Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Middle School Dance-Floor Syndrome...

Now, I finally had some sense and went to InstaCare today to get some medication to sooth my ailment... Yea. I should have done that a lot sooner because I already feel a million and one times better. My head has ceased it's obsessant pounding my jaw is finally free from the raw throbbing. I went from being a crying mess of pain and disoriented-ness this morning - no one should ever have to see my that way... It was freakin' my mom out a bit... - to a calm, smiling girl who could happily watch today's episode of American Idol, paint my nails, and even cook myself some eggs for dinner. This morning, I was in so much pain that all of those things would have been a no-go.

Anyway, thus, I am here and writing another thrilling and mind-stirring article for my personal blog. Now, what should I choose to write about... Admist the things that were listed yesterday I will have to go with one idea that will not take me forever to write about, as it is already almost midnight and I should be sleeping... Hmmm... So, I believe that I will choose Middle School Syndrome w/ an EFY Twist along with a few words on Progression on the Job Front. Done and done.

Now, what do I mean when I am talking about the middle school syndrome... Let me tell you a little bit about last Friday, the day before Valentine's Day. It was no normal day at the school where I work... See, all the young tikes were already hopped up on sugar and excitment before they even got to school. Then, you put them at school for the sole purpose of having them party with one another for a few hours... Let's just say, at least it was a short day. Haha!

So, let me relate to the story... One of the girls in my single's ward was getting married on Saturday morning and she also happens to be a teacher at my school. She is in charge of the Middle School student council and I offered to help her out with the Valentine's dance on the afternoon of the 13th as I knew she would not be around... She accepted gratefully and I proceeded to help by getting the crowns for the "Valentine king and queen" - a process that took two hours - and then met the student council kids (all kids I know well) before the dance began, to help get things set up. Well, it turns out I ended up being placed in charge of all the youth and chaperones. Yea. I don't know how that happened, but it did... and it was fine.

Now, comes the realization... You know in movies and books how they claim that at middle school dances all the boys stay on one side and all the girls on the opposite side? When I was in middle school, that was not the case. We all danced together, if we danced, and had fun. There was some separation, but it was not that dramatic.... On Friday, it was that dramatic. Yea.

I literally was in shock as I walked around talking to each group and pushing the boys and girls to go toward one another. One brave boy was dancing the entire time with the huge group of girls, but the other boys were either playing hacky sack in the corner or crowded in a circle not going for it - too scared... I had never seen anything really like this! It was bizarre! If they were smart (which they are, but it's a figure of speech) the boys would have run over to the group of girls and started dancing. See, girls at that age - or any age really - don't really care if you can dance well, it is just that you have fun, are fun, and try. It's a plus if you can dance well, but you're not even on the scale if you don't try.

It also did not help that they only had about fifteen to twenty songs on the approved list... hm.

Anyway, I spent the hour and a half pushing the boys to dance with the girls and rarely succeeding for the first hour. Finally, Derek - my bro, who aids at the school - pulled the boys from the b-ball team aside and gave them stategies... It was CLASSIC. I was rolling... Then, when that still failed to ignite the fire under their feet, I taught all the boys and girls an EFY dance move from my first year as a counselor. They all loved it and were doing it the rest of the time, all while making a giant circle and taking turns going through doing classic middle school moves... Like the sprikler, the lawn mower, the worm, party boy... classic.

It was among these few hundred youth that I noticed (EPIPHANY TIME!) I loved teaching this age of kids. I love working with young teenagers who need the extra support to figure out who they are. I go to all of these kids basketball games and plays. I helped a few of them with their science fair projects when I didn't have to. I have spent time talking with many of them after school about their little relationship dramas and crushes. More important, many of them have come to me over the past three years when they have been stuggling in school or at home. A few have come to me, outside of school of course, to ask me questions about my testimony and how they can feed/gain their own - this is legit if it is only two or three kids at a time and not in a classroom setting. I have had moments over the years where it wasn;t about teaching math, english, or theater skills... It was about teaching character and life skills. I love those moments more than anything else. I love knowing that I have helped an individual grow from a child to a young adult... from a member of the crowd to a free-thinking independent.

I don't want to teach for forever, but I could do it for a time. Also, I could come back to it someday and love it... I really like high schoolers because they are ready to go and conquer things. I don't have to mold them as much. I like the younger kids because they are so innocent and durn cute! They are really dependent upon you... However, I think that my favorite kids are the middle schoolers... They just need more. They need more love and help... They need teachers who can stand as confidants as well.... I like being that to these kids.

I am going to have a real hard time when this year's group of eighth graders leave... They were my little babies by first year subbing there. I know so many of them and have watched them grow and change over the past three years. I love these kids...

That being said, my progress on the job front is very "up-in-the-air" right now. I have applied for some positions in D.C. and LA, but I know that there are numerous departments at my school that have asked to have me on a teacher of aid for next year. My only deal with that is that I need to make more than what I am currently making... I like what I do, but I don't love it. Therefore, if I am going to stay there I would like to move up and do something a little bit different.

I need to find a summer job. Ideas, anyone? EFY is out. I didn't even apply for Sports and Dance Camps, though many said too... I knew I would play it safe and not look anywhere else. Now, the world is open to me and I really need a summer job or paying internship. If anyone knows some good ones, holla my way! I would love to move somewhere, but at the same time staying here would save me more money... So, anything in the SLC/Provo valley areas would be nice till I spread my wings and really fly away... I also need to be somewhere that I can keep writing music. I am onto song three and I am loving it - LOVING IT!!!

Speaking of which, the song for today... Hm. So, in honor of classically awkward, and yet awesome and fun, middle school dances: Sugar Rush By: Cash Cash.

They are this new electronica/ indie/ pop band with an 80s twinge - I stumbled across their CD a few weeks ago and I LOVE them... They're way fun to dance and drive too. Check out Sugar Rush and the rest of their CD for music to dance to! Maybe if the middle school had THIS CD to play at the dance, things would have been different...

Then again, maybe not. :)



Mindy said...

Become a firefighter this summer ... The kind that goes to California for like three months straight. OR, can fish guts in Alaska. ;) I am so happy you are feeling better! :) P.s. You were right with the Aggie question.:)

Bethany said...

amen to this post, sister.

Mike said...

Awesome. I think you make an awesome middle school teacher (something I rarely had).

Amanda said...

Come live with me in Philly! We have an extra bedroom :) Seriously though, you could get a nanny job here in a heartbeat. Usually pays around 500-600/week, but I'm not sure what you are looking for. It wouldn't be bad for just a summer gig.