It's Spirit Week at my school. Today was Culture Day. Flags abound. The students bring food from their cultures to share in their advisories. I don't have any advisory. I attended an eleventh grade party. They had a lot of food; it was incredible. This was the group of girls I had in eighth grade during my first year, when I was inexperienced and terrified and crying almost every day. Growing is weird because you can't see it happen, but it just does, and one day, there it is. I sat down to enjoy a plate and when I got up, I noticed a few grains of rice on the chair. I was like, oh no. One of the girls told me I had something on my butt. I told them I figured, because I saw rice on the chair. Another girl chimed in, and another. I could tell from their expressions it was really bad. "It's like on your butt but I don't think I should touch it to get it off because that would be weird," one explained, laughing. "Yes, it would be," I concurred. I tied my sweater around my waist.
I encountered one of my eighth graders in the stairwell on my way out. A few weeks ago I had a mini freak out in class over her backpack, which is plastered with the faces of Supernatural characters.
"So you're a Supernatural fan, Miss Bruce?" she asked me,
"I am. Who's your favorite?"
She thought for a minute. Don't say Sam, I thought. "Dean, but I really love Castiel too."
"Me too! Thank you! Sam is cute, but he's so whiny."
"I know. He looks like a girl when he gets all upset."
I paused, not wanting to break the easy, laughing camaraderie we'd just established by giving her a mini-lecture on how problematic it was to use "looking like a girl" to denigrate a character. Like, come on.
"He is a trip," I conceded, uncomfortable. At some point I would have to address this, because it would bother me every time I saw her. This is where Advisory comes in handy. But I don't have an Advisory this year, and if I did, she probably wouldn't be in it. They like to give me sixth and seventh grade advisories.
Anyway, I said good bye to her and left. Oh, and I told her that she got 100 on her French project, because she did, and she's the kind of kid who likes to know when they get 100s on things.
The L train was down. I waited for a bit outside the building to get a ride, but then I heard that the Manhattan bound side was running. That was the side I needed. I walked with two more of my eighth graders to the train. They both had ideas for what they wanted to be for Wack-O-Ween tomorrow. Well, one of them did, and the other would be going shopping this evening, she admitted. I thought about asking them for suggestions for my outfit, but decided I didn't care enough. Now it's 10:42 and I probably should have. I remember what it's like to be in eighth grade and I don't. I mostly don't, to be honest. I have a good imagination, though, and my old journals. Well, they're at my childhood home. If I really wanted to remind myself of what I was thinking about when I was 13, 14, I could do it. I could dive back in. The thought is oddly thrilling, and also horrifying.