What High School or College Classes Have You Found to Be the Most Useful?

Useful High School and College Classes

When I first read this question onMentalfloss dot com, I was intrigued. After thinking about it for a couple of minutes, I came up with some surprising answers.

Since I have taught English as a Foreign Language for more than 20 years, my high school and college English classes would certainly qualify. Even a junior high school English (and Latin) teacher is still memorable for me. In fact I still remember several of my English / Latin teachers from junior high school (now usually referred to as Middle School) on. Latin was later useful in helping me to wade through other language classes like French, then Spanish.

French and Spanish

Although I didn’t study French or Spanish in high school, I had to learn both later when I first lived in Montreal for two years, then Paris for a year. Because I had to “babysit”, I took my oldest daughter with me to French study hall so I could practice. I even had a French-speaking girlfriend in Montreal who spoke NO English at all. That really catapulted my French language skills into the stratosphere. Spanish reared its romantic head for me permanently when I met and married a Latina from Colombia, then worked at various times in Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador.

Latin Language Study

My early Latin studies also paved the way for a better understanding of linguistics, which came up in my studies of Twi (Ghana – “Esono ensa, na esono ensa“), Kpelle (Liberia – “Wo hun te se in“), Russian (Soviet Union – “Spakoyne noche“) and Tagalog (Philippines). Actually, my last girlfriend before I got married to my present Colombian wife, was a beautiful Filipina lady. In fact, I nearly married “Felina” with her “crooked English” instead.

Biology and Chemistry

As a student, I liked science, and still do, and on occasion themes which I learned in Biology and Chemistry classes continue to pop up – especially Biology. I like to visit the local zoo at least once every year, and digital photos of animals comprise a large part of my photo collection.

Mechanical Drawing and Drafting

Another very useful class for me was a Mechanical Drawing class I did in Junior high school. I even still remember the teacher’s name although by now he’s a long time in his grave or so old he may as well be. Because of that one class though, and the influence of several art classes from then and later, I worked as a Draftsman for close to 20 years. During the 1980s, the field upgraded to its computerized form which still exists today. I was sitting at a dual-screen computer terminal at work everyday when early PC versions like the Commodore 64 and Apple were emerging from the minds of IBM, Texas Instruments and others. LEDs were the hot thing in hand-held calculators which cost nearly a month’s salary. People still mused slide rules for calculations – do you even know what that is?

So How About YOU Then?

For a few years I moonlighted as a photojournalist, a job I have even until this day. My early high school art classes contributed a lot to my knowledge of colors, composition and perspective, as did my mechanical drawing classes.

So how about you then?

What high school or college class have you found to be the most useful?

Regretfully, I wasn’t into math at all during my formative years, but now wish I’d paid more attention in Algebra, Trigonometry and other more advanced math and Physics classes when I was younger. When I now hear the younger sets complain about how “boring” and “useless” some of their classes are, I can’t help but snicker.

Little do they know!

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