8th grade english

boob jugglers

8th grade, sitting in english class: teacher is enthusiastically talking about plans for the semester. best-friend starts cupping her chest and whisper/asks whether one of my boobs feels heavier than the other. finding this out was of the utmost importance, so i begin weighing mine too. two friends beside me also follow suit, and by the time my teacher turns around, the left side of the room is juggling their chest. confused, he lifts his hands to his chest (as if to question whether he himself has a heavier boob.) he then realizes what he’s doing and turns a deep shade of red and says,
“I’m going to pretend like that didn’t just happen.”

like this past summer/fall i saw someone eating at the same restaurant as me and i recognized her as some former teacher and i just now remembered who she was, she was my 8th grade english teacher i think

  • Teachers & counselors: Oh you're 13? What college are you going to? What are you going to major in? What career path are you going down?
  • 8th grade me: I like English....
  • Teachers & counselors: Oh that's nice but you should really start thinking about your future.
  • 10th grade me: I know what college I want to go to and I know I'm going to major in English and I know what career field I want to be in.
  • Teachers & counselors: That's great! But don't you think you're a little young to make that choice? I mean you still need a few more math and science credits. Maybe you'll change your mind and want to be an engineer.:)
  • Me: wtf
My badass bookworm moments:

- I’ve read 800+ pages in a day (I was in a literary daze the rest of the evening)
- I read more than 150 books my 7th grade year
- I donated all of those books to my 7th grade English teacher so she could give them to other students
- I have pulled all-nighters (several times) in order to finish a story
- I got in trouble in the 9th grade for reading during my biology class (I should have been paying attention…but reading was my coping mechanism at the time)
- My 7th and 8th grade english classes read books aloud, but I would end up reading to myself faster than the student that was supposed to be doing the readings
- Those same years ended with me finishing the books before I was supposed to, and hiding another book inside the school one so I could read on my own

Maybe not truly badass moments, but I’m proud of all of it.

I had this teacher once, her name was Mrs. Stewart. She taught 8th grade English. One day, I can remember being very very sad. I kept my head down. Her class was normally the highlight of my day but that day I didn’t care. My mother and father both slipping away with depression. I didn’t have a place to call home. And my best friend moved away. She was passing out a worksheet , and I picked mine up to see a pink post-it note. It said “ Hey, keep your head up , I believe in you.”
I’m a senior in highschool and I still have that pink post-it note.

For my 8th grade Language Arts class, I had to interpret poems, and I really surprised myself with this.

Tableau

By Countee Cullen

 

Locked arm in arm they cross the way,

The black boy and the white,

The golden splendor of the day,

The sable pride of night.

 

From lowered blinds the dark folk stare,

And there the fair folk talk,

Indignant that these two should dare

In unison to walk.

 

Oblivious to look and word

They pass, and see no wonder

They lightning as brilliant as a sword

Should blaze the pass of thunder

 

Meaning: I think the meaning of this poem is that sometimes children are oblivious to hate and prejudice, and that makes their simple knowledge more valuable than the biased opinions of hateful adults who only judge, and do not understand. I understood their innocence when it said “Oblivious to look and word/ They pass, and see no wonder” while the racist adults “stare” and “talk.” This poem means a lot to me because I am very much again things like racism, sexism, homophobia, and hate in general. As a child, it bothers me that I see things more simply and clearly than adults do with their “I’m older therefore wiser” attitudes. Just because you have lived more years than I have do not make you any more right. Do not take away anyone’s rights because they are a different race, religion, gender/sex, or sexual orientation.

gotta become an established author with a couple great novels before my 8th grade english teacher retires, the guy who said he couldn’t put any books by women on the middle school syllabus because he couldn’t find any written well enough, so that he has to teach a whole unit on me

and i’ll do a talk for the school and he’ll be like “ms. mcgavin you are a literary genius, i should never have disrupted your vital afternoon naps with my irritating class and beowulf”

(Psychology tells us that there are eight different types of love. I sit in class listening to the professor and I want to scream at her, tell her she’s wrong, tell her that there’s a ninth type. The type that puts the stars in the sky. The type that causes my lungs to need a different type of air. The type that only him and I share.)

I remember the day my 8th grade English teacher came to class with a beautiful ring & a smile to match, then one day it all stopped- her smile, the books about love, the joy that filled the room; that was the same year I met you. I’m 22 now & I wish I could go back & tell her I understand, that some days talking feels like too much, that love is a full time job & there’s no days off. Not even on the bad days. I didn’t get it then but now I do.

(I remember the literature class on Romeo and Juliet I took last year and not being able to comprehend how someone could put their very life on the line for love. I met you for the first time on a Tuesday and before my eyes the term “star-crossed lovers” now had a meaning. I understand that some people leave you wanting to kill yourself because you can’t imagine breathing a single breath without them on this Earth. I didn’t get it then but now I do.)

(Science can tell us how, but they can’t tell us why so the unanswered question of why I sleep better next to you still haunts me every night.) I knew losing you would feel like losing it all, but your smile felt like home & it was worth being lost. (I knew I loved you when even your flaws were the most beautiful thing I ever put my eyes on.) I knew I’d love you for the rest of my life when you touched me for the first time without using your hands- Even on the bad days & baby, I have.

—  A collab with ( @lifeascolleen )

from klaine lynch:

My first shelfie is of my classroom library! I’m a first year 8th grade English/Language Arts teacher, and we read just about every day in my class, so it’s important that I have a wide range of books for (sometimes picky) students to choose from. There are probably some books not in alphabetical order, but that’s what happens when students offer to help you re-shelve books :)

My 8th-grade English teacher was cool as all hell: we spent a whole month analyzing the movie version of The Princess Bride, he pointed out every dick joke in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, etc.

But by far, his best idea was allowing and encouraging “Hand Candy”: he was 100% cool with kids fidgeting with a rubber band or Lego piece or something during class, and he kept a whole bin of top-notch Hand Candy in his room.

He was such a cool guy who intuitively understood, in a michaelblume-level way, how shitty the Prussian education system is and he enjoyed finding all the loopholes and harm-reduction methods he could.

And here I am as a college student, enjoying a keyring with a key, Swiss Army knife, and Boba Fett Lego figure and it’s sensory heaven and I would like to profusely thank Mr. Van Steenwyk for showing me how amazing this can be.