Eugene Cho

middle school!?!

Yesterday, Minhee and I took our oldest daughter for a tour of our local middle school in preparation for the inevitable…she’s growing up. She’s now 10 years old, asks adultish questions, and will be entering middle school in the Fall. This might be another reason why I’m going through my extended mid-life reflection right now.

Question:  What was your middle school experience like?

It’s been so long since the middle school years that I forgot what it was like until I toured the school and classes with our daughter yesterday.  There are over 900 students in her future middle school and class begins at 7.45am!  Goodness gracious.

Over Christmas, our family traveled to San Francisco and it was good to take my kids to visit my middle school.  I was a student at Aptos Middle School in the early ’80s.  Honestly, I don’t remember much.  The first year, I was incredibly and painfully shy.  Not many friends and was actually voted in as “most shy” but I guess people knew who I was.  My claim to fame in middle school was breaking our school’s Decathlon record.  I wonder if my name is still up in the gymnasium.

In case you don’t know this already:  Time flies…Enjoy.  

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Filed under: family

9 Responses

  1. RjL says:

    My daughter is only 2, so I’m a long ways away. But things like this can’t be helping you:

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2009/01/15/pn.sexting.teens.cnn

    Pave the way, and keep me posted.

  2. Ben C says:

    Junior high was all right… Redmond Junior High. Wasn’t all that challenging, but I never complained. I just lived life in Education Hill, played tennis and soccer.

    I started growing up and forming the basis of my identity at The Overlake School (high school years). I would cough up the tuition to send my kids there should I have any in the future and assuming I’m living in the Seattle metro.

  3. Jim Chen says:

    I don’t remember too much, but it was fun. Life was easy and carefree. I too didn’t feel so comfortable at school, but my home life was great. I was the smart kid, the teacher’s pet (ha-ha).

  4. Chris Scott says:

    It sucked. It sucked bad, until I met some friends from a youth group who took me in, loved me, gave me fulfillment, purpose and meaning.

  5. jan owen says:

    just wait til your kids are going to college!!!! My last one leaves for college this fall – I am TOO YOUNG for this!!! I am!

  6. Carolyn says:

    I went to Washington Middle School for the first two years of middle school, and it was amazing. I was in the APP program, which I highly recommend trying to get your daughter into, at least at the middle school level (it goes to crap at the high school level). I was writing 10 pages papers in 6th grade, and loving it.

    Then we moved cross-country. That part was not so good. I’ve been out of middle school seven years now, and I can still remember the isolation and desperation I felt in eighth grade. Just love her especially hard right now, even though it’s going to be rough on you (I would assume. I have no children, as I am only 20).

    Anyway, good luck to her! And good luck to you– you’re almost to the teenage years.

  7. Rachel says:

    We just had junior high. Junior High School sucked.

    Youth group was OK.

    Peer relationships were hard to navigate.

    I remember having a hard time connecting in 7th grade and not having a phone, which made it harder. I was also the third girl in my class and three girls NEVER works out well. I remember my dad telling me that there were 30 days in a month and 31 Proverbs and to read one every day. That worked well for my legalistic self and probably helped a lot. I remember going to camp after 7th grade and seeing other Christian kids who worshipped God and that was great and an encouragement. It’s when I decided that I was going to follow God because I wanted to, not because my parents did.

  8. jason says:

    middle school was bad for me…real bad

  9. Jr. high – wow. I went to the science academy so I had to catch the bus at 6am, but got to do fun science stuff – like bird watching camping trips, beach clean-up, trips to NASA…

    I think the most vivid memory was the girl who with her friends every time she saw me in the halls would scream at me, hit me, rip my books, make fun of my because of my disability. As she told me – even though I was white and therefore (???) thought i was better than her (she was black), she was actually better than me because I was missing my arm. And because it was a “race” issue the teachers just stood by and watched and let her beat me up every day…

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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