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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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
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I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

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The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

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It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

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