6th Grade Blues

I had a bad day at school yesterday.  It wasn’t my first and I know it won’t be my last.  I spent all first semester getting used to middle school.  In all honesty, I’m not there yet – almost, but….not….quite….there….yet.  Anyway, it doesn’t help that when people in my class are talking the reading teacher sent the whole class out in the hall, where we stayed almost the entire class period.  I mean really, what purpose did that serve?  So, the kids who were talking in the classroom were now the kids who were talking in the hallway and all the rest of us who weren’t talking were punished by missing class and sitting in the hall while the teacher yelled at us.  I have the 6th grade blues!

Then there’s band – my favorite class.  Not!  Well, I am not the biggest fan of my teacher.  Let’s call him Mr. Band Teacher.  I don’t think he likes me very much.  My mom says that every kid who is having trouble in a class thinks the teacher doesn’t like them very much.  She did, however, go on to cite a few circumstances where it was actually true – with her teacher and my sister’s teacher and my brother’s teachers.  Notice his is teachers, plural.  So, why not me, I protested.  For example, my teacher has chair tests, where he gives us something to play on our instruments and then grades us and ranks us by how we did.  First chair is best in a section of instruments and so on.  We have these chair tests several times a week.  I get first chair in the clarinet section a lot, but I have also dropped to sixth or seventh, which I hate.  And I swear that sometimes when I make first chair, he doesn’t move me to first chair, but if I screw up that day, he makes sure I get my behind into that last chair.  I’ve seen him do this to other kids who play other instruments in different sections too.  When my mom called him on this, he said that sometimes it’s a chair test and sometimes it’s just an “assessment” and that I have been misunderstanding the difference.  You know what I say to that……bull hockey!!!

Well, yesterday, he did it again.  I got second chair this time and I played perfectly.  I practiced all weekend.  I practice that stupid clarinet every single night, as a matter of fact.  And back in December I started having a weekly lesson with a really good clarinet player in my brother’s high school band.  She’s first chair clarinet and drum major in the marching band.  She also made the state-wide honor band.  And what did Mr. Band Teacher do?  He gave first chair to a girl who squeaked on both “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” and “Michael Finnigan.”  I didn’t squeak!  My mom said that either he has a rationale behind what he is doing, some great teaching method or something, or else he is just being plain old unfair.  I vote for plain old unfair!!!  I have the 6th grade blues!

The kid who hasn’t brought his instrument to school in a week because it has been broken is still sitting in first chair.  He’s been sitting there through each and every chair test and he hasn’t been moved to last chair for not bringing his instrument to school.  Is that fair to the kids in his section who have their instruments?  I think not.  And yesterday, Mr. Band Teacher took my phone when I looked at it to check the time.  There’s no clock on the wall in our classroom.  He said that it didn’t matter what time it was and that I shouldn’t need to check the time.  My friend, who shall remain nameless, however, got in trouble earlier during class for being on Instagram.  Instagram!  And all he told her to do was to put her phone away.  And she’s the last chair in the clarinet section.  She’s always the last chair.  She hates band, doesn’t practice, and always gets in trouble.  It’s true; Mr. Band Teacher doesn’t like me.  Well, guess what, Mr. Band Teacher?  I don’t like you either!  My mom said that she will speak to him about all of this during parent teacher conference in the spring.  She said life wasn’t fair, blah, blah, blah.  She said that sometimes issues are too petty and incidents are too small to bring up and constantly be in somebody else’s face about.  She agreed that the guy is a jerk, but said this is a lesson in how not to treat others and what it is important to be fair.  She also said that I was learning a bigger life lesson – coping skills.  I don’t want to learn any coping skills.  I want Mr. Band Teacher to blow away and shrivel up like autumn leaves!  And I want what I earned, every single time I earn it, and that’s the position of first chair!  I have the 6th grade blues!

And then there was science, I made a “C” on my test.  I don’t like to make “C’s.”  That’s more my brother’s area of expertise than it is mine.  I studied, but apparently not well enough.  Sixth grade requires more time studying too.  And to top it all off, somebody accidentally hit me in the face with their lanyard yesterday and I slipped on the wet floor on the way to lunch and ripped my tights.  Good thing I listened to my mom and wore shorts under my dress, or my hiney would have been hanging out for the entire sixth grade to see.  I am half way through it and I can’t wait for this school year to be over with and for the 6th grade blues to go away.

Girl Drama and the Perils of Middle School

If you don't stand

photo courtesy of Winterlyrics.files.wordpress.com

Today was the last day of school this week – YAY!!!  Thanksgiving vacation at last!  The last few days at school have been annoying and I need a break.  Non-stop girl drama since the beginning of the school year, and I have been getting really tired of it lately.  I try my best to be drama free, but apparently when you’re in middle school, you can’t escape it.  Drama is all around you.  I try not to long for the carefree days of elementary school too much because I know that I can never go back there again.  But sometimes, I just wish……….

Where to start?  I hang out with a group of the same girls that I went to elementary school with.  I find it interesting to see how much they have changed just over the summer.  They are so busy trying to be the leader of the pack, the most popular, one of the cool kids that they have become kinda mean and don’t seem to care about hurting each other’s feelings anymore.  The same girls that I spent the last six years with have turned into people that I don’t even know anymore.  Is that what middle school does to you?  I see so many girls in my group and outside of it too who post inappropriate selfies on Instagram (pictures and posts that they wouldn’t want their parents to see) and brag about what they did on the weekend or who they hung out with (all to make the people who weren’t included feel bad).  They make fun of each other and say hurtful things and they exclude certain girls from activities, while including the rest of the group.  They change “besties” every other day and even fight over boyfriends, trading them back and forth.  Boyfriends?  We’re eleven.  Well, I just turned twelve, but boyfriends?  Really?

My mom calls it the perils of middle school and she says that girls are affected differently at this age than boys.  I don’t feel like I am affected in the same way though.  I hate the way they act.  I would like to see an end to the girl drama, an end to the mean behavior and selfishness, an end to being conceited and self-absorbed, and an end to the “boyfriend” stealing and rude comments about each other.  I usually sit in silence – on the outside of the “inner” circle.  I talk to my mom about how bad it makes me feel.  She encourages me to be brave enough to walk away from it all and to show that I don’t support the way the other girls are acting and treating each other.  I told her that I don’t want to lose my “friends.”  She questioned my use of the word friends and told me that I have to take a stand at some point or I will continue to be miserable.  Then she said, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”  Well, I think I’ve been falling for anything, just so that I don’t have to be alone.  But I figured out that I’m alone anyway.  So, wish me luck.  I’m going to be brave and take that stand now.

Me and My I-Phone 5s

iphone 5sTwo days ago, my parents bought me a cell phone – my very first cell phone.  It’s an I-Phone 5s!  And I’m so happy!  My birthday is in a little over two weeks, so it’s an early birthday present.  I found out on Monday at school that on Thursday it would be Electronics Day.  They were having a fundraiser to support the cancer drive.  If you wanted to be able to use an electronic device at school, all you had to do was pay a dollar and it would be donated to cancer research.  We had Electronics Day when I was in elementary school too, but I always brought my Kindle.  I’m in middle school now.  And EVERYBODY in middle school has a cell phone.  My parents always said that they would get me my own cell phone when I was twelve or thirteen.  I actually wasn’t really interested in getting a cell phone until recently.  I just got my own Instagram account back in June.  I originally signed up so that I could do the 100 Happy Days Challenge.  I used my mom and my dad’s phones all summer long to post to Instagram.  I think it was getting really old for them.

Once school started, kids started following me on Instagram and I started following other kids too.  That’s when I really knew that me using my parent’s phones was getting old for them.  And then I started to want a phone of my own.  Once I found out about Electronics Day, I knew I had to get one.  So, I waited until Tuesday morning at 6:45 a.m.  I was sitting on the couch in the den watching Monday night’s episode of The Voice that I recorded on the DVR the night before.  I was all ready for my dad to drop me off at school and my mom was in the shower.  So, I pulled out my Kindle and sent my mom an e-mail asking her if I could get a phone in the next two days, in time to take it to Electronics Day on Thursday.  Well, the rest is history folks!  My parents are very good to me.  My dad has an I-Phone.  My sister has an I-Phone.  My brother has an I-Phone.  My mom has an LG Android phone.  She always has to be different!  Well, most of the kids at school seem to have I-Phones too.  So……..I decided that I wanted an I-Phone as well.  I wanted the newest one that I could get my hands on in the next two days and that was the 5s.  Actually, the I-Phone 6 was released just two weeks ago, but we would have had to pre-order it and it would take two weeks to arrive.  I said Awww Heck Naw!  I need that phone by Thursday, so the I-Phone 5s it was!  We went on Tuesday night after dance to look at phones.  I picked out a white one.  My parents brought it home to me on Wednesday.  My brother helped me set it up that night and I put a picture of it on Instagram so all my friends could see it.  On Thursday morning I took it to school with me.  It has a black case for now, until I find one I really like.  Armed with a one dollar bill, my new I-Phone 5s, and my earbuds, Thursday was awesome! Between assignments, I texted my mom at work and looked at pictures on Instagram and searched the Internet and listened to music.  I can’t wait until the next Electronics Day!

Rude People!!!

Last week I posted a picture of a sunset for 100 Happy Days on my Instagram account.  One of my “friends” posted a comment on the picture that said, “TBR you got that black girl hair.”  TBR stands for “To Be Real”.  When I saw her comment, it made me sad.  I tried to think of what in the heck she meant by the comment and I wanted to believe that maybe it was a compliment; but deep down inside I knew it wasn’t.  She was being rude – a mean girl.  As a matter fact, I blogged about mean girls back in July and one of the girls that was the inspiration for that post was this same girl who wrote that comment on my Instagram!  I should have known.  So, after thinking about it for a while, I responded to her comment with this:  “Not sure what you mean (insert her Instagram name here).  Also not sure if you’ve noticed all these years, but I AM BLACK!!  What other kind of hair would I have other than ‘that black girl hair?’  What kind of hair do you have?”  Well, she didn’t respond.  She actually deleted her original comment.  Then later on another one of my 100 Happy Days pictures, she apologized.  I’m glad she apologized.  I actually thanked her for apologizing and told her that I wasn’t mad at her.  But, come on!!!  She should never have had to apologize in the first place!  She never should have made the rude comment!  Whatever happened to treating other people like you want to be treated!  If I had been my usual self and said nothing to her, she would have left the comment and never would have apologized.  She was being a bully and here I was hoping that she had changed now that we are in middle school.  My mom encouraged me to respond, respectfully, but to respond and I’m glad that I did.  But her original behavior still makes me sad.  Oh, and I forgot to tell you that she is also a black girl who wears her hair in braids most of the time and most of the hair that she wears isn’t even hers!  She bought it somewhere.  Hair weave, anyone?  I’m not ragging on those who wear fake hair, but if you’re familiar with my blog, I talk about hair A LOT, my hair specifically, but black/African-American hair in general.  And if you are gonna walk around wearing somebody else’s hair, why in the world would you make rude comments about my hair?  Just saying!

Okay, on to another subject.  On Saturday, I went to a dance convention.  I was one of the first people in the ballroom.  It is a huge convention center/hotel ballroom with space in the center to dance (sometimes a stage for the instructor), and chairs all around the walls of the ballroom.  I found a seat that wasn’t taken, put my bag down, and sat in a chair.  I changed my shoes, got warmed up, and went out to the center of the ballroom to find a space to dance.  When I returned between classes to change shoes, I found a group of people sitting in and around the seat that I had picked out and my bag had been thrown in the corner.  What made it worse was that I saw the group sit down when I was out on the ballroom floor dancing and the rude person that tossed my bag into the corner wasn’t a tween dancer like me, but it was an ADULT!!!  And then she sat down in my chair.  Can you say RUDE??  Not only is the room full of dancers, but if you pay an additional fee, parents and dance teachers can sit in on classes as observers and this grown woman plopping her big fanny down in my chair and throwing a little kid’s bag into the corner was an observer and a RUDE one at that!  I told my mom that the next time I got to a dance convention, she has to come into the room and be an observer and protect my bag from rude people.

I think that the girl who posted the mean comment on my Instagram picture IS a mean girl.  She was being rude on purpose and I feel this way because I’ve gone to school with her since kindergarten.  I know her and I have seen her act this way before, towards me and towards others.  I don’t know the woman at the dance convention who threw my bag and took my seat.  All I know is that her actions were rude.  I know that people are different and that just because you are an adult it doesn’t mean that you have the best manners.  It doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person, but it isn’t a good example to set for your kids either.  I wish that everyone would remember to treat others the way they would like to be treated.  Practice good manners – even for the small things, like commenting on someone else’s hair or finding a seat in a crowded ballroom.  The world would be a better place if people were less rude.