sunflowery's Diaryland Diary


Remembering 7th Grade

Today I want to wax nostalgic about 7th grade. I have been thinking alot about 7th grade and much of what I am thinking could be wrong due to the passage of time and romancing of the greener grass of pastures passed. But I think 7th grade was probably my best year of school.

We moved alot when I was a kid and as a result, I went to Kindgergarten and part of first grade at one school, the rest of first grade through third grade at another school, and fourth through sixth at yet another school. 7th grade was the first school change I made that was not a direct result of moving. In our town, elementary schools included grades K-6th, Jr. High was 7th-9th, and high school was 10th-12th. So when I moved into 7th grade, I moved into a new building with all the other 7th graders in my district.

I moved from an elementary school that housed 1 class per grade (so there was only 1 first grade, 1 second grade, etc.) to a Jr. high that housed more than 300 students, had 3 floors, and a field house all its own.

In elementary school, I developed a little earlier than most of my friends. Not as early as Janelle, but still earlier than Jennie or Bridget or Kendra. If you look at my fifth grade school photo...a little girl is looking back at you. But my sixth grade class photo? Woman. I think I reached my actual height in 6th grade. I have been 5'6 3/4" since I was in 6th grade! My shoe size has been roughly the same since then too.

Kids teased me, calling me a cow in need of milking and a beached whale. I wasn't fat, just curvy and womanly. I grew out of little girl's sizes and into woman's and jr's sizes. I had a very difficult time in 6th grade.

But in 7th grade??? Suddenly there were all kinds of cuvy, womanly bodies. There were lots of shapes and sizes of kids all over the place.

7th grade brought other changes. Instead of having 1 teacher and the same classroom, I had 7 different teachers and 7 different classrooms. I also had electives! I had art and music and choir! I had industrial arts! In industrial arts we had to learn to put a motor together, and silk screen, and hammer! I had gym class where we had to wear uniforms. Red shorts, white t-shirts and tennis shoes. We had phy ed units in badmitten, folk dancing, and field hockey! It was magic!

7th grade is also when I made my first real best friends. I ate lunch with Amy every day. We laughed and laughed and brought much mirth and congeniality to our lunch table. My other best friend's name was Kerri. She was the girlfriend of my boyfriend's best friend, therefore we were thrown together often.

I should mention that 7th grade was also the grade of my very first real boyfriend. His name will be kept out of this discourse because things did not end amicably and even lo these many years later, I do not want to relive that experience. For the purposes of these rememberences I will refer to him as BF.

BF, Kerri, her BF and I would occationally go rollerskating on Friday nights. We would meet up there, dropped off by our respective parents and proceed to hold hands, rollerskating with the crowd to Sad Eyes, Funkytown, YMCA, and Just Between You and Me. We would also watch the high school kids with the KISS t-shirts make out in the dark corners. Afterwards, I would go to Kerri's house for a sleepover and we would talk about our boyfriends and our hopes for the future.

Kerri was a cheerleader and was training me to be one too so I could try out for the 8th grade squads. She had me practicing my splits and by the end of the 2nd semester of 7th grade, I could do them front and back, but could not quite get down low enough the side-to-side way.

Kids at school did not tease me in 7th grade. Kids in my neighborhood at home still called me beached whale, but I didn't let that bother me. I was fitting in. I was finding a niche and finding friends and dreaming dreams of what my future could be beyond 7th grade.

I turned 13 in 7th grade and on the day of the celebration of my birth, my mom picked me up and took me to get my ears pierced. I had longed for that day and now it was finally here. I felt like a woman. I cleaned those ears like a madwoman. Even so, they got infected and closed up and I had to have them redone two more times before they stayed.

I started wearing makeup in 7th grade. Powder blue eye shadow to be exact. It was 1980 and powder blue eyeshadow was THE THING! I also collected Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers and Love's Baby Soft Perfume and powder.

High school boys rode my bus and talked to me. High school girls rode my bus and traded secrets with me. It was amazing!

I am sure it was hard. I was a moody teen, so I'm sure there were ups and downs. But I also remember feeling like I found a place I finally belonged.

Then, in the middle of the summer between my 7th and 8th grade year, we moved to another town 4 hours away. It meant a new school, new friends, new everything and starting all over again.

This town was tiny and all the kids had grown up going to school together. Their school system was set up so that K-5 was elementary school, 6-8 was middle school and 9th-12th was high school. So, in reality, I only had 2 years of Jr. High, but nothing was ever the same again.

I was never a cheerleader, I didn't ever really feel like I belonged in that new small town. I did make some wonderful friends, and even had a boyfriend for much of my high school days.

I often wonder if I could go back and stay in my Jr. High what course my life would have charted.

Of course I wouldn't be the person I am today. I might have grown snotty and snobby and all "Heather"-like. I might have had more self-confidence and stood up for myself more. Who knows. I just know that as hard as 7th grade was, it was also one of the best year's of my life. --------------------------------------- A Year Ago Today: March 11, 2003: "G" is for Grace and Guidance

This entry brought to you by Alphabytes and the letter "G" for Grace:

Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion.

A characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement.

A sense of fitness or propriety.

A disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill.

Mercy; clemency.

A favor rendered by one who need not do so; indulgence.

A temporary immunity or exemption; a reprieve.

Graces Greek & Roman Mythology Three sister goddesses, known in Greek mythology as Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia, who dispense charm and beauty.

Divine love and protection bestowed freely on people.

The state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of God.

An excellence or power granted by God.

A short prayer of blessing or thanksgiving said before or after a meal.

Grace Used with His, Her, or Your as a title and form of address for a duke, duchess, or archbishop.

Music An appoggiatura, trill, or other musical ornanment in the music of 16th and 17th century England.

tr.v. graced, grac*ing, grac*es

To honor or favor: You grace our table with your presence.

To give beauty, elegance, or charm to.

Music To embellish with grace notes.

I've also heard it said that Grace is God's Riches at Christ's Expense. As well as Grace is God giving us that which we don't deserve while His Mercy is Him not giving us what we deserve.

Grace was/is to be the name of our first daughter. It was something we (SB and I) agreed on before we were even engaged. His maternal grandmother was named Grace and he had a special relationship with her. Our daughter's name was chosen: Grace Elizabth.

So, in light of the thought and knowledge of grace...where does the rest of what's going on fit in?

We found out what they think is plagueing my husband. Supposedly It's a blood disorder along the lines of cancer, but not really. It could lead to Luekemia. It could shorten his life. There are lots of "coulds" and lots of unknowns. What we do know is that I cannot pronounce the thing that plagues my husband.

He is an amazing man. He is brave and so steady. If grace is defined as divine love and protection bestowed freely on does that jive with what's going on with SB? He now has 2 rare uncurable diseases. Neither having anything to do with the other. Both diagnosed within a year of each other. How much more can this man go through? His whole life has been one of overcoming the odds. I have called him an overcomer since we met. He is truly my hero and an amazing man.

If you want more info on what's going on with is a general explanation:

Polycythemia vera

Polycythemia vera is a rare chronic myeloproliferative disorder characterized by overproduction of red blood cells and elements of the bone marrow involved in the formation of red blood cells (hematopoietic elements). In most cases, affected individuals may experience headaches, weakness, dizziness (vertigo), and/or a ringing noise in the ear (tinnitus). In some cases, individuals with polycythemia vera experience itching (pruritis), especially after a hot bath. Affected individuals often have an abnormally enlarged spleen (splenomegaly) and/or liver (hepatomegaly). In some cases, affected individuals may have associated conditions including high blood pressure (hypertension), the formation of blood clots (thrombosis), rupturing of and loss of blood (hemorrhaging) from certain blood vessels, and/or Budd-Chiari Syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by obstruction (occlusion) of veins of the liver (hepatic veins). The exact cause of polycythemia vera is not known.

Today SB is having a CT scan to check out his spleen. If it is too large, it may have to come out. His test is the same time as my Hydroscan. We'll be at different facilities though. His sister is taking me to mine and another of his sisters is taking him to his. He has another doctor's appointment on Thursday. They said they may want him to come in every other or every third day so they can take blood from him. That's one of the suggested treatments...taking blood. His body is producing too much blood, so they just take some. The Co-pays could kill us! $20 a pop, every other day...don't know how the heck we will manage that, but if we learned anything over the last year with his MD diagnosis, It's that God is faithful and provides. So, we will bring the concerns to Him in prayer and try and deal with it all as best as we can.

Thanks for reading!

3:28 p.m. - Thursday, Mar. 11, 2004


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