Dear Crabby, What Was Your Favorite School Subject?

Dear Crabby,

With most schools back in session, I began thinking about my school days. And it got me wondering what was your favorite school subject, and did you have a favorite or influential teacher?

Just Curious

Dear Just Curious,

Now given that I am such a talented writer, some of you are probably expecting me to say my favorite subject was English and you would be dead wrong. Oh, how I hated English class. We had to read sappy poetry and all that dopey Shakespeare. The period seemed like it would never end. The only books I was mildly interested in were the ones that had action in them like The Count of Monte Cristo or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. But finding those on the required reading list seemed few and far between. My favorite subject was actually geography.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

You see I grew up pouring over copies of National Geographic at the local library. I was fascinated by all those people and places that a poor kid from Detroit would probably never get to see unless I enlisted in the military. Mr. V made all those far-off locales sound so intriguing and exciting to a kid who at that time didn’t even consider Canada a country since it was so close and easy to get to. He even made us learn every state, province, and country on all the continents — and spelling counted! All I can say is I’m thankful back then the Soviet Union hadn’t dissolved into those 15 independent republics. While I enjoyed the class, I certainly didn’t need more countries to remember! I’m not sure how much geography is being taught these days, but I still think it’s important. Not long ago I overheard a conversation between two millennials. One was shocked to learn Rhode Island is a state. Since it had ‘island’ in its name, she just assumed it was part of New York. Kids today, I tell ya. As for my most influential teacher that would have to be my woodshop teacher Mr. Madera.

Back in my day taking woodshop or auto shop was quite common. And it certainly wasn’t looked down on like it is today. Have you noticed lately how many companies are practically begging for skilled tradesmen (and women too) to come work for them? The pay is excellent (in most cases six-figure salaries!), but for some reason, society is still spouting off the idea that college is good and if you’re a smarty-pants you’ll go to one. While trade schools are only seen as an option if you’re too dumb to get into a ‘real’ school. That’s absolute hogwash! Not everyone wants a fancy degree. And even if you do want one, there’s nothing wrong with learning how to do things with your hands. Woodshop taught me problem-solving skills like what to do when I made the wrong cut but still needed to finish my project. And while I wasn’t the greatest at math, woodshop helped me to understand it a bit better because it was presented in a way I could grasp. Mr. Madera made a huge impact on me. He gave me the confidence to create something useful from a pile of wood. And I’ve used the skills I learned in his class throughout my life. Of course, being handy has its price: Mrs. Crabby always seems to have a never-ending honey-do list for me to tackle. Don’t get me wrong. All this fandangled technology we have can be pretty great and mighty useful at times. But there’s something to be said for knowing how to read a map and working with your hands. It’s a bit sad that we’ve lost that. Hopefully, all these whippersnappers will appreciate what they are being given a chance to learn and that someday down the road they’ll be grateful for the teachers who tirelessly stood in front of them, trying to mold them into productive members of society.

Hope this answers your question and remember to stop for the school buses!
Dear Crabby

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About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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