Al, hang in there. Don't worry, the sun will rise again in March. :P
In regards to handwriting, mine is horrible. I usually write all uppercase if I need to be able to read it later, or especially if someone else needs to. But it's a skill that most people really have no use for anymore. I think it's good that it's being dropped from the curriculum, since learning to have pretty handwriting takes away time from other things. But I agree on the home ec, that's something that teaches many people important life skills that they will be using on a daily basis. I don't think I really learned a lot in home ec, since I already knew how to cook when we got it in 7th grade. But for many people it's their first introduction to the kitchen, and that's a good thing. Learning to use a sewing machine, and to do some basic woodwork is also important in my opinion. You don't need to make everyone a carpenter, but it's surprising how many people are completely useless with a drill or screwdriver.