Finding myself in home ec class

2 months ago Fremont Tribune

Reflecting on what would bring out the best in someone, I would say that having Miss Bonnie Groves (Newell, now) as a home economics teacher, definitely made that positive difference for me.

What I didn’t fully realize back then as a frosh, was I’m by nature a deeply domestic type person. I love to cook, have beautiful surroundings (not the same thing as liking to clean but I don’t have an aversion to it), I’m somewhat organized, entertaining guests is wonderful and having family in my abode is everything perfect.

All things about home and having to do with home life is what warmly feeds my soul the very most. That could explain why Petersen’s Bar 75 was such an absolute joy for me....ya think?! Ha!

Anyhoo, going to home ec was truly the highlight of my everyday high school (and junior high, if I remember right) experience and Miss Groves made it even more special.

Firstly, she was (is) such a pretty lady with a smile that always made (makes) its way to her eyes, making them sparkle, twinkle and I’m guessing this had to do with the fact that she truly loved what she did. Dressed beautifully every day, she would meet us at the classroom door which was down by the shop room and band room.

Now, I have to say something about that very geography and initial experience. The first time I walked into the home ec room I was completely blown away. Yes, the large size of the room was surprising (the hallway on the way getting you there was narrow so it was a little shocking at how big it was), but the best part was the obvious effort that Miss Groves put into the room making the space so welcoming and homey. It made going to home ec so fun. She made going to home economics so fun.

By no means could it have been easy teaching a bunch of teenage girls on the daily, yet she made it look effortless and she taught us all so very much whether it be cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene (that had to be tricky), fashion (that was so fun), how to be a good and kind person, sewing, manners (when it was okay to giggle) plus so very much more.

Hey, this “walking down memory lane thing” is certainly wonderful because, as you can see, she was an amazing teacher and we all learned so very, very much from her.

Let’s continue on. Miss Groves also was our FHA sponsor (Future Homemakers of America) of which I was an officer, proud to say. I have always, always taken pride in being a domestic engineer (wink). And I remember she encouraged us to be involved in the UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) drive every year where we “trick or treated for UNICEF.” That actually started my interest in helping people who are less fortunate—hence my involvement with Joseph’s Coat and the Washington County Food Pantry, which has been a real passion of mine. Bonnie truly was the one that started that for me.

This has been lovely. And calling her “Bonnie” was not easy in this column as she will always be Miss Groves to me, in my heart and memories as Miss Groves, always.

Thank you, Miss Groves. You made my days at THHS warm and fuzzy and enriched educationally by introducing me to the things that have become the sweetest parts of my life. Hugs to you forever.











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