Welcome to the swamp! Here, lurking in the muck, where creativity spawns, you'll find Mrs Crocodile, aka Colleen Dunkel, a costumer and teacher based in Basel, Switzerland.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Cheating in Home Economics

The only time I have ever contributed to wide-spread cheating in school was in home economics in Junior High School.  You may ask, how is it possible to cheat in a cooking and sewing class?  I had learned some sewing already in the fifth grade.  My mom taught me, even though she curses like you wouldn't believe as she gets up from the machine and heads for the seam ripper, she still knows how to do it, which says a lot for motherhood.  Me learning sewing was helpful because we were running a bed and breakfast inn and had to put up curtains for four new rooms.  I learned to sew a straight line, my mom and her partner learned how to line up wall paper.  We never really learned how to walk a straight line, but we crossed all the i's and dotted all the t's.  This is actually a picture of the first thing I ever made with a sewing machine:  I was nine and did it while my mom wasn't looking.  Then I was off and they couldn't stop me. 

So later when I started home economics all the kids in the class were lost with their pillows to complete in an amazingly tight time frame of about 8 weeks and when the teacher wasn't looking I jumped in and helped sew almost all of the 15-20 pillows.  Sadly I have forgotten the teacher's name, but the impulse to get behind the machine was stronger than I was.  I could not stop myself when I saw a fellow pupil and pillow in need.  Do you know how hard it is to do someone else's project, you have to physically move yourself to their sewing machine and jump back when the teacher comes back in the room.  It was exhilarating.  It was my fifteen minutes of fame.  Most of those kids still remember how my nimble fingers saved their grades.   Two of them became such good friends that they later saved me from the various pitfalls of being a teen.  Even today, when I walk down State Street in Santa Barbara and happen to bump into one of my classmates from SB Junior High, the first question is always, "Do you still know how to sew?"  Not as I would expect, "Wow!  How exciting!  Where do you live in Europe?" But never mind, I guess more people live in Europe than know how to sew.

Yours jumping out from behind sewing machines,
Mrs Crocodile

3 comments:

  1. I have a pillowcase that needs mending. And a pair of Skye's pyjamas and... all straight lines. Is it possibile to sneak onto a plane and come fix them?

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  2. You do the sneaking, I'll oil the machine...

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  3. Ha! I think you sewed a skirt for my sewing class in high school. The only reason I passed the class. Wish I still had that skirt. I would send it it to you to include in some future cutting.
    Linda

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