Understand that I am using the parlance of a bygone era when I describe my middle school as “ghetto.” It consisted of a single hallway and a few dusty portables. Students had to share lockers and there were never enough pinafores in gym class. There were semi-nightly stabbings and the highlight of our playground was three crooked tether-ball poles. And worst of all: we didn’t have our own facilities for home economics or shop class.
Not that we even knew them as such. We called them “family studies” and “design technology” (or DTFS for short). It was the ’90s. Anyway, our school was so po’, our section assembled on a bus once a week to visit another better-funded school. And when I say better-funded, I mean sponsored-corporately by Apple computers.
Since it was the ’90s, and there were Macs everywhere, I spent most of my time ignoring our shop teacher’s lessons on orthogonal projection in favour of exploring this new thing called the World Wide Web. Hot damn. I’m pretty sure they had broadband too. I spent most of my time in Design Tech using Netscape Navigator and Altavista to whittle my grade down to a C.
I worked a bit harder in family studies. At least enough to know that these are called ball head pins. Like most people, I use them less for sewing and more for pointing out places on maps.