These photos from my high school yearbook of 1963 show that while I was enrolled in Latin, French, Biology, English, Social Studies and Algebra, other students were taking Home Economics(the girls) and Shop(the boys.) No one I knew took either class. What was going on? While theoretically I could have chosen Home Economics instead of Latin as my elective, I was never given a choice by either my parents or school counselors. Sadly, we judged the girls who did take Home Ec as inferior to us. The boys had the same attitude towards Shop and I knew no one who took it. Eventually these two courses, probably some of the most useful classes for regular life, disappeared from many schools altogether.
I still don’t understand this condescending attitude to these classes that prevailed in my high school. We girls were definitely expected to be able to run households when we were grown. The boys were definitely expected to be able to fix things when they were grown. But apparently learning these skills in well equipped classrooms with master teachers was considered “below us.”
I cook every day. I never use Latin. Which elective would have been a better use of my time?