I've found (much to my surprise) that I really enjoy middle school age kids. They're an unpredictable lot--sometimes they seem like little children, still, and sometimes they show flashes of maturity beyond their years. I find them incredibly endearing, even when their behavior leaves a lot to be desired. They make me laugh every single day, and when they're hurting my heart aches for them. Twice last week kids were sitting in the office crying, and even though both of them had really misbehaved and were in trouble, I couldn't stand the sight of their tears. I remember how tough those years were. Growing up is hard. I have compassion for them.
Last night we had our annual Halloween Dance and Carnival. I volunteered to do face painting with the help of an older high school girl (the daughter of one of our math teachers). I had so much fun! One of the assistant principals along with the choir/piano teacher set up a sound system in the gym and played lots of current hits as well as old Halloween favorites like "Thriller" and "Monster Mash". (Earlier in the day, during afternoon announcements, Principal Oates had said, "DJ O'Neil and DJ Leroy are going to be spinning tunes for you tonight..." which really cracked me up). There were games to play for prizes, a "Haunted Science Lab" that was a darkened classroom where you put your hand in a series of boxes to "guess the body part" (things like slimy wet noodles and peeled grapes)...a "Creepy Critters" room with snakes and spiders from the school's science labs...and concessions for sale like candy and popcorn and soda. The kids had a blast! Watching them have so much fun, dancing, running through the halls with groups of their friends, laughing and playing games and being silly and carefree and young....was a total joy. Definitely good for the spirits!
I have to share photos of my three favorite costumes of the night. First up, for fans of the US version of The Office, I present to you Prison Mike and Dwight Schrute!
And of course, Bob Ross! This kid hammed it up all night long, running around and pretending to paint on any available surface and posing for the camera.
Wonder Woman was a very popular costume for the girls this year (yeah!!) and I probably saw at least a dozen of them, but this was my favorite--a real little Wonder Woman:
I'm so glad I have a job where I get to have so much fun!