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Patching perspectives

Post-secondary education is more than just a classroom

A student prepares to walk into the future with her SAIT education in tow. (Photo by Nikolai Cuthill/SAIT)

A student prepares to walk into the future with her SAIT education in tow. (Photo by Nikolai Cuthill/SAIT)

For thousands of years, people have been pondering a thought experiment that is popularly known as Theseus’ paradox.

In the experiment, there is a hypothetical item, which is most commonly either a boat, an axe or a favourite sock.

Let’s use the sock in this scenario.

Over time, the sock gets a hole worn in it. Its owner, not wanting to throw out his or her favourite sock, puts a patch over the hole.

Over time, another hole is worn into the sock, and, in turn, another patch is applied.

This happens again and again and eventually the entire sock is made of patches and none of the material of the original sock remains.

At what point is it no longer the same sock?

It’s a silly thing to worry about if you take the question literally.

But, what if we’ve secretly been talking about a person this whole time?

Our patches are much less obvious, but we alter ourselves every day.

Instead of sewing bits of fabric to ourselves, we learn, and in turn we broaden or change our perspectives. We develop new skills and kick old habits.

And, while we grow and evolve throughout our lives, nowhere do we learn more than at school.

Although she had worked in a bakery before, Tamara Rutschman, a baking and pastry arts graduate from SAIT, said that her schooling changed the way she thought about being in the kitchen.

“My post-secondary education has made me a more confident individual,” said Rutschmann.

“It has encouraged me to go for what I want, and make sure that I maintain positive relationships along the way.”

Since graduating, Rutschmann has opened her own custom cake business, called Bake My Day, and works as a baker at SAIT’s downtown culinary campus.

Prior to her time at SAIT, Rutschmann spent two years in university before deciding to take a break from school.

But, not every lesson is learned from success, and her university experience lead to her coming to SAIT.

“Now I take pride in everything I do, and I am not as afraid to fail because I know that valuable learning can come from failure.”

And Rutschmann is far from the only person to experience these changes of perspective.

Jenni Macdonald, a film and video production graduate of SAIT, said that school helped her mature into the person she is today.

“I was always pretty sporadic, forgetful and disorganised.”

Macdonald, who now works as a makeup artist, has since gone on to work on a number of renowned projects, including The Revenant and Hell on Wheels.

Thanks, in part, to her time at SAIT, Macdonald now has both the knowledge and direction she needs to tackle more complex issues, both in her life and in her career.

“My industry forces me to decide what’s important to me. Having SAIT behind me allowed me to focus on learning makeup because I already understood the industry.”

With a strong foundation in place, it is possible to build yourself higher than you could have otherwise.

And, while the skills and the industry know-how are surely beneficial, there are even greater changes at play.

The Rutschmann who worked in a bakery was too timid to insert her personality into her work, and she would never have opened her own business. But, at SAIT, she was able to patch over her fears with newfound confidence.

And look how far she’s gone.

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