8th Grade – A Year of Passions

July 15, 2011

In drawing up the plan for the girls I thought back on my own school career and just what I was learning when I was in 8th grade. 

My favorite subject was, of course, math.  8th grade was awesome because I got to do algebra… officially.   I remember smiling to myself as I first looked over that algebra book.  See, algebra and I were old friends already.  I’d picked up my mother’s college algebra book years ago and learned much of what we were about to cover.  I already knew how much fun it was and the teacher, Mr. Berry, made it even more so.  I not only had a lot of fun in math that year but I learned I was pretty darn good at it too. 

Science was a close second favorite.  The crazy old man who taught life science was actually quite funny once you got past the serious teacher persona he usually put on in class.  I had a chance to get to know him a bit better as my science notebook, worth a major portion of our grade, came up missing part way through the year.  Since I sat front and center and was always clearly interested in his lectures, he knew I’d kept good notes.  But since I didn’t have a notebook to grade, he opted to allow me to do a report for that part of my grade instead.

It was then I learned we had a love of oceanography in common.  I did a report on whales.  Favorite. report. ever.  He apparently enjoyed it too because I earned a grade of 100%.  I’ll always regret not being able to go on his Oceanography Club outings though.    My parents were anti-field trip so I missed the trips to the NJ shore to investigate tidal pools and other such fun.  But it was a great year in science nevertheless.

Still, the thing I remember most about 8th grade in general is that it was a year of discovering passions.  Algebra, oceanography, drama class, computer programming (on our Commodore 64 at home and on the Apple computers at school) and seeing Star Wars for the first time! I so taken by it that I wrote out the whole script – by hand – from a homemade audio tape (well, duh, cause my mother wouldn’t let me sit in front of the video tape for the many hours it took to write the whole thing out 😛 )

So many of the things I learned I loved that year have stuck with me right into adulthood. 

That’s really what I most for my girls this year too.  I want them to discover their passions and pursue them with everything they’ve got.  That’s what 8th grade should be about.

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