Robert Ott, Chair of the School of Fashion, invited me to attend the orientation session for new fashion students since I was about to become one. I was not able to attend for very long but I picked up some wise advice and experienced some of the excitement and nervous energy that filled the room. Robert introduced Gerd Hauck, the Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) and he spoke to the students about the reality of “imposter syndrome” and how we all feel it. I thought it was really refreshing to hear a Dean telling the students that he even feels this sometimes. As a “new student” this gave me some comfort.
He also quoted Samuel Beckett about “failing better” and I went looking for the quote when I had a free moment later in the day…I like this quote…it also gives me comfort (in fact the next day I also heard the Associate Dean of Science reference these words of Beckett’s when speaking to new science students).
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”
Art, design, creativity and really all education is a process of discovery and we need to accept that we won’t always “get it right” on the first, second or third try.
A quick poll was taken of the various places that these new students had traveled from to be at Ryerson…almost every Canadian province was represented and there were also students in the room from Israel, Philippines, Hong Kong and Dubai. The opportunity to study fashion at Ryerson and the calibre of this program has brought these young creators from far and wide to work together for the next four years. They needed to display distinct talent for this field of study and work in the admission process and I have no doubt that I will be rubbing shoulders with some of the best and brightest throughout the next 8 months.
Jean Mason, Associate Dean, Faculty and Student Affairs at FCAD, shared with the students her wishes for us…she wished us challenges, fun, adventure and hard work. I am confident that her wishes for us will indeed come true.
Robert then introduced a great orientation video made for the new fashion students by a group of senior fashion students and recent fashion alumni. The image above is from the opening of that video. You can watch it here http://youtu.be/vCbEHNQ-kWU