OT: [LMB] Construction

Sarah E. Chodrow chodrow at bellsouth.net
Tue, 25 Nov 2003 21:37:43 -0500

This is definitely heading OT, so I've labeled it thusly.

I must have lived in an extremely progressive public school district.  I
was in junior high 1978-1980.  All students, regardless of gender,
academic status (they tracked then), or physical disability (*) were
required to take one semester each of cooking, sewing, woodshop,
metalshop, and typing (as well as a semester of art and a semester of
music every year.)  There was a 6th semester skills class, but I'm
drawing a complete blank as to what it was. As a result, I can mend a
seam, put in a button, fight with a sewing machine, am not particularly
afraid of power tools (although I *do* put my hair up before using them)
or soldering irons, and can touch type.   The cooking class involved
some boxed stuff, but since a lot of that was trafe (and my school
district was about 33% Jewish), there were vegetarian/dairy from scratch
options for those of us who objected.

Alas, by the time my brother went through the same school 7 years later,
they'd shut down everything but art and music (on the grounds that they
weren't safe for 6-8 graders), and restricted access to typing to the
non-academic track.  (They also stopped teaching foreign languages until
the high school, whereas I'd had a choice of French, Spanish, Italian,
German, Latin and Mandarin Chinese in junior high.  But that's another

(*) The deaf kids, of which there were a fair number, took an extra
semester of art instead of music, and two kids I knew of with severe
upper body motor problems were excused from shop.

    - S, whose souffles still collapse, but that's because I'm not a
chemist (cookies and pies I can bake--they're magic, not science.  But
cakes and souffles are beyond me.)

-- Sarah E. Chodrow
-- sarah at chodrow.com