Monday, February 20, 2012

Middle School

There are times where I wish I was still in Middle School. Middle schoolers,  don't have very many responsibilities yet. Their grades are important, but not as important as they will be in High School, and there isn't as much pressure to figure out what they want to do in the future. But after listening to This American Life's "Middle School" podcast, I realize that going back to Middle School wouldn't be nearly as fun as I envisioned before.

 The podcast started off with a girl named Annie who said, "You always wonder whether other people are going through the same things as you." She talks about why middle school was so bad for her. She explained how middle school is full of a whole bunch of socially awkward kids full of drama and are trying to figure out who they are. Her middle school experience was full of drama and pressure. She was made fun of for smoking, for not smoking, and for being bilingual. But when she was asked what she thinks could be done to make middle school better, she replied, " I don't think you can really do anything about it." She explained that everyone has to grow up sometime, so middle school would be a good time to get it over with.
Another segment of the Middle school podcast is Stutter Steps. In this segment, This American Life takes you though a typical middle school dance. It is explained that older kids will stand in the middle and younger kids will stand on the outside.The gym is full of tightly packed clusters of awkwardly jumping kids. Most kids just pray that the dance will be uneventful with no humiliation. When the slow songs come on, most kids leave the floor. The couples who choose to stay are accompanied by friends who stand only feet away and talk with them the entire time. When one boy was asked if he slow danced or planned to slow dance with a girl at the dance, he replied, " I just don't know how to do it. I just don't know if I'm ready." The stress and anxiety that these kids feel before the dances, suggest that they are scared about growing up and they don't know what to do or how to react. 

Middle school is that time in life when everybody is awkward. It's when kids worry about how others think of them, and they are trying to figure life out. Girls and boys stand on opposite sides of the school dance floor, and couples aren't yet comfortable standing alone. "This American Life" does a great job reminding people of the truth about life as a middle schooler and I'm certainly glad that part of my life is over.

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