Aside from a coworker cornering me in the copy room and asking, “so, being single, how are you handling Valentine’s Day?” I had a most rocking day.
As a junior high teacher, watching young romances think they are blooming is some of the most entertaining nonsense one can ever witness. During the normal year, “liking” someone means you text each other and turn bright red when I ask you about them. On Valentine’s Day, it means throwing a Now and Later with “you’re sweet” written on it to your crush, and then running back to your group of friends and trying to fade into the wall. Later you might go home and write a really “deep” poem about it, and post it on Facebook.
We recently changed seats in one of my classes, and I sat this very tomboyish, plain Jane girl next to one of the wisecrackers in the room who thinks he is all that and a bag of chips. I thought they were such opposites that they would never speak, and I put them in the back to keep them out of arm’s distance from me, because sometimes this kid is such a pain in the neck that I’m worried I will actually reach out and flick his forehead. In Texas, that would be considered “tough love,” but in California, unfortunately, I could get arrested. A moment of silence for the death of corporal punishment…..
But ever since I moved them back there together, they have been non-stop talk! I finally said “quit flirting and get to work.” She turned beet red. I mean, beet, beet beet red. He just laughed. The whole class laughed, actually. It got such a good response that when the two started talking again, I repeated “stop flirting.” Because I love a good audience reaction.
Later when I sat at my desk, I looked up and saw this girl, who is light years away from the discovery of makeup, a good haircut, and I thought anything girly, mooning over this boy. I finally understood the term to moon. She was telling him how soft his hair was, and when he shrugged her off, she gazed at him, fawning, practically drooling. She giggled at every breath he took. She offered him a highlighter. She leaned in and tried to whisper funny nothings. She. was. smitten.
It was hilarious.
And I am definitely changing their seats next week.
To celebrate Vday at my school, we divide the kids up by grades at lunch and have a pizza party. I spent it with the eighth grade boys, avoiding the girls who were taking the holiday too seriously. We passed away the lunch hour trying to shove one of them in a trash can in the science room, and cheering on water chugging contests and betting on who could eat the most pizza. It was awesome.
In my Spanish classes, I had the kids write cards to their parents, and it was the sweetest thing. So sweet I even cried a little. I had one boy in particular who kept coming to me asking “Miss Weight, how do you say “you are the most beautiful mother in the world?” ” “Miss Weight, how do you say “No one is as funny as my dad?” ” And students were asking how to translate everything from “you are a blessing in my life” to “you make the best sandwiches.” It was straight up adorable. And I got a truckload of candy, conversation hearts in Spanish, a baby rose bush, and lots and lots of hugs and “I love you Miss Weight!”
Teaching junior high has its moments.
Tomorrow I’m coaching my first ever girls volleyball team in their first ever game. I am SO excited and nervous I can barely stand myself. I think it was a good omen then that tonight my adult league got its first victory!! That was a Vday present for me because I LOVE vball. Wish me luck for tomorrow…