Middle School Isn’t That Bad….

In three week this relatively relaxed and, actually, kind of bored teacher will return to her professional calling which is the interesting life of middle school.  Which means I will return to the days of goofy boys who think it’s funny to throw folded bits of post it notes with rubber bands, and feel compelled to share their proficiency in accurately depicting certain parts of male anatomy that the girls lack. In plain english they like to throw things and draw penises. The girls are not so innocent.  Every day around 3 the girls will all of a sudden have need to use the facitlities.  These darlings are trying to wash the makeup off their faces so their unsuspecting parents won’t know their daughters look like Geisha’s to the rest of the world.  The irony of all ironies is  their surprise at my thinking that I came into the situation thinking they actually wanted to read. (of all things)

Fortunately, I remember my middle school days.  Maybe it’s because I teach one mile away from where I attended middle school.  Either that or it was because the whole delayed puberty thing scarred me more than I realized.  Regardless, it is a time to behold because the memories are unlike any others from other stages of life.

In a recent facebook reunion all of us recalled the time our 7th grade teacher declared us, “The worst class ever.”  Ever? that’s going to make it difficult for those that want to best us. We laughed about it.  Which is the biggest form of irony for me. After the online conversation I realized, those past and future little darlings that I  will teach are going to laugh, in the years to come about how they tormented me!

But I also remember we weren’t that bad on purpose.  It wasn’t like we had secret meetings about what we were going to do to make the teacher lose it. Seriously.  Case in point: The Square

man playing a fiddle

Charlie Daniels playing his fiddle

Dancing Incident.  Before kids danced in a manner that required disclaimers and permission slips,  the official dance was the square dance. Every year in p.e. we had dance lessons and it was the time held, only American dance, the Square Dance.  We didn’t want to dance because there was hand holding and boys. However,  we did it because this was Catholic School, and if you didn’t God would be mad at you. You think with that mindset, we’d be good all the time.

For roughly an hour three times a week, for two weeks we’d dosey doe and allemande to Charlie Daniels singing “The Devil Went to Georgia.” He sang about the devil trying to take somebody’s soul, but lost it in a fiddle competition.  A totally appropriate song for Catholic School.  By the end of the second week we were good. I mean really good. We were over the having to touch hands thing and I do believe a couple of angels were in there having a good time with us. Then Sister Delbert, the principal came to observe, the worst class ever, dance.

This was back in the day when records had two sides.  On one side was the edited version, on the other, was the real version of the song. Sister Delbert walked in to hear Johnny tell the devil, “I told you once you son of a @#%&! I’m the best there’s ever been.” No lying all the time we practiced we listened to the side that said, “son of a gun.” The nun walks in and Charlie Daniels starts cussing? I slept with the rosary that night.

Dancing was done for that year, and possibly until our class promoted out of the school, and it was time to play soccer. This is one of the many experiences that gives me a keen insight.  Looking at things from the kid’s perspective,  I understand what they mean when they say, “Mrs. B., really, it isn’t what you think!”

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