Long Hallways

When most adults think about middle school they see long sweeping hallways, big classrooms with desks you move around and passing notes to your friends, they see smiling teachers who give interesting lectures.

They see dirty gyms and sweaty locker rooms. They see projects and textbooks and plenty of learning. They see kids laughing in talking in the hallways and in the cafeteria. All of this is a lie. Sure there are big classrooms and long hallways and dirty gyms and sweaty locker rooms.

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And there are smiling teachers, but they’re smiling because their fourth period class just got off and now they have a whole free period. Kids who’re talking in the hallways are the kids who are late to class, the cafeteria is for waiting in line for fifteen minutes, then stuffing your food down your throat so you’re not late to your next class. At least you don’t taste it that way. My middle school, like most middle schools had grades sixth to eighth, so in that range you had kids who were barely four foot eight, and hadn’t started puberty, and kids who were grossing 6 feet, who were finished with puberty. My friends and I had a theory about middle school – it was the place where you stuffed all the awkward, acne faced, braces on teeth, stringy haired, moody, almost teenagers.

Middle school is the, in my opinion, most hellish of all the years at school. Your sixth graders, wide eyed and expectant and overwhelmed. Your eighth graders, tired, and ready for high school all ready. And your seventh graders, sitting back and watching the chaos of the sixth and eighth graders. Your seventh graders pretending they didn’t want to be eighth graders when they really did.

Your seventh graders making fun of, and misguiding the sixth graders. Your seventh graders, so glad they’re not on the bottom of the totem pole anymore. Adults need to take a good look at middle schools everywhere, they need to decide if this is the best arangement. Middle schoolers everywhere will tell you – it’s not.