Running around a track for 30 minutes every other day, or playing games like Volleyball, certainly helped with the physical fitness aspects of things, but does nothing to help us understand how to protect ourselves from other potentially physically damaging encounters. Certainly I had health classes that at least attempted to teach me about personal respect, eating healthy, human sexuality, and how to avoid conflict; however, none of this helped me learn how to defuse an already heated conflict, or to deflect a punch, hold down or disarm an assailant, or even shot a gun when the conflict becomes violent.
All I’m really asking for is another choice or alternative to gym class, called “self defense class”.
Home Maintenance and Repairs
I took Wood and Metal shop in Jr High, and they also offered Home Ec as another option. I also took Auto Shop in high school, which if you ask me should have been a per-requisite to the Drivers Ed class; however, were I learned to take care of my home was by working with my dad in the summer time has he built and remodeled homes. It might have been helpful to many of my classmates to have had an option to take a class on home repairs.
I took a lot of math in school, so much so I didn’t have to take any in Collage for the degree I ended up getting. However, after living with roommates in a condo I had purchased, and driving a new expensive car, It didn’t take long before I realized I didn’t have a very good grasp on how manage a budget, or the real cost of financing and paying interest. A course on personal finances, that included balancing a budget and avoiding debt would have been helpful.
I passed the AP calculus test in High School, which the collage I attended gave me 12 semester credit hours towards their math requirements for graduation. Unfortunately, if you were to ask me today to do some complex calculus equation I would probably have no idea what you were even talking about. On the other had, on a regular daily basis at work I’ll do any number of math equations from simple addition all the way up to algebra. From there what would have helped me more then taking calculus or even Trigonometry would have been a class on Statistics. I run statistical analysis on all kinds of data all the time, without any formal training, and often times find myself wanting for a better understanding of what I just did.
While computers were just getting into peoples homes when I started high school, I fortunately had friends and family that helped me get and learn to use one of my own. If I had only learned more about programing languages before collage, I might have found a reason to continue past an associates degree, and ended up in a career in software design and programing.
Thankfully there are a number of things I was glad to have had the opportunity to have learned in High School, including:
- The U.S. Constitution (although they told me it was a “Democratic-Republic” and glossed over many other things that where significant influences upon the founding fathers.).
- World History
- English and writing
- Theater, and performing Arts
- Art classes
- Science, though it would have been nice to know that many of the theories I was taught were just theories that where only a few year or decades old, and would be discarded or modified within my lifetime.
- Socializing, you know with friends and enemies in the halls and cafeteria. How else can we learn how we fit into society?
- Most importantly, how to learn. After High school I really didn’t know how to do much of anything except turn a wrench, hammer some nails, and go to school. Thus I ended up in Collage, and really haven’t stopped learning new things since. I’ve even found that I learn better on my own while focusing on things that interest me most.