Do you remember middle school? I do.
Every morning, I got off the bus and walked towards my suburban New York middle school. I waited outside until the first bell (we had to wait outside until the first bell). I walked through the hall on my way to my locker, hoping it would be clear.
But every morning, it wasn't. Every morning, they were standing there, leaning against my locker, kissing.
Not just smooching, or pecking, but full-on, make-out kissing. Looking back on it, I'm not sure why nobody stopped them - we don't even let kids hold hands in my current middle school - but that wasn't my perspective then. Back then, I remember that every morning, it was my job to awkwardly interrupt them so that I could get to my locker and put my jacket away. (Yeah, I was interrupting them).
Thinking back on it, there's probably no way that this happened every morning, or that it was even close to as bad as I remember, but that's how I remember it. It's funny to think about.
Now, every morning, I get out of my car and enter school at around 6:30am, walk through empty halls, open my room, turn on the coffee maker, and get myself ready for the day's lesson. (Don't pretend you're not impressed with how far I've come). But as a middle school student, I don't remember thinking on the way to school about the lessons I would probably experience that day. I'm not saying it didn't happen, but I definitely don't remember it. And I didn't have especially bad teachers - there were even some good and excellent ones in there.
I'm pretty sure that the reason I didn't think about it was because I was twelve years old, and I had other things on my mind. Like if Jared and Emma would be in front of my locker. Kissing.
So that's the kind of stuff I try to remember now. Somehow, I have to wade through all of this middle school stuff and teach 30 kids four times a day what an endoplasmic reticulum does. And the funny thing is, I'm good at it. I even enjoy the middle school stuff now, and I enjoy helping current twelve year olds find their ways through it.
Do you remember middle school?