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A 1970s’ Middle Schooler’s Day
by KJ Hannah Greenberg


As I approached the shaded porch, I realized I could not put off school’s start any more. Like the kids behind me, I got pushed into the main hall. I nearly had to crawl to my homeroom.


There, the teacher greeted us warmly while cussing out her own lost vacation. All the same, she had filled our desks with: file cards, pencils, tablets, and copies of snazzy, computer- printed (!) schedules, which were barely legible. We sat hushed as we filled out multiple, handwritten copies of those timetables and then gave them back to her. The bell rang.


Seventh graders I knew, plus some I had never seen before, shot into the hall. I looked at the copy I kept of my class list while getting pushed and shoved on my way to the girls’ locker room.


“What do you have for lunch?”


“You’re in my math class.”


“You too? I hoped no one else thought him cute.”


When the next bell rang, I got dragged, again, through the halls. I held onto the doorframe of the band room.


“Band” is one hundred and twenty people, their music stands, and their instruments crowded into a tiny, windowless space. There, the teacher and his conductor’s platform take up one quarter of the area.


Following band was science. Science is one teacher and thirty-five jokesters. No one really wants to put animals, dead or alive, into categories. We would, though, agreeably toss bits of dissected frogs at each other.


Lunch came after science. The day’s offering was nothing special; something that resembled rubber bands. Most of us ate it.


Study hall was next. No cute boys.


Language Arts came after study. Getting there was difficult. I wish the administration would install a traffic light between rooms 202 and 204.


Social Science, which followed Language Arts, was a summary of last year’s lessons followed by a lecture, a very, very boring lecture. I noticed that the nail polish on my right pinky was chipped.


Math, which came after Social Science, was even worse. Almost everyone drifted. Fortunately, the bell that ended math ended the day.


Tired feet took me home. Tomorrow, I’ll cover them with bandages. I’ll wear my bike helmet, for the halls, too.




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