March 20, 2010    By: Kristen J @ 12:02 pm   Category: Life

I did it.  I finally pulled the trigger.  I have enrolled in a class at Mesa Community College.  It is TEC 111, or “Clothing Construction”.  I’ve been thinking about enrolling in a college class for quite a few years now, and I have actually enrolled several times both at ASU and MCC.  Each time I chickened out, or decided that my schedule is too busy, or it’s too expensive, or it’s not really a class I want to waste my time on.  This year things changed however, when the Feenster, the baby of our family, headed off to all day kindergarten, taking most of my excuses with her.

I already have a degree from BYU but I have been dissatisfied with it for many years now.  I’ve even referred to it as a “stupid degree” on more than one occasion.  You see, when I went to college I had a major problem that caused me to make a few pretty lame decisions.  My problem was this; I was 18 years old. 

I rushed through school as fast as I could, choosing a degree that I thought would be “marketable”.  Which turned out to be true if I wanted to work as a grunt in the mental health profession.  It turns out I didn’t really like doing that.  Weird, right?

Now, after a few years I feel like I know myself a little bit better and I might be ready for college.  Before I enrolled I did some deep internal digging to figure out what classes might be the most interesting and engaging for me.  I applied and was accepted to the ASU art department to study jewelry design, was accepted, even talked to a college advisor, and then withdrew.  Then I applied to the ASU anthropology department, was accepted, poured over the catalog and dreamed about which required study abroad course I would take (Geoff could deal with the kids for 3 weeks), and then I withdrew.  Before you get too impressed just remember that ASU has a 95% acceptance rate.  Next, I enrolled in a pottery class at Chandler/Gilbert community college and eventually withdrew.

I took a year or so off from enrolling in classes, it was exhausting, and dug even deeper to figure out what would light the intellectual fire in Kristen J.  What were some of my goals and dreams in life? Here are a few: I would like to figure out a cure for cancer, end world hunger, and be a key player in negotiating peace in the Middle East.

Finally, after many hours of meditation I found the answer deep within me.  All that I really felt that was missing in my life was a decent pair of jeans.  I have looked for many years and I have never found them.  I have found jeans that are too “hooker-ish” with their 2 inch zipper flies and I have found jeans that are too “mom-ish” with their 12 inch zipper flies.

I have found jeans that are too tight and binding that make you want to scream and run out of the room after you’ve been wearing them for about an hour.  I have also found jeans that are loose and comfortable but make you look like you are carrying a load around in your pants.  None of these jeans have worked for me.

Now, I have heard tales of the perfect jeans that go by names like “True Religion”, or “7” and I have even taken a look at some of them.  I’ll admit they certainly are fine looking pants, if you like big white threads running all over your behind, but they have one huge thing wrong with them…their price tag.  I don’t care how perfect the pants are, once they goes over the $40 mark they have knocked themselves off the list.

After all of this I’ve decided that I what I really wanted was to learn to sew and alter clothing, and construct my own patterns for me and the rest of the women caught in fashion limbo.  I’ve decided that the best way to accomplish this is enrolling in the fashion design program at MCC, at least until I get bored with it.  I’m about halfway through my first semester and I love it even though most of my fellow students are young enough to be my children if I got pregnant at a very young and tragic age.


  1. Was your first degree in social work?

    Comment by Chris Henrichsen — March 20, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

  2. Congrats, Kristen!

    Comment by J. Stapley — March 20, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

  3. Chris, think lower on the totem pole than social work.

    Thanks JS

    Comment by kristen j — March 20, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

  4. Gotcha. My wife is social work and I am political science. She likes to point out that I am useless (okay for a variety of reasons) as political science major, but that her degreee opens doors for a variety of decent jobs.

    Anyways, good luck with you class and future classes.

    Comment by Chris Henrichsen — March 20, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  5. You are a rock star.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 20, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

  6. Looking forward to the prototypes. Pics!

    Comment by WVS — March 20, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

  7. Having seen the stuff you’ve knitted it is obvious that you were born to design clothes. This wasn’t mentioned in your patriarchal blessing?

    Congratulations on pulling the trigger.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 20, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

  8. You know, I’m going to have to go and reread that blessing. Thanks for reminding me.

    I will definitely send pics, I think my first project will be designing and making a pair of skinny jeans for Geoff.

    Comment by kristen j — March 20, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

  9. Crap, does that mean I need to become skinny?

    Comment by Geoff J — March 20, 2010 @ 9:34 pm

  10. You are skinny! Even if you weren’t I think you’d look awesome because chubby dudes in skinny jeans totally rock.

    Comment by kristen j — March 20, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

  11. That’s really cool, Kristen. I went back to school when my kids were small for early childhood education. I never became a preschool teacher but it helped me be a better mom. Especially considering I had my kids at a very young and tragic age.

    I’ve thought about going back again now (I don’t have any degree) but mostly I think my kids need it more than I do (two of my kids are in college right now).

    Comment by Susan M — March 21, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

  12. Go get ’em, Kristen.

    Comment by Ben Pratt — March 21, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

  13. Thanks for all of the support you guys. When I’m a rich and famous designer I’ll make you all a pair of skinny jeans!

    Susan, after your comment I realized that I’ve really got to take advantage of this little window in my life when I don’t have any kids in college.

    Once my oldest starts college in about 5 years, I’ll have kids in college for the next 12 years or so.

    That will definitely mean no school for me!

    Comment by kristen j — March 21, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  14. Skinny jeans for men went out of style with condo-flipping in Vegas. Please don’t subject Geoff to the teasing of his peers wearing normal man-jeans.

    Comment by PaulM — March 22, 2010 @ 7:11 am

  15. Sounds awesome! I can’t wait to see your designs!

    Comment by Flipflopmama — March 22, 2010 @ 8:24 am

  16. What’s better Paul, men in skinny jeans, or men in 10 year old, sky blue, baggy in the rear, tapered at the ankle jeans?

    Both deserve huge amounts of teasing if you ask me.

    Comment by kristen j — March 22, 2010 @ 10:39 am

  17. What’s better?

    Old, blue, baggy is fantastic. Tapered at the ankle needs to go, but this can be accomplished for $20 at old navy. Still, tapered at the ankle is better than tapered all the way up.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 22, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

  18. Kristen:

    According to the WSJ style editor straight-legged jeans are the way to go for men (no tapers or flares). The Modern Fit jeans at Banana Republic would be a good pattern to follow assuming Geoff is appropriately proportioned (meaning plumpers or larger need not apply). Those jeans are both cool and sufficiently manly.

    Comment by PaulM — March 22, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

  19. Don’t worry all. The skinny jeans thing is only a joke.

    Those things might work for Iggy Pop and the Ramones but that is about it.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 22, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

  20. Geoff’s right, I’m totally kidding about the skinny jeans. I agree with you Paul, straight-legged is definitely the way to go.

    I think that there are only about 2 people on this planet that look good in skinny jeans. I say “I think” because I have yet to meet anyone that looks good in skinny jeans.

    Comment by kristen j — March 22, 2010 @ 5:55 pm