Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I know those who love middle schoolers. They are the ones who are quick to defend, quick to say, "But I love jr high precisely because they're so full of life!" and "People think middle school is awful, but I am so excited to be with those kids." I have stood by and nodded my head like a bobble doll. I have even considered in my heart of hearts that perhaps they were right. Perhaps I was the inconsiderate, impatient one. But no. No, my friends, you are wrong. Believe not the defenders of adolescents, good-intentioned though they may be. Middle school is the devil, living and breathing with multi-colored nails and body odor.
Today I hardened my heart of hearts against them. I taught geography at Woodham Midlle. Today I patiently explained countless times how to find the answers to the worksheet in the book and how to fill it out, only to have the worksheets returned empty or filled in with fake answers. Today I read that the economy of Myanmar was socialism. That the thing that North and South Korea share is "an entire page". And that the reason the economy is so poor in Thailand is "yes". Today I successfully threatened boys twice my size and three times my weight. I objected to lewd songs being sung, pelvic thrusts being delivered to the white board, crayons being hurled, penises being drawn in textbooks, girls being hit and classmates being locked out of the room. This afternoon, I resisted the urge to chuck a marker at the back of a shaggy kid's head. "That would be immature," I thought, "I wouldn't want a law suit or to get fired."
I am stupid. Being fired is exactly what I want. Second to that, writing referals is what I like. I like it very much.
Here is how I am unlike a middle schooler. During my free period, I left my room to get some water. It occured to me that perhaps I should bring my purse with me, but I was just down the hall, so I didn't. Instead, I thought through how I, were I a bratty 7th grader, could sneak in, locate the sub's purse and take something out of it before the sub got back. During my picturing of the situation, I realized it wouldn't have worked, had it been me. There was a brownie on the sub's (my) desk and I know I would have gotten distracted by it before ever finding the purse. In fact, I probably would have considered that a better find than the purse. But not the devil, the devil would have gone for the credit cards and identity theft.
But I digress.
I make no arguement with those friends of mine who adore jr highers. In fact, I encourage them to do so, since someone has to. Let it be known that there are some students whom I like. The ones that make even my hardened heart softer. But they are the ones who act like high school, or even elementary students. Which is nice, because it leaves me free to maintain my dislike of middle school. Which I do.
In dedication to our dear friend Zach, who fights daily with the rotten lot of them, I conclude: Let loose the whiteboard markers, and with them, gain freedom.