Friday, June 5, 2009

It's a "Promotion"

Technically when you finish 8th grade, it's not a graduation, but a promotion. Everyone except the principal calls it a graduation, though. Whatever you call it, the ceremony is the same: "Pomp and Circumstance," speeches, handing out diplomas, leis, and lots of picture-taking. My youngest son is now officially finished with middle school. Hallelujah! I can't say I was really much in the mood for looking backward--I think we're all happy to leave middle school behind, my son included. Despite some great experiences--like hangin' with his best friend Sam (see photo above), playing in the band, playing soccer and futsal, and discovering that he is good at math--my son doesn't have much nostalgia for his middle school years.
Most of us don't. I don't actually remember much of middle school--although we called it junior high back then. Some snapshots do linger in my mind: choreographing dance routines in the gym, my perky adorable 7th grade PE teacher, my best friend Kari in 8th grade, the purple and white costumes the cheerleaders wore. My lack of cohesive memories may be due to having gone to 3 different schools in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. I was eager to go to high school and at least have 3 years at one school.
I hope my own negative feelings about middle school didn't rub off on him too much. Now that we're done with it, I can confess something: I almost couldn't make it through his and his brother's Back-To-School-Nights each September. After sitting through two or three classes I began to feel an overwhelming urge to scribble on the walls with a permanent marker; I sometimes had to duck out of the last few classes. The nearly universal scolding tone of the teachers and something oozing out of those institutional walls unleashed in me a desire to break the rules. I'm kind of amazed he made it through all three years with only a few trips to the counselor's office.
Onward to high school!
(Okay, here's the whole photo. I don't usually post photos of my kids but ... this time I did. The lady in the flowered coat is a totally awesome social studies teacher, Ms. Lucero. Read my shout out to her.)

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