What do you think about this picture? It’s a Home Ec Lab from the University of Wisconsin from 1948 courtesy of this article from the Los Angeles Times.
For the record, my lab did not look like that when I taught cooking classes just a couple of years ago. And, neither did my hair or clothing choices….or, my students. Irregardless, I find it refreshing all the same that they are actually writing articles about the evolution of Home Economics.
Did you know California is the only state to still call it Home Ec? Here in the old “refined” state of Florida we call if Family & Consumer Sciences. I guess it sounds smarter? I don’t know, but we Home Ec teachers here in Pinellas County find it humorous to call ourselves “Home Economists.” We’re a funny bunch of women (and a couple of men), if I do say so myself.
Anyhow, I was thrilled to see that someone out there still thinks these courses are important, even vital, to our society. I won’t go into many details, but last year there was a mean lady who basically told me that my job was crap and that she didn’t need her kids in any of my “type” of classes cause they were smart. She didn’t “need no teacher teaching her kids how to do laundry.” Uh, last I checked I don’t teach them that, but I do make them do laundry sometimes as part of the Preschool routine. And anyway, why would you complain that among the other things I teach your kid, that laundry is one of them?? Most of my parents are thrilled that their kids are doing laundry at all, let alone at school.
The LA times thinks I’m important, even vital, to our society. I think I’ll just take that and run with it! (And, maybe mutter a couple indiscretions under my breath to that mean mean lady while I’m at it.)