ROGER! Years? Time passes so darn quick for me, these days.
nuns get horny too....and will buy you presents...
Coming to the thread late, but I did spend a minute or two thinking about especially useful school classes. Home economics was perhaps the single most valuable class I took and, like Boomer, we were taught the basics of record keeping, managing a household budget, balancing a checkbook, paying bills, etc. along with some essential knowledge in shopping, food handling, cooking, and I learned to sew well enough that I was able to make my own clothes for years afterward.
A beginner's typing class had me typing 50+ wpm by the end which I was able to significantly improve and never needed another. Ditto for shorthand--never got very good at it but it was useful taking notes and it did look good on a couple of resumes later on. A basic bookkeeping class was so well taught and so thorough that there wasn't much left for me to learn by college accounting. An extra curricular art class instilled a deep appreciation for the arts as did an excellent music program and drama department. Some of the after school clubs taught good stuff too. I was a member of the fly tieing club and learned to tie a very effective trout fly.
I didn't learn basket weaving or square dancing until college though.
That's so Brit -
I bet I'm older'n you, McT, and my girls' school had home economics. Typing too. But people herded into college prep couldn't take those unless they skipped, say, chemistry.
Answering myself, that may explain why my smartie boyfriends couldn't fix anything. Sure, that's a generalization, but in those years it probably had some data behind it. MD's tended to be fools in home repair.
Hah, I learned square dancing at St. Nick's grade school. But that was probably a parish event more than a school class.
I graduated before Title IX, so shop classes were off-limits. Pity, I always wanted to take wood shop. Instead I took Cooking. (And also Sewing, though I hated that.) Typing was required, and that was a good thing. I supported myself for several years with that little skill.
The most useful class I took in high school was Driver's Ed. Even though the coach/instructor did scare the bejeezus outta me by putting his hand on my leg every time I drove. That kind of crap would get a teacher fired these days, but back then, it just caused people to roll their eyes. Anyway, I did learn how to ignore distractions while driving.
Speech was also very useful. I've done a lot of public speaking. Still do. And Modern Dance taught me some great moves that I've never used on a dance floor, but the men in my life have certainly appreciated. <giggles>
Honors English ("Great Books") taught me to appreciate good writing, and Commercial Art (now called Graphic Art) eventually led me to a career in adv/p.r.
I teach part-time at a small private school. Here's a list of their current electives for Middle School and High School. (An abbreviated version of "Life Skills" is taught as part of the regular curriculum.) We have 68 students in Middle School, 80 in High School. I teach the Newspaper classes.
Middle School - Academic Bowl, Art, Life Art, Street Art, Chorus, Drama, Newspaper, Rock Band, Roots & Shoots (environmental studies), Speech, Technology (computers)
High School - Art (drawing/painting), Art (multimedia), Business, Chorus, Digital Media, Drama, Drumline, Newspaper, Rock Band, Speech & Debate, Technology (computers), Yearbook
According to our last family survey, Home Ec is at the top of the list of desired additions to our elective list.
We didn't have electives. Must have been since we always had religion class, as I remember, every single day, but maybe 3 times a week. I got a D once, from Sr. Celia, when I was a senior, a clue to the future.
Modern Dance emphasizes torso and hip movements, George.
That's all I'm saying.
I have to modify that to a c from Sr. Celia.
It was in my first yr at Mt. St. Mary's that I got a D in theology along with a bunch of A's.
That was a surprise as I'd never had a D, and I'd had an A in logic after all, and I didn't have the - even the concept - 0f asking Brother (insert name) why my blue book got a D.
All these years later, I wonder what I said.
Not to go off on religion, sorry.
Nothing other than the basics: math, science, english, etc. I WISH they had taught me important things like how to vote, file income tax, etc.
There's always that one good teacher though. It was my elementary school art teacher. He taught me how to make things out of "trash". We made masks out of an empty gallon of milk, some flour, water, and used newspapers.
I learned how to be creative from him. This skill has been VERY useful throughout my life. Some time ago, I needed a dresser, so I made one out of the stuff I found lying around the house. It's still standing strong today, several years later.
I learnt how to milk a cow and drench livestock. Having a hard time remembering anything else I learnt not in the traditional curriculum - 'cept maybe to play field hockey - and to process black and white film from negative to print.