• Jena

I’m a seventh grader this week…

When my Mom was visiting, we had this discussion about our middle school memories. (middle school is 7th and 8th grade)

I told my Mom the only class I really liked in the seventh grade was advanced math with Mr. Richards. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t remember squat about what we actually learned in class. But I do remember who I sat by: my best friend, Jenny.

In reality, we were both nerds. But if ever there was a reason to be squirrly, it was that class. We sat there and laughed and laughed all through class, especially at that pesky boy, Nicky Pietisch. That class must have been right after lunch because all I remember was Nicky farting, primarily to get us girls going. Not farting, that is. just going.. crazy from all of the laughter. It’s like he knew exactly what he was doing. He’d let one rip and say “aaahh” and wave his hand around in a fanning motion.

And Mr. Richards.. he was sort of shaped like a tall pear. He had a big voice, and I think he was a football coach or something, so we were afraid of the tall pear math teacher, at least enough to do the work and pay attention when we weren’t laughing at Nicky. Between periodic bouts of getting out our gas masks and tallying how many times the tall pear wore the XXL yellow polo shirt, it’s a wonder either of us got through it.

We also had art class together. Now keep in mind, she is Jenny, and I’m Jena (pronounced like Gina), and we both did ballet together and probably tried to dress and act alike. I’m sure we had a host of words that only we understood, and we probably had code names for all of the boys in our world, who were primarily farters and nerds, but that’s besides the point. So, in art class, we had Roger at our table. We sat there and tortured him for the entire class. He couldn’t remember either of our names, so he called us both: Jeannie. He probably wanted to go hide in the closet and cry with our art teacher, Mr. Wainio. (And people wonder why I homeschool?)

Hardly a day would pass that we would not come up with some crazy thing to do or be. And all we would have to do is look at each other and we could launch into a series of “tour jetes” down the hall.

So, a week after my mother and I lived through my seventh grade year, I get an out of the blue facebook request from someone who I haven’t heard from in 20 years–Jenny! Her parents were military and they moved when she was in the 10th grade. We totally lost touch after high school, and here she is–back in my life!

And you’ll never guess what she’s going back to school to be? you guessed it, a math teacher! (probably a seventh grade math teacher, just to re-live all of the fun!) Oh, Nicky, where are you?? And Mr. Richards.. tell me you still don’t wear that big polo shirt anymore, OK?


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