Well, so much for writing every day. These last few weeks have been some of the most hectic I've seen at this school. Hectic in a good way, because our school seems to be breeding nerds, which means that the library (their kingdom) is getting more play than ever before. This is wonderful of course, but exhausting. How and why is this school breeding nerds, you ask? I don't know for sure, but I suspect a few specific changes over the last couple of years are at the heart of this transformation. One is that we are now heavily recruiting students in gifted programs at their elementary schools, and our gifted program is growing in size and prowess. Another is that we have full blown electives now, so drama kids, art kids,and tech kids have a place to thrive. The third is that were are pushing reading pretty hard, the staff is visibly reading, and books are now a little more cool than they were. The nerds are establishing their space, their superiority, and their right to exist. More and more of them are maintaining their nerd personas all the way through 8th grade, or if they shed the nerd skin, they only do so in favor of becoming intellectually cool, meaning they wear black, listen to rock 'n roll, smear on eyeliner, and talk of living downtown, or in Hollywood, or somewhere that is not here.
It's the 6th graders who are really funny though. One recently came to me and said "Ms. Murphy, I would like to discuss with you the possibility of starting a Young Authors club". He has since returned several times, once to show me a book he has written (incomprehensible), and another time to write out plans for the establishment of this club. Another boy recently told his teacher that evolution has been disproven, and that there are those who now believe that we are all made of dirt. Two others orbit me like satellites or moons during lunchtime. I could hold my arms out straight and smack either one of them in the head at any time. Yet another recently passed me a note during a busy time. He was recommending that I post a sign on the door of the library about the rules for borrowing chess boards.
I am so pleased that these little smarty-pants kids are here. I am worn out by them, by their questions, their ideas, their need for my attention and perhaps my approval. The line to check out books exceeds thirty people most days during lunch, and stays that long even though we are checking out books at a rate I find astounding. I have to turn them away at the bell for class. They look so sad that they aren't going to get to take their dinosaur, solar system, baseball, dragon, horse, puppy, ghost, and UFO books with them. It's all I can do not to laugh.