Most days after school I drive a block or two down the street and end up at Sherwood Coffee Company. It's a lovely little coffee shop that feeds my addiction to lattes. From my little corner table at the window I can see out to a snow covered mountain and in between are trees that still hold their beautifully colored leaves. A handful of students always walk past and it's fun to smile and wave.
Right now I've got my buttered rum and vanilla skinny latte and I'm listening to the Christian radio station that they always have playing. It's a lovely place to just unwind from a busy day at school. Today the back corner is full of boys - they're having a Bible study. The youth pastor is reminding them that the person they are on Myspace should be the same person they are at school, at church, with their families and with their friends. A couple of the familiar faces didn't surprise me, a couple did. That of course is not for me to judge. But, deep down, seeing them and listening to them makes my heart ache. I miss youth group so much, it feels like I left a piece of my heart back home.
I was talking with my 8th period girls today during their tea party (yes, we made scones and tea and little finger sandwiches today - they secretly loved it, I could see it in their eyes.) The girls asked if I really wanted to be a teacher - they all laughed when I assured them I did. "I don't know why Ms. Tompkins, we're so emotional, we're changing, we have no idea what is going on or what we want - and all of us, even the boys I swear, are PMSing, I hate middle school!" I gave her a hug and smiled, "Those reasons are exactly WHY I love middle school. Each day is different, I never know what you all will be like when you enter my room. I realize that some days that will drive me insane, but most days it's like my own surprise party, every period of the day. I wish you guys could understand how much I look forward to seeing you every day."