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TEENS: Why every student needs a home economics class

Maggie Hettel
Maggie Hettel

At the end of my junior year, I knew I wanted to sign up for a foods class. Obviously because I get to eat, but also because of the skills I could learn.

Unfortunately, when I received my schedule that summer, I found out that I was put in sewing, not foods. I was disappointed, because I had no interest in learning how to sew; I just wanted to eat!

I’m halfway done with senior year, and sewing is my favorite class by far.

At the beginning of the year we learned how to do most of the basics. Our sewing teacher, Mrs. Pickens, couldn’t be more perfect at what she does. She knows just about everything that has to do with sewing (and the other home economics classes she teaches), and people will go to her for anything. People love her.

She had us name our machines (I won’t tell you the name of mine because it doesn’t always work the best). We sewed a stuffed monkey, just to get a feel for our machines, and mine ended up looking like a voodoo doll.

Sewing is actually a lot harder than it looks. Mrs. Pickens tells us that if we ever get too frustrated to go for a walk, because even though sewing is a lot of fun, it can be very frustrating.

Eventually it got a lot easier. I went from knowing nothing about sewing, to understanding how to rethread a machine, fill a bobbin, quilt something, hem a pair of pants, etc. We don’t just learn basic things, like how to sew on a button. Right now we are making quilts that we will be able to take to college and put on our beds. This project is going to take all semester and it will count for the final grade.

Home Economics classes aren’t just foods and sewing, they also include nutrition and health, personal finance, family resource and planning, and many others. These classes are important because they teach you life skills you will use forever.

At Marquette, the home economic classes we offer besides foods and sewing are independent living — which has many different units including finances, sewing and foods all put together — and child development.

The things we learn in these classes are things we can’t avoid; we have to wear clothes, we have to cook food and we have to be able to live on our own. I think that every high school should offer home economic classes, and if your high school already does, you should be in them.

MAGGIE HETTEL is a senior at Marquette Academy. To contact her, email Assistant Editor Julie Barichello at

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