of Greater Victoria, B.C.). I loved the subject area and most of the teachers I had both at that school and in Gr. 12 at Trenton High School.
I attended the University of Guelph at the College of Family and Consumer Studies. My area of study was Family Studies with a teaching focus plus additional nutrition courses. I received a BASc. from 1972 to 1976.
My parents were living in Ottawa at the time and I remember going downtown to the Slater Street offices of the Canadian Home Economics Association and proudly paying my CHEA membership in the summer of 1976.
I attended Althouse College at the University of Western Ontario for my B. Ed. in 1977
My first teaching position was at Ingersoll DCI where I met Carol Christie who introduced me to the London Home Economics Association (LHEA) and OFSHEEA. In the late winter or spring of 1978, I attended an LHEA meeting with Carol to hear Bonnie LaCroix (the Ontario CHEA Board Representative) and Diana Smith, the Executive Director of the CHEA speak about the need for an Ontario home economics association.
At that time, Ontario was the only province in Canada that did not have a provincial body. They were looking for people to sign up to form an Ad Hoc committee to try to establish a provincial association. I signed up and became actively involved in this committee. We met in Toronto at a variety of locations: Ryerson, the original 21 McGill, the University Women's Club, etc. in the early years.
We received a great deal of help and input from THEA, OHEIB, Ottawa HEA, LHEA and other home economics associations. I assumed the role of secretary for the group and handled most of the communications. I also began the original archive, a cardboard bankers' box for files. Some of the people I remember apart from Bonnie were Marg Howard, Barbara Floyd, Jan Main, Barb Holland, Eileen, Roxanne McQuilkin, Monda Rosenberg, and Janet Frasee.
Our first conference was, if memory serves me correctly, April 1979 in Toronto. About 30-40 people attended. Bonnie LaCroix helped Chair the first conference. However, Bonnie was not technically the first President of OHEA. I used to jokingly refer to her as the "Mother of the OHEA" since she essentially orchestrated its formation.
At that time a slate of officers was proposed and voted on as well as a constitution. Monda Rosenberg was the first OHEA President, Roxanne McQuilkin was the Vice-president, I was Secretary and I cannot remember the name of the Treasurer although I can picture her. It was her husband, a graphic artist, who developed the original logo. There were representatives from all the local associations plus OHEIB and OFSHEEA on the board. Our terms were one year for that first year and became two years long at the next AGM. It was during my tenure that Barb Floyd formed a committee to work towards the registration of home economists in Ontario. I was a Past-President when that finally became reality.
I moved to Kitchener in the fall of 1980 and taught with both school boards in the area until my eldest daughter was born in 1984. In 1986, I worked on a food and nutrition textbook project with 3 other home economics teachers from across the country and May Maskow at Ryerson for the defunct Collier Macmillan. The project two years later was taken over by Globe Modern Curriculum Press (also defunct).
I was a "professional" volunteer after my stint as a writer. -Brown Owl for 8 years (Guiding) and as a parent volunteer in my daughters' elementary school.
For two to three years I did freelance work as a home economist running food programs for seniors for the city of Kitchener.
Locally, I was a founding member of the Waterloo-Wellington Home Economics Association. I was a co-chair of the WWHEA coordinated OHEA conference "Riding the Wave of Technology" in 1996 which at the time was the most financially successful conference held by the OHEA. I was like a dog at a bone drumming up sponsorships and donations. All this with a young family and a fax machine.
I returned to teaching with the Waterloo RDSB in February 1998 first as a supply teacher (when my girls were younger) and permanently in 2004. I taught developmental education at Waterloo-Oxford DSS for 12 years (my Family Studies served me well with this population of students) and returned to teaching Family Studies/Food and Nutrition three years ago. I am loving this return to what I first taught and am having great fun with my students. Although eligible for retirement, it is my intention to teach until June 2020. Why stop working when you're having fun and can contribute positively to the learning experiences of students
I remained involved in WWHEA and OHEA until 2003. From 2003 to about 2013 I was not a member of OHEA as I dealt with several family crises. I was in a bookstore in New Hamburg, Ontario and picked up a copy of the OHEA quinoa cookbook. I was pleasantly surprised. I was inspired to send a letter of praise and congratulations to the Executive. That reminded me that rejoining OHEA would enable me to reconnect with my professional "roots".
Currently, I regularly attend WWHEA events and meetings (all informal but informative). I haven't been to an OHEA conference in years. The timing has never worked and often conflicted with OADE events.
How has being a PHEc positively impacted my life?
I believe being a home economist has formed my professional perspective in supporting young people learn and develop much needed real life skills that they will carry with them from school into their young adult lives and beyond. I have learned, especially after doing several career focused inventories, that I am a teacher first and foremost. But when I meet parents, do Family Studies presentations to students and their parents on Grade 8 nights and sit in on subject meeting, I emphasize that I am a P.H.Ec. and that I do bring a philosophy and well developed skill sets that supports what I do with excellence. I have a different perspective that Family Studies teachers with no home economics backgrounds teaching with an AQ qualification only.
How has the profession changed over the years?
I see the profession evolving and developing some strength as we acquire younger members. Sadly, in some ways, it may have diminished by the ways in which universities deliver programs that are linked to home economics. I see Brescia and Ryerson as beacons of sorts maintaining home economics. I am deeply unimpressed with my Alma Mater's dilution of our multi-disciplinary area of study. I believe there is a deep need in our society for the skill sets of home economists, especially in the area of food and nutrition. I do worry that we have become displaced a bit by dietitians in this area.
Where are we going?
I am not terribly old-fashioned. We are not going to be more recognized by continuing to "flog" our "identity". That one has been talked about ad nauseum for over 40 years. WE need to get over this and simply define ourselves by visibly doing what we do -in all facets of home economics and label ourselves, -yes, publishers!- as PHEc's. WE need to stop tying ourselves to agribusiness so much (nor does the CDA) and be creative in doing those things that home ecologists do, for that's what home economists are.
There is going to be a real shortage of truly qualified home economics/family studies teachers. Let's fill it.
I would love to see the CHEA re-established. There were many things, elitist things, that provincial associations did in the process of registration, that caused us to lose a huge membership base. It can't be undone but lessons can be learned.
I do believe that we have a future if we make it.
The Great Things:
What would I change about my career?
I can't change what's done and each experience has taught me and broadened my perspective. If I could, I would have maintained a continuous OHEA membership. I would have gone to OSIE and Toronto where there were more home economists in business instead of listening to my small farm girl, Mom's cautions about the big bad city. I would have done more food writing. I might have tried to do some work in the Kraft Kitchens -our recipe testing there was inspiring.
I love what I do and value the perspective that age and experience brings to what I do. Things about teaching that stressed me when I was younger don't anymore.
I would be more mindful. I would mentor more.
I dread retirement so maybe that's what I'll do then. Maybe I should write a history of the OHEA...
Pumpkin pie has always been a staple at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. The year my Grandmother decided to serve a different dessert for Thanksgiving dinner there was a near riot. She never did that again and I have never risked it. Pumpkin pie is the pie of choice for most of my family members. With canned pumpkin or frozen pumpkin available year round, pumpkin pie can be served as a special dessert or the baked filling as a nutritious pudding when the mood or craving hits.
My Signature Pumpkin Pie
Excellent alone or may be enjoyed with whipped cream
Serves 6 people: One serving = 1/6 wedge of pie
1 cup (250 mL) evaporated milk
2 omega-3 eggs
1 ½ cups (375 mL)pureed pumpkin
2/3 cup (165 mL) dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt
1 ½ teaspoon (7 mL) ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon (2 mL) ground ginger
¼ teaspoon (1 mL) freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon (1mL) ground cloves
¼ teaspoon (1 mL) ground allspice
1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla
1 x 9 inch unbaked pie shell with fluted edges
Refrigerate any leftovers.
Jennifer Goodwin P.H.Ec.
The Ontario Home Economics Association, a self-regulating body of professional Home Economists, promotes high professional standards among its members so that they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life.