When 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.
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I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.
Have a fantastic Tuesday!