Cathy Takeda, who has been working at Lethbridge College nearly 20 years, was named an associate dean this summer. During the fall semester, she invited the entire college community to contribute to a campaign called Scarves for Students by knitting or crocheting a scarf. Students could help themselves to a bit of handmade warmth by picking up a scarf on display in Centre Core starting in November.
How are you enjoying your associate dean role?
I love my current role. I’m really fortunate to be able to work with and be mentored by Dr. Tim Heath. He’s got a wealth of knowledge. Coming out of the role of faculty and moving into more of an administrative role, yes, some of the responsibilities are a bit different, but there’s a shift in the mindset.
Where did the idea for Scarves for Students come from?
I have relatives in Ireland and one of my sisters-in-law sent me a photograph of an area in and around Dublin where they had scarves that were knit by community members and they just hung them on all the trees, on fences, for people in the area to just come and help themselves and pick up a scarf. Not only was it an excellent thing for the people, but it was absolutely beautiful to see that.
What makes something handmade so special?
I think handmade things symbolize a real personal connection. It symbolizes warmth and caring. This campaign is an opportunity for our LC community to make that personal connection with a student. It doesn’t matter what it ends up looking like. It’s the thought behind it. If your scarf is a little bit lopsided, that’s just perfectly fine. It’s like a hug around your neck.
What is your goal?
With the number of people on campus here who are very creative and with our increased enrolments, I would love to hit 600 scarves.
What is your most special handmade thing?
My grandmother had knit an afghan many, many, many years ago and it is still in the family. It’s in my daughter’s house, fourth generation. Every time I go over there, it’s there and it brings back all those memories.