Yesterday I had the chance to go back to junior high, only now they call it a middle school, and next year they change it again to a K-8 configuration.
Levy. On Fellows Avenue in Syracuse.
This was not as traumatic as revisiting my high school was. For one thing, I went to Levy with a bunch of kids I grew up with, and we hadn’t moved or gone through all the other trauma that made 8th-9th grade so ouchy for me. For another, I was an incredibly clueless kid in seventh grade. I’m sure there was all kinds of middle school drama going on around me, but it did not register. I remember feeling tall and awkward, I remember my art class, the gospel choir, and, vaguely, Social Studies. I remember being in a couple of fights and burning my arm on the radiator in the cafeteria. And I remember the long walk there in the winter darkness. Nothing horrible, nothing earth-shattering.
But yesterday was fun. I got to speak to a group of teachers (including one that I went to school with) and a larger group of students.
They were neither clueless nor awkward, though a couple of them were tall. Two of the girls were daughters of women I had grown up with, which was very cool. Syracuse really is a small town. I like that.
I’ve spent today deep, deep into pages. More tomorrow. We might sneak out for some of the local holiday festivities on Saturday. If you don’t want to drive north to Mexico, drive to Syracuse instead to watch my almost-mater, Nottingham High School perform SPEAK on stage this weekend.
QUESTION: What is your strongest memory from seventh grade?