the mysterious disappearance of home economics.

25 03 2010

while watching superbad a couple of years ago, i found myself wondering during the tiramisu scene: what kind of rich-ass fantasy school still has home ec? seriously, with school budgets being slashed to bits all over town, is there a public school in america that has offered the course in the last 10 years? i think that the majority of people out there in the universe might respond with something like: who gives a shit? and my response would be: i do. i mean, kind of.

it’s not that i think that we should have held on tight to the literal apron strings and cut the history/math/science (even art) department instead. home ec and wood shop were already rapidly withering dinosaurs back in the 90s when i went high school. the prioritization of home ec out of the school system is one thing, but the prioritization of life skills our of our upbringing is entirely another.  the happy homemaker home ec of 1964  is dead, but i propose a mandatory basic living curriculum to be taught at all public high schools that would prepare our youth to be semi-functional adults once they finally get tossed out of the nest.

1. pay your damn bills: from APRs, to FICO scores (with a healthy side of checkbook balancing). maybe a prophylactic measure like this could keep the next generation from being as deep in the financial shit as much as this one?

2. feed yourself: the college transition into the top ramen lifestyle happens so very swiftly. thank sweet jesus that we’re not longer encouraged to trap veg-all in jello, but a little basic cooking, nutritional counseling, and some grocery store field trips (extra credit for coupon clipping) are certainly in order.

3. sew on your own damn buttons: on multiple occasions, i’ve had both grown men & women ask me to sew on a button for them (at which point i look them dead in the eyes and give them my best “bitch please”). nobody learns how to sew anymore, which makes even the most remedial of stitching tasks seem mysterious and terrifying.  both practical and creative, sewing can also be (shouts allegiance to wardrobe refashion) a big time money saver, or even (hails to the gods of etsy) money maker.  plus, it will assure that your current or future children never have to wear a sucky store-bought halloween costume.

4. fix that shit: toilet snaking, nail hole spackling, draino 101. i’m not talking big time home improvement here, but a greater appreciation of proper handy-manning at an earlier age might have assured that i was hanging my artwork up properly, instead of banging pushpins into the walls of my first apartment with a rock.

5. clean up after your ass: i’m definitely not a supporter of daily bed making, but i’ve seen people in their 30s wiping down their counters with windex or using a lint roller as an alternative to owning a vacuum cleaner. somewhere in there, we need to learn how to do dishes without a dishwasher, remove shower curtain mildew, and put our toys away when we’re done.

it’s time to storm the school board! (who’s with me?)