..Middle school has its awkward moments.
The bell buzzed.
I guess it can no longer be called a bell if it doesn’t ring, but I’m so used to the bell at Glazier Elementary that it still feels strange to call that thing a buzzer. Instead of ringing for recess, it will buzz for “nutrition”. It even sounds boring that way. Middle school will be different. We no longer have just one principal and support staff, but a principal and two assistant principals plus a staff that all look equally scary.
“That bell isn’t for us,” some tall kid said, who apparently still had the whole buzzer and bell thing confused, “our classes start at 8:20 A.M.”
“Thanks man,” I responded, “but I still have to find the HR, what ever that is.”
“I think it stands for home room, my older brother says that we will have more than one teacher so I guess that’s where we will meet first,” he said, “I got room 196, you?”
“196, I guess we’re in the same room.”
And so my first day in middle school started. We found the home room, had our dumb introductions (name, what school you come from and an interesting fact about yourself), broke in our brand new notebooks and pencils, and went through the usual uncomfortable first day stuff. I had absolutely no idea about the awkward moments waiting to happen in the next three years of middle school.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was not in elementary school anymore. A question many of us had but did not dare to ask was “where the heck is the playground?” all we saw was a bunch of benches and other areas to sit. Were they expecting us to sit around and actually talk to each other? It reminded me of how strange it was to think that older people sat around just listening to music. At least we weren’t being pressured into eating the horrible cafeteria lunches anymore. All the cool kids didn’t eat cafeteria lunch. There were many other differences, such as the introduction of school security, increased seriousness in the word detention, and the creation of cliques. I remember asking for cooler-looking underwear since I would be changing in and out of gym clothes in front of other kids. And it all went crazy from there.
You see, middle school is supposed to be filled with awkward moments. There are kids that still haven’t hit their growth spurt, so you end up with a random assortment of short and tall kids. You cannot tell the difference between a sixth grader and an eighth grader just by looking at their height. Some kids are freaking out because of the first signs of pimples. Some girls actually have boobs now and some are flat out ..well, flat. Some guys have the whole deep voice thing going, some sound comically feminine, and others are still experiencing heavy voice cracking. Everyone goes through a bunch of changes in their bodies, some more embarrassing and more noticeable than others.
Suddenly the opposite sex doesn’t seem that bad, but the thought of a boyfriend or girlfriend seems way too serious for your age. Of course, there are those exceptions out there that claim to already have had 4 girlfriends and are not afraid to write love letters and ask someone out to the dances where girls stand near one wall, and the guys stand by the opposite one. For the first time ever, you experience what its like to blush at the sound of someone’s name and have those perfectly planned conversations in your head completely fail after the first word. And then you figure out what it feels like when she starts liking some other guy who probably plays basketball and sort of has facial hair and all you have going for yourself is the top score in your pre-algebra test and band trophies and it leaves you bummed for a whole two days! Ahem. Uh, anyways..
Middle school is a planned chaos. It appears as though the school system thought to itself:
Hmm.. kids are usually going through a lot of things between the ages of 11-13, lets put them in a school together, yes this is a great idea!
But it didn’t kill us, so I’ll trust the guy that came up with the quote and assume it made us stronger. No more unoriginal yearbook signings that say “Hope you have a great summer! See you next year! K.I.T.” or the need to take food out of your braces. It must be safe now to say congratulations, you made it through some of the most awkward years of your life!
What awkward moments do you remember about your middle school/junior high life?