Friday, February 08, 2008

The Friday Five

Memories of Middle School

Continuing on the theme of last week, I'm walking down memory lane. Five things I remember from middle school:
1 Fifth Grade: The first year I went to private school. I was so far behind in math I wanted to die! The girls had to wear dresses every day. Torture! One classmate, the aforementioned Robbie. The entire class of 4-6th graders busted out laughing when Robbie couldn't pronounce the word 'manure'. In his defense it was hyphenated at the end of a line man-ure when it should have been ma-nure, but still. It was funny to us.
2 Sixth Grade: Three kids in my class, and me the only girl. David was tall and skinny and blond and we called him G.A.S. (Not for the reason you're thinking) G.A.S. stood for Get-Away-Sticks because his legs were like toothpicks and he was a fast runner.
3 Seventh Grade: The two boys left the school and two girls came. Mindy and Katrina, and we were a class of three. Happy me, I had a new friend in Mindy. She wanted to be a pathologist like Quincy on tv, which I thought was gross, but she was still a lot of fun. Seventh Grade was also the year of "The Permanent". I wanted one of those spiral perms, Shirley Temple ringlets that bounced and shone (Mostly because with my already thick, curly hair, I couldn't have a Dorothy Hamill wedge or Farrah Fawcet feathered wings) What I got was a cross between Bozo the Clown and Jimmy Walker on Rogaine. I wanted to expire, shave my head, and move to Madagascar. Instead, I had to go to school where people gawked and stared and I felt a freak. The next day my mom took me in to a different hairdresser and they cut it super short.
4 Eight Grade: I grew taller than my older sister. Still hated wearing dresses. Awkward, changing, an odd combination of boisterously silly and reclusively insecure. (Kind of like now. lol)
9 Ninth Grade: I started the year with a classmate, but by semester she had gone to public school. From this point on, I was the only on in my grade. Mr. Heter became the upper grade teacher. He read books to us just after lunch. We read about a KGB Officer who converted to Christianity and defected to America, the Wreck of the Andrea Doria, L'Abri (which we all agreed was the most boring book ever...I think we were too young to appreciate it) and fiction favorites like Where the Red Fern Grows (half the class busted out in tears the last day of that one) and Treasures of the Snow.
How about you? Got any Middleschool Memories?


  1. Well, first of all, they didn't call it Middle School back then. It was Junior High. So I'm telling my age here.
    You're right--it's an awkward age. I was 5-8 by sixth grade and towered over all the boys. What I most remember, though, was the day JFK was shot. We got the news during lunch, 8th grade, and I thought, No it was all a terrible mistake. Who would shoot the President? My safe, naive world had been violated. Living in Texas, it seemed a double blow since it happened in our own state.
    Interesting group of posts you're doing here, Erica. Keep up the good work.

  2. Like Carla, I was in a Junior High system (the school system changed over to MS my senior year). But since I ended at fourth grade last week, let's see . . .

    Fifth Grade--The first year my class was in a portable, which we all thought was pretty cool. Mrs. Williamson was my teacher; she's the one who told us that dry ice (brought in at Thanksgiving so we could make root beer from scratch) was ice that had been frozen until it was really, really cold. Yeah, my scientist parents weren't really impressed with her. I had to go into counseling (at school) that year and be tested for learning disabilities because my grades were so bad--only to test at high school or post-high school levels on everything. Yet they still wanted to hold me back. My parents fought them on it and won.

    Sixth grade--we changed classes for science and reading and, lo and behold, I had Mrs. O (the dreaded third grade teacher) for reading. Biggest thing that happened to me that year was having Shingles in the spring and missing a few weeks of classes. Yet again (because I didn't do my homework, though I passed every test), the public school system wanted to hold me back at the end of the year so . . .

    Seventh grade--my mom got a job as the science and math teacher at the local Christian school. I had about 15 people in my class. It took quite a while for us to all warm up to each other, but once we did it was okay.

    Eighth grade--I got contact lenses! And I was co-captain of the volleyball team. For a while, I was the pariah of the girls in my class, because the other four or five girls were all cheerleaders and didn't understand why I'd rather play volleyball than be a cheerleader. I didn't tell them I'd rather poke my eyes out with a Q-tip than be a cheerleader, which I think was a good move on my part! Because none of the other girls played with Barbies any more, I put mine away and started writing down what all the voices in my head were saying. Learned that I loved Geometry.

    Ninth grade--Got braces. Had a crush on Eric H. who liked Kirsten S. and not me. :-( I was again co-captain of the volleyball team, and we went to the regional championship, but lost our first match. Learned that I hated Algebra. Was co-editor of the yearbook, and had a large role in the drama club's spring play, "One Foot in Heaven."

  3. I've got perm memories from middle school. That's like a double-whammy, right?

    I went from totally straight hair to a poodle perm. Ugh. Only my mom didn't take me to another hairdresser to get it fixed. No, we got an updated family picture that went in the church directory and hangs on my parents' wall to this day.


  4. Poor you and your bad hair day! What a description. Pardon me while I laugh, but it was funny. Come read about the naughty years at St. Pat's

  5. Since this is a rather public forum, I'll take the fifth. :)