East Eagles Learn Various Adulting 101 Tips - TribPapers

East Eagles Learn Various Adulting 101 Tips

East Henderson CTE instructor Dominque Wilkins demonstrates proper ironing to Cam Edenfield, as part of Adulting 101. Photo by Kimbrell Arrowood, HCPS.

East Flat Rock – “Adulting 101” is the pioneering seminar afternoon that East Henderson recently staged, to teach and reinforce productive practices in daily life.

Each student had the chance to take two sessions in the last hour and a half on April 6. There were 40 classes. Mostly teachers instructed. Some brought in community experts.

Assistant principal Maggie Gilliam organized the special day of “hands-on, interactive” learning. She plans on this being an annual event for East, hailed as the first Henderson County Public School to put on such an array of practical seminars. Some people hope for new classes implementing some seminar topics.

Gilliam spread students between the 40 sessions and limiting each to 30 or fewer pupils, so no class was overloaded making it “hard to keep kids engaged” in the lesson, Gilliam reasoned.

Best-attended was proper barbecuing, with tasting samples. That class drew 40 Eagles. It was taught by masonry teacher Stanley Smith and agri-science teacher Mathew Rollins.

Car maintenance was split into three sessions, due to its popularity. Tips included how to change a tire, put jumper cables on to restart a battery, and check the oil quality and levels, and air pressure. The instructors included Filipp Gorovoy (science) and John Wall (math).

Other popular topics included yoga, and line dancing for wedding receptions. Students practiced the classic Electric Slide. In another session, “exceptional children” instructor Danielle Davis taught “fancy dining etiquette” such as how to dress up and use proper silverware.

Budgeting Tips

In many cases, students left realizing there are more adult responsibilities than they imagined. The class entitled Should I Get a Dog? is about timing pet ownership for when a person can afford such ongoing expenses as food, vaccines, and vet bills.

Indeed, many pivotal classes related to one’s personal finances. A “housing” seminar focused on shopping for affordable rent and keeping up with payments, mortgages and interest liabilities.

An investing seminar was promoted as how to become a millionaire. It was taught by art instructor Robert Wallace and chorus teacher Christine Cullen. Their tips included disciplined spending to afford to save and invest money early and often. They showed charts on how investments tend to soar over decades.

In the Cooking on a Budget class, culinary instructor Caroline Withrow had students write out a make-believe budget for shopping groceries for a week. Withrow later laughed about how many students splurged on treats, or wasted money on peanut butter or other food that did not fit meals.

Other financial classes include cooking on a budget, balancing one’s budget by tracking money coming in and must-pay expenses, keeping a banking log, and knowing what to include when writing a check. Accounting instructor Buffy Blackwell taught such lessons.

East students learned how insurance coverage works, how to get a passport, sewing,, and simply how to write and sign their names in proper cursive handwriting.

Blue Ridge firefighters taught home fire safety. They demonstrated fire pits, and using a fire extinguisher. Woodworking teacher Trey Allman showed “how to keep all of your fingers, while doing home projects,” as Gilliam described it.

Sessions in Spanish included Nancy Diaz revealing local outdoor attractions free to visit. Melissa Escobar, also from non-profit True Ridge, talked about its La Promesa program. It helps local Latino high school seniors apply for college aid and while in college.

Travel, Arts

Junior Class President Destiny Simotics chose travel tips taught by AP history and French teacher Laurie Gaitskill, and creating art to boost mental well-being.

Fight procedures at an airport and in a jet interest her. “I’ve never been on a plane before,” she said. Simotics hopes to travel on a senior trip and on her own, too. Gaitski outlined cultural customs, urged learning basic phrases to help get around and blend in better.

Travel dangers were also discussed, Simotics noted. She said that Gaitskill urged having a map handy to “know where you’re at,” and studying an area online before deciding whether to go there. As Simotics worded it, it is crucial to find out about risks such as incidents of kidnapping. “It’s important to know the dangerous areas, and how to avoid them. And if I do get into trouble, how to find help.”

Theater arts teacher Clay Gaitskill led a visual arts class that touted how creating art is good for one’s spirits. Simotics said she likes to “write poetry for fun. It’s been a coping mechanism, during COVID when we were quarantined. I like to get my feelings out on paper.”

Ironing Out Details

Laundry and ironing were in a combined class. Shannon Tankersley showed laundry tips to make clothes come out cleaner and last longer.

Another career and technical education (CTE) teacher, Dominique Whiteside, demonstrated ironing. He then had students try their hands at it. He was “surprised at how many students had never personally seen or used an iron before.”

The assistant football coach taught an Entrepreneurship 1 class. His ironing tips are to help youths gain a “personal, competitive advantage every day,” Whiteside said. “People are forming an opinion about us based on perception. I believe that if young men possess skills such as ironing and laundry, it helps them become more well-rounded, self-sufficient, and confident.”

Wearing wrinkle-free clothes in job interviews helps. Whiteside quoted NFL Hall of Famer Deion “Prime Time” Sanders: “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good…”