Friday, November 04, 2011

middle school

looking back
yesterday i had the pleasure of listening to the latest this american life episode with the topic of middle school. the intro was narrated by a very cute and spunky-sounding 14-year old who was now wayyyy past all the drama [she was in the 9th grade and had made it through!] talking about the painful aspects of that crazy transitional period.

it brought back memories.

i know it may come as a shocker that this chick with coke-bottle glasses, silvery braces, way too much hair, cheerleading aspirations, and rather delayed puberty wasn't voted miss popularity 1992, but alas -- it just didn't work out that way.

i don't remember elementary school being particularly offensive, but 6th and 7th grade were awful. i desperately wanted to fit in while certain aspects [uh, see above] made me stick out like a sore thumb.

it wasn't cool to try hard in school or to do well, so it didn't help that i was already concerned with good grades and actually did my homework on a regular basis. [some kids caught on to this and demanded to copy it before class -- and afraid of the consequences, i usually complied]. i was super-short and showed no signs of any female development until at least 14, which put me behind my peers in other embarrassing ways. i had a few habitual tormentors and nemeses: i still have a faint scar on my left wrist from where one boy's notebook somehow got caught on my hand, and he savagely ripped the coil through my skin.

i sought solace in the few fun activities of those years: chorus practices in the AM [woohoo!], violin in the orchestra [fun at least some of the time], cheerleading [although i think the truly popular kids were only annoyed that i managed to make the middle school squad]. but basically, it sucked.

8th grade, i got contacts and cut my hair and it seemed like my world turned around! i found more friends. for one exciting month, i had my first boyfriend [he ended up playing for the other team, but oh well]. i became more confident in who i was. and thankfully, this shift seemed to be permanent: i never felt like a 7th-grade pariah ever again.

but i loved listening to the podcast and remembering those times! perhaps going through what seemed like my own personal hell was the rule rather than the exception . . . maybe? i have to think that it MIGHT have been a little easier without those glasses, but perhaps it's all just a part of growing up.

did you have fun in middle school? were you one of the kids who copied my homework? or are you proud to have suffered just a little like i did? it's definitely an interesting look back. i can't wait to help my own children through those awkward years someday -- and i've already decided that baby SHU can have contacts the moment she asks for them.

upcoming posts
the promised hypothalamic anemorrhea post [it's coming, i swear!]
thoughts on a birth plan
pregnancy nutrition update [alternate title: i am eating a ridiculous amount of cheese]
plannerfest 2012



workout: 3.06 mi in 31 minutes - 10:07/mi

curried squash soup dinner #3 for the week [it seems like 3-4x/wk cooking is the norm for me these days] was another CL recipe. sometimes squash seems like it takes a lot of prep work, but this came together pretty quickly.

served with toast + pasteurized brie

i think i was a little overly generous with the cayenne, because this came out spicy. the honey-yogurt garnish [you can't see it because it sank into the soup!] helped, though.

dessert was a fun treat -- kath and her sister laura were celebrating their father's birthday together in the building right across the street! they are headed to the foodbuzz fest in the AM and wanted to fly out together. i got to meet the whole family and enjoy some delicious cupcakes. lovely to catch up!

spanish: si

endo: man, i was excited for this chapter, but it's LONG! i put in my 20 minutes while the soup ingredients roasted in the oven.