My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Raw Humanity

I think most of you know that I coach an Odyssey of the Mind team. I've had basically the same group of kids for a few years, so I know them all pretty well. It's been interesting to see them grow and change and develop over the years. They've gone from boys vs. girls to being completely distracted by the opposite sex to kind of liking each other, then now, finally, settled into great, supportive friends (for the most part--ha ha). Anyway, this year they're in the eighth grade (the grade I taught for a number of years and LOVED, LOVED, LOVED), and they are hilarious. I can't begin to tell you. Do you remember the age when anything remotely sexual-sounding made you laugh hysterically? When I used to teach dangling participles, the kids were just out of their heads in hysterics. I guess 'dangling' is just too much for their poor, hormone-ridden brains. Well, the other day I had to take my OMers on a little information-gathering field trip to the hardware store, so they could price some wood for a backdrop. I know you've probably seen this line of building supplies called DO IT. Well,they thought that was the most hilarious thing they'd ever seen. And of course, on nearly every aisle, there was a sign advertising DO IT supplies, and they had to point to every single one and giggle all over again. It just cracked me up. Raw humanity, these eighth graders. They are everything that is good and pure and honest and real about human beings. Their emotions and responses are so close to the surface all the time; they never make you guess what's going on. It's all right there. And that's so refreshing to me. If they're mad at each other, they say it, deal with it, then it's over. It's cool. Now the flip side is it's really hard to be this age. I remember that, too. They're still so egocentric that everything comes back to them which can really be painful, embarrassing and intense. Can you remember your 8th grade self? Man, these kids are brave and strong and patient and hopeful. It's a tough world in the 8th grade, but these kids are shining lights in the midst of it. Enjoy your week-end, and hug an eighth grader soon. They are precious creatures.

1 comment:

wordwranglernc said...

The hardware store sign would have had me giggling all through the store, too. I can't help it. I think I am still in 8th grade sometimes. :)

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman