Friday, March 16, 2012

Electives

When I was in junior high school, showering after PE class and taking an elective was still required.

Mrs. Bell was my seventh grade Home Economics teacher. When she had a baby girl, and named her Liberty, I thought that it was weird. That kid would spend her entire single life as Liberty Bell. Other than her odd child naming skills, Mrs. Bell is still one of my favorite teachers. In addition to learning the art of hemming my corduroy pants using a real sewing machine and reattaching a loose button to my polyester poncho, I learned how to care for children as a babysitter and went on to earn the big bucks babysitting for the Banks family. They had good snacks and the job paid well, but they always returned home after I had fallen asleep watching Twilight Zone.

Since I was intimidated by the art class, didn’t have enough testosterone for auto shop, and thought that ceramics was too messy, I took a quilting class as an elective in high school. I learned about batting, hand sewing, and the length of time it took to complete a quilt. During my senior year I took advanced quilting. Based on my love for the class, it’s a wonder why I never pursued a career in sewing quilts or wrote a book on four patch blocks or the satin stitch is anyone’s guess. There is still time.

I’m fairly certain that these days the choice for electives in high school is minimal, at least in California. If students aren’t crazy about art, drama, auto shop, wood shop, or choir, chances are they will spend an entire year hating their elective class.

My hope is that high schools would institute a laundry class. Each child enrolled in the class would shove loads of laundry into their backpacks each day and learn the grueling techniques of separating whites, lights, and darks, proper laundry soap distribution and stain pre-wash application, along with hang dry options and suitable dryer setting. The laundry would be dried and returned home for a grade.

Another option would be a class on correct bathing. Our little kids have the innate ability to take a shower and come out with patches of dry hair on their heads and dirty fingernails. But, the best option would be for all my children to take a scrap booking class in junior high and high school. That would immediately eliminate the boxes, and piles of photos, I have shoved in my dining room cupboard. Oh the joy!

Since I am stuck with one child taking beginning trumpet and the older children taking ceramics and French 1 the only skill I will be able to take advantage of is plugging my ears, shoving poorly fired and created clay projects in a drawer, and paying for a French tutor. VoilĂ !