The Pony is in 7th grade in middle school, and has just finished performing in the spring play--A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was an abbreviated version, with some modern "Storytellers" placing the Shakespearean scenes in a modern context. It was funny, it was extremely well acted--not at all what you might expect from a middle school play. It was amazing hearing the stylized Shakespeare language coming out of their mouths, as naturally as if it was their regular speech. I cannot say enough about how amazing these kids are, and what incredible performances the director got from them.
What I found interesting was the dramatic differences in social maturity between 6th and 8th grade students. Of the four lovers who run away to the forest, one was played by a 6th grade boy, and the other three were played by 8th graders. Out of respect for the 6th grader (I am guessing), he was not required to kiss his true love. But the other couple was supposed to kiss. However, the two actors don't like each other, and this kiss became a bigger and bigger thing. Which was funny, because by the time I was in 8th grade, stage kissing was no big deal. I was in a play where I had to kiss a boy who was cast as my "boyfriend," and I did it because the script called for it.
Would I have done it as a 6th grader? Hell no. But by 8th grade? Not an issue.
So, Pony is right in the middle--in 7th grade. Things are changing this year, and I can see it. This is the year that kids turn 13, and there are a bunch of Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties. Many of them have dancing. Only one or two of the kids are willing to slow dance--but some of them are. The party Pony came back from tonight had a little twist: Musical Boys. The DJ had all the boys form a circle in the center of the floor, turn around so they were facing outwards, get down on one knee, and they became the "chairs."
I swear, middle school just cracks me up. And every day I thank god that I'm not a middle schooler.