Jewish World Review April 29, 2009 / 5 Iyar 5769
Middle school is a whole new game and these players are vicious
By Celia Rivenbark
Hard to believe that it wasn't all that long ago that the biggest worry was whether or not the eggs warming under the light bulb in the classroom incubator were going to hatch into fluffy yellow chicks before the kids left for spring break.
A beard. And a son.
This, on the heels of a conversation with a parent whose kid goes to a middle school across town.
It seems that Dad was volunteering to help with bus duty when he gently asked a petite sixthgrade girl to wait for traffic to clear before she darted across the street to join her friends.
"Shut up, @#$%'er," she said, staring him down. "You're not the boss of me."
Whoa. You eat Happy Meals with that mouth?
And then there was the seventhgrader I heard yelling into her cell after school: "If you can't pick me up, then stay your a home. Grandma."
When a student shoved me aside to buy tickets at a ballgame, I started to demand an apology, but the Princess stopped me.
"Don't mess with her! That's [name withheld on account of you'll see]," she said.
"She once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die."
"Uh, duh. That's a Johnny Cash song."
"I know, but I had to put it in terms you would understand. She's been to juvie!"
"So what?" I said. "I've watched every season of 'Oz.' She can't scare me. Watch and learn."
OK, so the girl turned around about then. I looked up and up some more and dang near wet myself.
One of the most important life lessons any parent can impart is the importance of choosing one's battles, as I explained later to a smug princess.
Clearly, my shoulder had been in this girl's way. Bad shoulder!
To be fair, there's a whole lot of good, heroic teachers, motivated kids and dedicated staff in middle school, but it can be a shock to the system when you, as one friend reported, start the day by seeing two pregnant students pulling each other's hair out in hunks during a catfight over a boy.
I mean, the only pair of size 8 Marc Jacobs orange leather platform sandals at DSW, that's one thing, but a BOY? Puhleez. The world is so full of those.
These days in middle school, the chicks are hatching too early.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Celia Rivenbark is an award-winning news reporter and freelance columnist for The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Comment by clicking here.
© 2007, The Sun News Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services