Friday, February 6, 2009

You couldn't pay me to be 13 again

Today I had the opportunity to spend 6 hours with a group of middle school girls. Ordinarily I would do my best to avoid the potential angst and attitude but this is different. I serve on the Board of the youth organization that sponsors "You Go Girl" and "Wise Guy". Adult volunteers spend the day with 4-6 middle schoolers while they get messages about bolstering self esteem, making wise choices and teamwork.

Since students have to sign up and get parent permission they are there by choice. Most everyone participated, asked good questions and were genuinely enjoyable. As we worked through the exercises related to bodily changes, low self esteem and peer pressure, I realized anew that I wouldn't be 13 again for any amount of money (or yarn). Middle school is such an insecure, awkward time it is a wonder any of us survive it. Being a classic nerdy good student, I was a target for the popular kids and still remember how cruel they could be. It is nearly impossible to get kids that age to believe that popularity in middle school, or even high school doesn't necessarily translate in to success as an adult. It was a fun day but I'm tired!

I'm going to go watch the Phoenix Suns, knit on one of my many sock projects and go to bed.


KnitTech said...

Yeah, you couldn't pay me to do school again either. You're such an amazing person.

Em said...

Looking back, I think the only way I got through middle school so well and can look back so fondly on it, is that I was surrounded by my Jersey girls. It is a tough time, but I'll bet having someone who would talk to them openly about their future and what to expect made a difference.

Roxie said...

How do any of us survive?

Amy Lane said...

Dude-- the whole age! They're so beautiful in high school (a lot of them!) but I wouldn't be that age for any money! Good for you--those volunteer programs mean A LOT to kids!