Tell Us About the Stoopid Pad-Yer-Schedule Classes You’ve Taken

typinglikecrazyWhen I was in high school I took a bunch of idiotic classes, to pad my schedule. I figured out, somewhere along the line, that I only needed to amass a certain number of credits, and pass a handful of non-negotiable classes, to graduate. Beyond that, everything was up to me.

So, I attempted to take the easiest route possible. I know that might come as a shock to some of you, but it’s true.

I chose classes like Consumer Math, where they taught genuine idiots — and me — how to balance a checkbook, etc. It was good for my self esteem, because I felt like Albert Einstein in there. The whole class was filled with criminals, dotards, and people who “fell through the cracks.” I learned some stuff, though. It actually had some value.

And I took Rock/Pop Music Survey, which was taught by a big dancing bear poofter, who liked to dim the lights and make us listen to Barbra Streisand. You can imagine how that went over with all the rowdy rednecks and black guys in there.

The teacher had no control over that class, and chaos reigned. A couple of hillbillies repeatedly threw blackboard erasers at a clock that was embedded in the wall, until the face was hanging by wires two feet below the hole it had formerly called home. When our “leader” noticed it, he demanded to know what happened. Somebody told him it had just suddenly fallen, for no reason. There were chalk marks all around the hole… And the teacher said, “Wow, that’s odd.”

We had to make a recording for our final, where we pretended to be disc jockeys. You had to squeeze in the time, the weather, a public service announcement, etc. At one point during Rocky’s tape, he said, “And this is a song about a guy jacking off in front of a fan…” Then he played “Come Sail Away” by Styx.

I also took a class called Singles Survival, which was basically home ec for boys. All sorts of jackassery happened in that class. We had to break up into teams and make a pie from scratch at one point, and somebody snuck in beforehand and put salt in the sugar containers… Good stuff.

Bill and I also threw handfuls of silverware, and a big metal platter, into the clothes dryer, and turned it on. It made a fantastic racket, which we thought was the absolute pinnacle of comedy. And we cranked-up a hospital bed, at least once a week, until it was about ten feet off the ground. The teacher would completely lose her mind with frustration and anger. For some reason that hospital bed really pushed her buttons.

One day I made a cake, an actual cake by hand. I put it into the oven, but it wouldn’t be ready to come out until the middle of the next period. The teacher gave me a note that would allow me to leave my next class, so I could return and tend to the project. Unfortunately, my next teacher was the football coach, who couldn’t stand the sight of me. You can probably imagine the look on his face, as I asked to leave his class so I could take a cake out of the oven. He just waved me away in disgust.

I was also an office aid, which was pretty kick-back. Sometimes a girl would come in there and ask one of the old ladies for a “pad.” They cost a nickel, and they’d always put them inside an envelope, to make it more discreet. I tried to pretend I didn’t know what was going on, with no expression on my face. But I’m sure those girls were extremely happy to see me standing there.

So, I routinely, um, padded my schedule with those kinds of challenging classes. But I made a serious error in judgment when I signed up for Typing II. I wanted to be a writer, so I’d taken Typing I the previous year. It was a good class, and they taught me how to type. I’m still using the skills I learned there.

I figured Typing II would just be a continuation of it, but was wrong. It was an intense-ass training course on how to be a secretary, or something. At the beginning of the semester everyone was issued a thick packet of projects, and a schedule. During each day you were supposed to complete certain tasks, which were time-consuming and typing-intensive. If you fell behind, you’d have to make it up the next day.

Well… by the end of the first week, I was about two days behind. And by the end of the first month, I was up to my neck in quicksand. It was super-stressful, until I finally said fukkit. At some point I just threw in the towel, and took an F. It wasn’t like I was a stranger to the F, so it wasn’t traumatic or anything.

What was traumatic was the period when I was still trying. I’d come in there, type my ass off, with sweat pouring down my face. Then I’d realize at the end of the period that I’d actually fallen farther behind. It was horrible: an anxiety dream come to life.

Did you take any stupid-ass pad-yer-schedule classes in high school or college? If so, please tell us about them. Did any surprise you, like that Consumer Math class did me? Of the nightmarish Typing II? Use the comments link below.

And don’t forget to pre-order your 2013 shirts, my friends! Just a few days remain.

I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.

Have a fantastic Tuesday!

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  1. Ognir says

    I remember that Singles class. I think we had to make a pillow. When I went to college in my early 20s, I got to see my HS transcript, and how bad my grades were.

  2. says

    This sounds like the worst thing in the world.

    “Bill and I also threw handfuls of silverware, and a big metal platter, into the clothes dryer, and turned it on.”

    • Bill in WV says

      I think a handful of Reader’s Digests and a thick-ass hard back dictionary also went into the mix. I just know that I had never heard such banging and clanging, that loud, in my life. The woman who taught the class had eye-teeth that were both about 2 inches long and we obviously nicknamed her “Fang”. ‘Ol Fang was fuggin’ pissed off, I do know that.

      • madz1962 says

        I wish to God there was an audio. I’m picturing my home ec teacher. Oh there would have been EMS involved.

  3. Ognir says

    That bit about the math class is about right. Just the other day I was talking about failing Algebra, and being sent to the “remedial” math class. It was full of bullies, glue sniffers, teenage mothers, etc. The good old days.

  4. johnthebasket says

    I took a year of typing, which turned out to be a terrific, lifetime investment. The school owned a total of four newfangled electric typewriters; the fastest typists each week got a shot on one of these thoroughbreds.

    Typing is one of the few life-skills I retain, along with starting a fire and double clutching.


  5. says

    In college I had to take two physical education classes, so I took one called “Figure Improvement” which was basically going out walking around the campus, alternating with doing the Jane Fonda workout along with the record (yes, vinyl record album).

  6. Andy says

    I took calligraphy , and no, it wasn’t 1776 when I was in high school. It was in the 80’s taught by a full blow drunk, easy to get a good grade in there!

  7. Beth says

    I took Mrs. Hensley’s “Fashion Merchandising” class. We had to put on a fashion show and I had to model a ski suit from that sports shop at the 12th Street plaza (can’t think of the name at the moment) and a lovely denim pant suit from Fashion Bug. I didn’t have any black high heeled shoes to wear with it and borrowed my sister’s whose feet were 2 sizes larger than mine. I’m lucky I didn’t fall flat on my face in front of the whole school. What a waste! (oh, in case you’re curious there’s a picture of it in the yearbook)

    • WV Bumblebee says

      I took that class but on fashion show day I was “sick”. no way was I getting up in front of anybody and modeling my skirt!

      Now I’m going to have to get out my yearbook and look up my lockermate modeling, lol!

  8. Steve in WV says

    I took instrumental music, which was more or less a continuation of band class. My daily duties included restocking the pop machine, emptying and sorting all the nickles, dimes, and quarters, and carting the “overstock” back into the storage.

    My band director had quite a racket going. Most of the pop machines on “campus” were locked during the school day. But not the one in the band room. We sold black market beverages to any and all. We also sold candy, chips, and other snacks. That shit wouldn’t fly, these days. The feds would shut that shit down in a hurry.

  9. madz1962 says

    HS: “Poetry in Song” which consisted of the big burly bastard of a teacher trying to belt out Bob Dylan songs. He MADE me do a 2 day in front of the class report on the Rolling Stones and another kid he made do a report on the British Invasion. We were the only 2 singled out.

    College Phys Ed – bowling and horseback riding because they were both off campus and the bowling alley had a terrific lounge attached to it.

    HS: International Foods in which we cooked such exotic fare like a quiche and a hamburger.

    College: “The Works of Alfred Hitchcock” which, incidentally, besides watching movie after movie, was actually a damn good course.

    HS: Library Assistant – since I was probably the only kid in that school that could master the dewey decimal and card catalog system.

    ~~~ there must be more.

  10. bikerchick says

    I tried out for an exclusive singing group called Pop Ensamble. Over 200 kids tried out but only 9 were chosen. I was one of the chosen few. We did concerts all over town and the big Christmas show in school. There were many rehearsals that required skipping other classes and travel time too. It really padded my schedule but it was fun as hell.

  11. Bill in WV says

    I was also in the typing II class that Jeff had. Probably why neither one of us passed. I think I was the first to get an F- grade. I went to the class drunker’n hell one day. Me and Rocky went out and drank a 12 pack at lunch. The fact that I can type this, and be damned good at it, proves that typing II was complete bullshit.

    • WV Bumblebee says

      you guys only took typing so look at the teacher, Miss (?) maybe, who later became a Mrs. and broke all of your hearts!

  12. Henderson says

    I padded my schedule with Advanced Calculus, Advanced Physics, Advanced Language Arts, etc.

    Damn. I could have just f’d off in high school and become a cop or something.

    • johnthebasket says

      Advanced Calculus is a peculiar name for a class — generally these are called Calc 2 or DiffCalc or something catchy — but I think Jeff was actually asking about subjects as easy as math that required virtually no homework and little sobriety.

      And as a member of a law enforcement family, I should point out that the majority of state and municipal cops have at least a two year degree, and in my state, over 40% of the state cops have a 4-year degree. I think police work is more of a calling than, say, office manager drone, but training and education can’t hurt.


      • chill says

        I took a class called Advanced Calculus, but that was during junior year in college.

  13. m says

    To avoid Phys Ed, I joined Choir. I foundd out I had a passable voice, and enjoyed our shows and competitions. And I avoided dodge ball and running. Win win. No other padding, though, I took AP and honors classes.

  14. johnthebasket says

    The MTV book came today. I’ll dig in when I’ve finished the Butch Walker autobio and send a report when I finish.


  15. Phil Jett says

    Senior lounge. 16 seniors were selected each year and two each period got to run the senior lounge selling snack food and pop. The teacher’s aid who ran it was banging my 17 yr old best friend and she picked both of us.

    You were graded like it was a business. We also both got an A.

  16. mzushark says

    I ran track in college and was looking for an easy class to fill my schedule. So I ended up taking jogging. The kicker was the guy who taught the class used to be on the track team so he let me not do all of the jogging because he knew I was going to practice later in the day.

  17. chill says

    I should have taken a typing class, but who knew I would end up programming for a living? After decades of hunt-and-peck, at least now I’m a pretty fast hunt-and-pecker.

    I didn’t really have any filler classes like that in high school. In college I took bowling for a PE requirement, and that was actually fun. Another cool college class was Laboratory Glassblowing. So I know how to make pipettes and condensers out of Pyrex, but I have no clue how to work with regular glass.

    • hot fuzz says

      he said “pecker” ,,,, hehe

      I use the eagle method… circle and dive (1 finger twrirled about the keyboard and plunge in to the key required. Well actually no I don’t but it usually gets a laugh when I demonstrate.

  18. dto says

    I’m trying to figure out why that in a Singles Survival class you had to learn how to operate a hospital bed. I guess they figured if you singed up for this class it was their responsibility to prepare you for living a life alone. When you become a miserable bastard, infirm and living in seclusion and squalor you’ll be glad you took that class and not Advanced Calculus.

    • Bill in WV says

      The classroom was used mainly for home ec class. I think the bed was in there just to teach dumbasses how to make a bed, as well as being a convenient platform for making out with your girlfriend while everyone else was in the gymnasium, watching a boring ass assembly or ball game.

  19. mainer2013 says

    I took a class called “Poetry in Contemporary Music” as did a lot of guys because it sounded like an easy “A” (it was) and because the teacher was fresh out of college and she was hot. It turned out to be a great class. We each got to present a rock song and talk about the poetry of the lyrics. The best was by one guy who presented the entire rock opera “Tommy”. Best class I took in High School.

  20. t-storm says

    This is off topic but does anyone else’s phone change the colors on the surf report making it impossible to read?
    I took rappelling and marksmanship in college just because.

    • chill says

      No, looks fine – if tiny – on my phone.

      It would have been way cool if my college had offered marksmanship, but no. I had to content myself with Thermodynamics, Electromagnetic Theory, and Computer Hardware Design.

    • johnthebasket says

      My Ericsson rotary displays the site in the normal 3-bit RGB, with Floyd-Steinberg dithering on the 1X1 high density display.


  21. johnthebasket says

    Right. College is the time to learn actual advanced calc. Especially for those headed for math or engineering degrees, or, for that matter, any degree that isn’t going to improve one’s chances of getting laid. As a kind of computer science guy (that degree didn’t exist when I matriculated) I know too well the pain of persistent, recurring, libidinous longing.


    • johnthebasket says

      Dammit, this was supposed to be a reply to the question of advanced calc above. It’s hot here. Hot, hot, hot, and I’m losing control.


  22. Greg Baumann says

    At Georgia Tech: Nuclear Astrophysics and Stellar Evolution

    I know this one sounds tough, but it was one of those ‘show up and get a guaranteed B’ courses. There weren’t that many of those in the Tech physics department.

  23. Ognir says

    I never took such a class, but I know someone who had a journal writing class in college. He told me they would sleep the first half of the class, and then write in their journal the second half of the class.

  24. westersteve says

    Our boy’s home ec course was called “Senior Survival’. Out of all the stuff I endured in high school this was actually the class I use most in my “real ‘ life. It was taught by a very cute, petite, first year teacher. We were aiming to be high-order jackasses but we found out the people who were actually trying, the teacher would hang out and talk with. We were hormone filled bags of energy so if toeing the line let us talk to a perky young thing fresh out of the sorority we would have walked thorough fire.

  25. says

    I ddidn’t have to many fluff courses, and don’t feel like typing much. But I do remember one in particular.

    Me and my friend Scarpatchy were in a Home ec class together. We got graded throughout the year by going to the cafeteria and picking up milk and butter and whatnot. We definatly didn’t smoke weed on the way to get various dairy products.

    We did have to make a desert for the course final. We put a drop of food coloring on sugar cubes and called that good enough. I think we got a B.

  26. Buck Naked says

    “Engineering Economics” in the Industrial Engineering curriculum. Damn-all if I understood, then or now, why engineers need to read ledgers. Required, but an absolute and total waste of time.

  27. clintcurtis says

    Okay, a LOT of padding for me. I couldn’t get into the required “Singles” class the first semester of Senior year because it was filled with underclassmen. This was a class FOR SENIORS ONLY, yet this wannabe diva sucked up to the rich kids and let juniors and freshmen from the “good” neighborhoods in.
    So, I filled out my last semester with Metal Shop, a Trig class, and also got into a remedial Reading class to help out my neanderthal best friend who couldn’t graduate without passing the class.
    When I signed up for it, they sent me to some Special Ed evaluator to see if I qualified. She had me read out of several books and I made it sound like I was a stuttering dotard. They let me in the class, and I had to act dumb…and ended up getting a “B.” As such, keeping me out of the running for valedictorian!
    Ironically, had the Special Ed person checked my records, she would have seen that I had an unbroken string of A’s in honors English dating back to 7th grade.

  28. chill says

    What am I doing for the Fourth? Thanks for asking.

    For the first time in years – maybe decades – nothing. I might be wandering around the Mall tomorrow with some friends, but that’s kind of up in the air right now. I just whipped up a nice shrimp scampi for dinner, and later in the weekend I’ll be attempting to make pho at home. We’ll see how that goes.

    All this is part of an effort to not pick up the living room, not clean the gutters, etc.

  29. johnthebasket says

    At the risk of sounding like a Marc Maron pimp, the Nick Cave interview just dropped tonight and it’s terrific IF you are, like me, a huge Nick Cave fan. If you aren’t a big fan, I don’t think the discussion will make a single bit of sense.


  30. Lucie in Tampa says

    I took Food Service management, just because it took up the first two periods of the day & I could eat. I took accounting because it was actually a DOS programming class to create accounting spread sheets & it counted as two math credits. I suck at math, but I rocked it out on DOS programming.