Typical middle school years are normally the worst for most people, but for myself, it was the best three years. I enjoyed all my classes, excelled playing my flute in band, secured amazing friends (a few I still keep in contact with to this day), blossomed from buck teeth and huge glasses to fancy braces and better shaped lenses, let my hair grow long and curled it every morning (yes…days of self-discipline!) and got involved with a few “behind the scene” jobs for Student Council during my eighth grade year since I was a library aid and often had the time to help. (Yes, LIBRARY AID! And I gave good book recommendations!) 🙂
It was in my eighth grade year that I took Algebra I. Besides English class after lunch–no one could make diagramming sentences or Sherlock Holmes more interesting than Mr. Peoples–Algebra was my favorite class! It made sense…your equations had to balance. Simple. Then freshman year of high school I took Geometry. What a nightmare; I have never been a shapes and dimension person, although I thrived in Algebra II/Trigonometry. Maybe I am just odd, but none-the-less, first year Algebra was the best.
Our teacher, Mrs. Elderidge, sat next to her over-head projector and faced the class when she began to teach or helped us work out our homework questions. I had only just failed one hearing test, so hearing loss was not a huge issue at the time, but this set up in a classroom is ideal for deaf people! I only had a handful of teachers in high school who taught the same–I really probably should have started interpreters for my classes even then.
Teachers can have a great sense of humor. I heard this comment a few times in high school, but it was Mrs. Elderidge who said it first in my memory. Scenario: Last day of school before Christmas break and everyone (students) is anxious to go home and enjoy days of sleeping in, skiing, and no homework. I don’t even know how teachers got their classrooms to concentrate! Anyway, we are in Algebra class and had just finished grading our previous day’s assignments, then start to load our backpacks. Mrs. Elderidge, in ever-cheerful spirits, pipes in, “Good job, everyone! No more homework for the rest of the year!” Our class gives a “Yay” with clapping hands, totally forgetting the obvious fact that we would be returning to school on January 3rd. Mrs. Elderidge brought us back to reality and then the dismissal bell rings.
After our relatives left this morning, I started scrambling around to see how much I could finish before the end of the day…something with the non-stop reminder from the world that it will be a last day of 2013, tomorrow is starting over–the time factor, the ticking clock. “It’s the end of the year, I have to finish everything and start new!” was the first mind-set…then I scratched all those plans and just acted as if it were a typical day. I think I accomplished more in doing so, but there was moment where I thought of eighth grade Algebra: I paid an online bill–“Yay! No more bills for the rest of the year!” I had a little laugh in memory of being brought back to reality.
Tomorrow is a new day of a new year, but that fact will not stop life from being lived in the moment just as we are at this present time. I think the season of the new year is special, because it gives us a chance to reflect back on the year past–the blessings and the hardships, the old friends and new friends, the expected and the un-expected.
Thank you for being part of my journey.
Happy New Year!