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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

8th grade boys...

... hmmmmm. Where do I begin? 

One of absolute best parts of my 9 month "sabbatical" in 2009 was that it conveniently stretched my 2 year Peace Corps service over three consecutive school years. As a Youth Development volunteer, this is an awesome thing... and a gift - to be able to see my cute little 6th graders grow into the confident pre-adults that seem to have morphed into this year as 8th graders. For the most part, the encouraging interactions and fun moments outweigh the heartbreaking and challenging ones, and its been awesome to triumph with these kids and pour my day to day into finding better ways to serve them. Whether or not I feel like I could have done more here is not the topic in question ("Hi, my name is Katie, and I'm a perfectionist...") ;), but overall I feel blessed to have had the last couple of years with these awesome and energetic middle schoolers.

{**Even though I never would have chosen - nor do I plan to in the future - to work with middle schoolers as my primary job. :D **]

A couple of weeks ago, a teacher that I work with from time to time came up to me and started telling me that the entire school now knows me, and where to find me. Even the little kids that I don't interact with on a day to day basis. She exclaims, "the kids love you! They ask about you every day" This made me feel really great, until she follows with, "those 8th grade boys though... now that is a different kind of love."

To this, I just laugh. Because yes, I'm aware.... 

If I've said it before, I'll say it again. Inevitably, something happens to boys during the time between their 7th grade year, and their crazy 8th grade selves. I'm not so sure I truly appreciate the change, and I was hardcore praying that whatever it was would pass over my beloved boys from last year. Maybe I should have painted lamb's blood over their doorways or something, because sure enough... these boys are a bit much to handle this year.

But I love them. Truly. 

Even though I'm constantly rolling my eyes at them or deflecting various inappropriate comments, these little players are often my favorite part of the day. 

Especially when out of the blue, one of them gives me a brief glimpse of the adorably sweet kids I know they can be, like when my homeroom class was supposed to be writing anonymous "luck" wishes for the new year. These little slips of paper (kind of like a fortune cookie fortune) go into a pile, and you draw one, and are wished life and health or something for the new year. Well instead, Krasi wrote one specifically for me, so when drawn by another student, it was immediately put in my hands:

"One new boyfriend for Katie, and that she'll stay in Samokov for all of life."

Not so sure about the boyfriend thing (but hey... I'm just sayin ;)), but the fact that they aren't ready to get rid of me yet is a good sign!!

Gonna miss these kids... so thankful I'll get camp with some of them this summer!

1 comment:

Hope said...

You know my 8th grade boys do not "love" me like your boys do! I wonder what happened! I love you and miss you!!! :)