This item originally appeared in the February 3, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.
By MELISSA WALKER
Students in Family and Child Studies 101 learn that marriage is more than saying "I do."
Dr. Duane Dowd, an assistant professor of family and child studies, said the class is an attractive elective because of its practicality.
"The old clichˇ says you must take a test to receive a driving license, but any idiot can get married," Dowd said.
Dowd said the class focuses on how to better a marriage, rather than doom it.
"We teach how to have good communication, keep an interesting and healthy sexual relationship and how to handle conflict," Dowd said.
Allison Brazzel, a junior Spanish major, said she learned several things when she took the class last spring quarter.
"The class was like the inside track of marriage and family," Brazzel said. "It opens your eyes to what kind of person you are and what kind of person you will be in a marriage. It also makes you realize what you are looking for in another person."
Brazzel said the class also provides advice concerning potential obstacles in marriage.
"The marriage class taught us tools in how to prevent and solve problems in marriage," Brazzel said. "It focused on how to prepare yourself before marriage and decide if you are ready."
Brazzel said it covered problems marriages face, such as how to raise kids, where to attend church and finances.
"I didn't know there would be so many problems," Brazzel said. "We learned you would have problems, no matter how you were raised."
Brazzel said there was a great amount of variety in the enrolled students' backgrounds.
"It was interesting to see how diverse the class was," Brazzel said.
Matt Dearman, a sophomore family and child studies major, said he was also surprised at the assortment of opinions of students who took FCS 100, a class that also dealt with marriage.
"It seemed like you could definitely see how different groups of people have different beliefs on those things," Dearman said.
He also said there was another aspect to the class population that shocked him.
"I was under the impression that FCS was nearly all girls, but there ended up being quite a few guys," Dearman said. "We focused on why people form relationships with each other. Then we moved into the steps involved in mate selection, dating, engagement, then finally adapting after marriage."
Brazzel assumed the majority of her classmates took the three hour credit class because they were curious about the class content.
"I think a lot of people took the class because it talked a lot about sex," Brazzel said. "It was [also] a pretty difficult class."
Dearman said he also noticed his fellow majors were a minority.
"Probably only like 10 to 20 percent of the class were FCS majors," Dearman said. "A lot of people like to take that as an elective because it has very practical application."