(the former Harrison Junior High, which then became Harrison Middle School and now is Merrillville Intermediate School in Merrillville, IN)
When I was in middle school, it was junior high and it was 7-9th grade…until I got to 9th grade and then they changed it to a middle school and my class was the first class of 9th graders at the newly remodeled high school.
I had glasses and a bad perm and weird bangs and interesting fashion choices. I was terrible in metal shop and wood shop and sewing and art class.
I excelled in social studies and science and English. Math depended on the teacher–I think I was fine in 7th grade and not so fine in 8th grade.
I liked boys but never talked to them, had incredible friends–some of whom are still my friends, and spent my study hall working in the school library.
I got the first and only detentions of my school career in 8th grade when I chewed gum in that library.
I went to my first school dance, failed gymnastics in gym class because I was scared of flipping on the bars and was mortified when I spilled my lunch tray in the cafeteria in 7th grade.
We did a unit on Greek Mythology in 8th grade English and my beagle, Bojo, chewed up the book. It was a little bit embarrassing to explain to my teacher that my dog did, in fact, eat my homework.
Middle School was not the best time of my life, but I survived it without too much emotional scarring and some pretty good memories.
I remember the first day. I was sure I would never be able to find my classes and make it back and forth to my locker with enough time. I was overwhelmed by how many people were filling the hallways. I was sure I wouldn’t remember my locker combination or that I would remember it but it would not work. I was sure my teachers wouldn’t like me as much as my elementary school teachers. I was worried that none of my friends would have the same classes.
And the first day was confusing and some of my fears were realized, but I made it and before long I knew my way around, had no trouble with my locker, made new friends and really liked about 80% of my teachers (I had bad luck with science teachers and that one math teacher).
We went shopping for school clothes last night and realized it’s a lot harder than school uniform shopping, which is what we’ve done for the last six years.
He will make lots of new friends.
He will learn to play an instrument in band and try out for the track team.
He will go to school dances.
He will take classes he loves and classes he doesn’t love.
He will participate in youth group activities as an actual, old enough student rather than the youth director’s kid who tags along so the youth director’s husband can participate.
He will collect memories and have stories to tell. He’s going to be a great middle schooler.
Here’s to a great year at North Middle School and all of our schools!