Middle school agenda

This post is a response and inspired from a post from The Daily Tay. Since I’m posting it on a Wednesday, it might as well be a “Way Back Wednesday” post.

I don’t think it will be quite as amusing as Tay’s post was, but I want to go back and see what I was thinking back then (sorry, no pictures are available). These are in no particular order… just the order in which I thought of them.

Point 1. Avoid all the parties. 

When I was in middle school, my Asperger’s syndrome was very evident in terms of social inhibitions. I didn’t gel very well with my peers. The parties that I tried to avoid were the בני מצווה (bar/bat mitzvah) parties… Dad and I would often sneak out of the party to walk around downtown on those nights. Come to think of it, I wrote a blog post about this a while ago. It remains a characteristic of my childhood that I couldn’t socialize with my peers for the most part. How much I’ve turned around since then!

Point 2. Be the calmest teachers’ pet around.

Many of the teachers that I honored in a blog post last year were those that I felt most comfortable around in middle school. There were only a couple of teachers with whom I felt lukewarm or worse about during my three years at Pound, and both of those teachers I encountered for only a quarter in my seventh-grade year. This characteristic still holds in me.

Point 3. In Hebrew school, find new and creative ways to elude class.

As engaged I am now with my Judaism, Hebrew school didn’t do it for me. Maybe this was just the worst part of “rebellion” that I experienced as a tween and early teen, and involved things like sneaking outside (even though there were few places to hide), or hiding in one of the cabinets in the synagogue. There were a few times where Dad got me out of Sunday school by taking me to the men’s group coffee at The Mill too. Clearly, I have snapped out of this!

Point 4. Become a Pokemon Master!

The Pokemon craze really got going in the USA once I got to middle school, and many people were into it as well. I really enjoyed going to tournaments during middle school, even though I was usually at the bottom of the heap. There was more disparity in the game back then, and if you think that I play bad decks now, you should see the decks… er, drecks, that I played in middle school.

Point 5. Squeeze every minute out of the school day to work.

From near the end of my eighth-grade year all the way to the middle of my tenth-grade year, I had a run of more than 250 consecutive school days where I brought home no daily homework assignments. How did I do this? The assignments didn’t take very long, and I was able to find enough time between classes and after lunch to complete each of them.

If only I could gather up the mental energy to do that now…

Point 6. Use up the flash on a disposable camera before using up the exposures.

During the Friday-night dinner prior to my בר מצווה, there were photos being taken from both professional/professional-ish cameras, as well as the disposable cameras which were in every kid’s hand. My siblings tried to, and succeeded, in startling me by flashing the camera without taking a photo. The way to do that: charge up the flash, but then pound the camera’s bottom on your palm. It discharges the flash, but doesn’t create an image.

No more of that mischief here!

Point 7. Overconfidently think, “I’ve got this!”

In my seventh-grade math class, we had homework assignments every day, but they were optional. I was overconfident in my skills, and therefore ran into some trouble on homework quizzes since I hadn’t done the assignments. This was a very good way to allow Mr. Schlautman and my parents intervene, showing me that I still have to do the work!

Another example of this: creative accounting on my practice sheets for band class. Although I always practiced at least 210 minutes in each 3-week session, I didn’t do nearly as much as I had claimed on the practice sheets. (Yes, the truth comes out!)

Point 8. Eagerly await field trips.

Although I didn’t always get along well with my classmates in the regular-school setting, the field trips, whether to the bowling alley, the landfill, Morrill Hall, or Jazz Band outings. always gave me a chance to interact with my fellow classmates in smaller settings, which made me more comfortable around them. I knew that the field trips had important educational goals associated with them, in some way, shape, or form.

Point 92.9 (PSYCHE!) Develop rapport with radio people. 

This is a different story for a different blog post, but here’s the rundown which I will get to at a later date: Joe & Timmo in the Morning, Chili & Cinnamon Rolls, and Too Much Bob!


פסח: ט”ז ימים (Passover: 16 days).

Big Proctor Set: 26 days.

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