Monday, May 14, 2012

Home Ec Class

I was one of the last grades to be part of a dying tradition : the "Girls take Home Ec, boys take Shop" system. (Also, the principal still had a wooden paddle, which he used on Bad Kids.)

The class was divided on Home Ec day. The boys trooped off to make a wooden lamp, and we went to the sewing room to make smock tops with heart-shaped pockets. SO attractive; I think mine was done in purple and pink, reflecting my already heightened fashion sense.
There it is, on the left. I didn't look quite as good in mine.
We also learned to crochet, a vital Home Economy skill, and we made hexagons that were eventually sewed together to make a ball. Because, how can that not come in handy!
This kind of deal, except in more violent, 70's-ish colors. I'm talking avocado.
Our teacher was a slender, pretty shy gal. I was fascinated by her, since it came out during the year that she was dating the very single, very dashing geography teacher. His first name was Rod. He looked like the casino owner from The Flying Nun. I wonder how that all worked out?
Dude from The Flying Nun. God, I'm old.

One day in spring, the pretty, slender teacher took us outside to crochet our balls (and, yes, the boys did snicker when we reported that sentence later.) The sky was a radiant blue. We sang "You are My Sunshine" in three-part harmony. Rod "just happened" to come walking by, and he and the lovely Home Ec teacher giggled together for a bit. 

It was old-fashioned, it was hokey, and the class was about to be axed for something more politically correct, but that day was a good day. 


Bob said...

Shop - where I learned to put together 4 pcs of wood and call it a magazine rack. Home Ec Book - which taught the 'girls' to make sure they put on a clean, pretty dress and welcome home her man with a nice cocktail. I, too, am of that dying breed. In fact, I was the last graduating class from the old high school and with the new year, Home Ec became co-ed. [sigh] Thanks for the memories.

Juliana M. Jones said...

You sound like you had much more fun than I did. We had home ec in 7th and 8th grades, but our cooking session was shared with the boys. That wasn't so bad, but Mrs. Decker hated me during the all girls sewing part. Ugh! I'm having horrible flashbacks right now! LOL

Amy Keeley said...

I never took home ec, and I'm young enough it would have been co-ed if I had. A cursory view of a curriculum or two tells me that it's a pretty useless class. The only decent curriculum I found covered a seven year span.

(Background: I grew up without any assigned chores. The focus was entirely on preparing for a career. I now have seven children and have been married almost fifteen years. It took me five years just to figure out what I should be doing. It took another five to get an idea of how to do it. I'm now at the point where I don't feel completely overwhelmed. I'm making sure my kids, both boys and girls, have a better idea of how to run a household than me.)

Alison DeLuca said...

Great comments! Alas, the heart smocks and crocheted balls weren't so important when it came to running a house. Did that class help me to mop my floors or organize my office? (Looks around)

No. No, it did not.

Johanna Garth said...

LOL, Allie! My daughter wants me to teach her to sew and I was in the post home-ec generation so now I'm having to sign her up for over priced sewing camps!

jenny milchman said...

That ball is gorgeous, and of course, my daughter, raised by someone who almost never touched needle to thread, wants to learn to sew. We as a society tend to throw out babies with bathwater when we get admittedly good new ideas (like gender equality). I see it happening now with e-readers and indie publishing.

Both are good and a certain revolution in publishing is needed. But print books and traditional publishing have an awful lot to offer--I hope we don't need to skip a generation before their resurgence!

I think I just hijacked your blog post. Sorry. That does sound like a very nice school day :)