When I was in 7th grade, I signed up for an elective called Puzzles and Games. It wasn't exactly a popular choice, back in the 80s, when I suppose the cool kids took things like Art (and I did like that too) or Home Economics for fun.
Not only was the class a mixed bag of misfits (with me being the only female student), but our teacher was too. In her 50s, her long, jet-black hair reaching far past her waist, many of the students called her a witch. She had a raspy voice, earned from years of smoking, as we could tell from the cigarette odor that hung on her clothes. I was a little nervous going into the class - after all, no one I knew had signed up for it, and she did have a reputation. (In retrospect, she must've heard the rumors and found them amusing, because there is a picture of her dressed in a tall, pointy black witch's hat in the yearbook, a stern frown upon her face). In spite of my insecurities, I loved puzzles! So I thought I would give it a try.
Each day, lab tables were covered with jigsaw puzzles, my favorite being a huge one covered in hundreds of hot dogs. Hot dogs with relish, hot dogs with slaw, hot dogs with ketchup and mustard and all! It took us weeks to finish it, but it was a glorious puzzle. Our witch teacher said that she didn't care what we did, as long as we were learning something. So the other part to the class, the 'games' portion, was chess. I didn't know how to play chess. But I learned that semester. And while I never was the most strategic of chess players (I have never been very good at predicting moves long in advance), I enjoyed the game.
It's a good thing I took that Puzzles and Games class. Because now I have a six year old who spends his every waking moment wanting to play chess. He joined the chess club at school, and is so passionate about learning to play well. And I have to say - while I can still beat him, for now, I'm pretty sure the tables will turn in the near future.
How about you, readers - did you ever take an unusual class or elective as a kid?