Let’s be honest, The Middle is not a desirable place to be. Whether you’re in the middle of nowhere, suffering from middle child syndrome, or receiving the middle finger, chances are, you’re not happy about it. No one requests the middle seat, they want the aisle or window. Banquet waiters don’t field requests for middle slices of prime rib, typically all 10 people at the table want the end cut. And the whole POINT of “Monkey in the Middle” is to avoid becoming the monkey!
No one wants to be in the middle…unless they’re below the middle. The poor may strive to be middle class, underlings may work towards a promotion to middle management, and pitching prospects may settle for a middle reliever position. But once they’re there, they rarely want to stay there. Other than cows and sheep, who seem quite content with being in the middle of the herd, the majority of us have Jeffersonian aspirations and want to keep “Movin’ On Up!”
We live in a world where middle of the road answers are for the weak, Middle-earth is for the geeks, and the middle man is always getting skipped over, so it’s no wonder middle school gets such a bad rap. Granted, much of it is deserved. Few of us can look back on those years of cracking voices and poor fashion choices with anything but relief that they’re over. They’re tough times and awkward ages that we all had to go through, but few would want to do again. But as a middle school teacher for the past 14 years, I know it’s not all hormones and horror stories about growth spurts and gym shorts. There’s some good stuff happening there, too.
Lucky for you, I’m not here to talk about those things, as where’s the fun in that? No, the bulk of this blog will be dedicated to highlighting the special people and special times that make middle school such a special place. Of course, names will be changed, identities concealed, and facts exaggerated, but they should still offer a true insight into what it’s like to be stuck in the middle.