Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Diary of a Home-Wrecker


I really wanted to take Shop class.
Working with power tools.
Smelling the aroma of freshly-sawn wood as you constructed your first-ever endtable.
Making pottery and jewellery.
A handi-girl's dream.
But in 1970 (yes that's really when I started high school) girls weren't allowed to take Shop class.
I know.
Because I asked.
Moving on . . .
I, and the rest of the girls, took Home Economics.
Home Ec., for short.
Or Home Wreck, as it was not-so-affectionately titled.
So we were 'Home-Wreckers'.
Ahem.
The place where we 'learned' to sew.
Cook.
Clean.
And generally find our way around running a home.
Once I got past not being able to take Shop, I really had fun.
I sewed a potholder.
An apron.
And a little purple linen dress with the sleeves in backwards.
Sigh.
I baked cookies.
Made Chicken-a-la-King served in little toast cups.
And Gourmet Hot Dogs.
I learned the proper way to scour pots (and the sink).
Scrub a floor.
And generally make my house squeaky clean.
Sew straight.
Cook carefully.
And scrub hard.
I did pass.
With unremarkable marks.
And, surprisingly, I actually used some of the things I learned.
And still do today.
There is a codicil:
Now my brother . . .
Yes, they allowed boys to take Home Ec. 
For one glorious week sometime during the year.
And yes, I know it wasn't fair . . .
My brother remembers Home Wreck differently.
He remembers cooking.
Something he excels at today.
And hunting for mice with frying pans and spatulas.
Boys make everything more fun.

13 comments:

  1. I remember it was the end of 9th grade. The girls took Industrial Arts and the boys took Home-Ec. Yeah, hunting mice in the Home-Ec room was fun. So were the water fights we had with the sink sprayers. Charlie didn't like the latter though. Maybe I should make this into a post...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, the boys always did have more fun, and really still do. Even with full time careers, women are still doing most of the home ec.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was in high school in the 60s. I would have loved to learn woodworking, but that wasn't for girls, bleh!
    instead in Home Ec we learned how to dry clean our school ties, total waste of time, how to make a bed with the sheets properly tucked in with "hospital" corners, I already knew how to do that, so another total waste of time, then we learned to make apple crisp and sponge cakes, and the correct way to wash dishes. I was confused by the sponge cake recipe that had melted butter and boiling water in the ingredients. My own recipe was much simpler and resulted in a much nicer cake. As for the dishes, everybody knows the correct way is to make your kids do them. All things said, I learned nothing about the running of a household.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "As for the dishes, everybody knows that the correct way is to make their kids do them." Inspired words, River. Inspired! And I'd love your sponge cake recipe!

      Delete
  4. Boys always make things more fun :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, what a difference a few years makes. I had high school in the 80s and had home ec and shop. And it truly was home wreck for me. The only grade worse than my home ec grade was math--I was bad at math--really bad. I did great at shop. I wish I would have been better at home ec, but it was the sewing that did me in that and the fact I burned nearly everything I cooked. I really did try..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always thing that a little charcoal with your meal is a good thing . . . That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

      Delete
  6. Diane, I took HomeEc in high school and absolutely loved it! It was my favorite class. I still remember making baked treats and being allowed to take them home. I carried them as if they had been purchased at the most expensive bakery in all the land! hee hee! I'm glad you're presently using the skills that you learned at the time! :)

    ReplyDelete

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