There are currently ELEVEN 8th grade boys in the library. They are the smartest, funniest, coolest ones, too. Sic of them are my Student Librarians, four of them are student Tech Operations workers (out of work today because their leader is absent), and one is just visiting. They are hard at work, helping me number, label, sticker, tape, and box a few thousand books. There are constant complaints, jokes, questions, mysterious sounds, laughs, and whatever the modern equivalent of yo-mama slams are. One of them just got his new 8th grade class t-shirt with all the 8th grade students' names on the back. The other boys are pawing him, nearly knocking him over to find their own names and their friends'. Every few minutes they ask me if they can stop working and just hang out. Then they warn me that letting them do so would be a big mistake. Then they look at me expectantly, as if I am just fool enough to give them the go ahead in spite of my own (and their) experience. They keep asking me what to do if. What to do if there are more than 36 books in a box. What to do if some of the books have different covers. What to do if they run out of green stickers. What to do if they run out of blue stickers. What to do if Ms. Murphy runs screaming from the room.
As I said, they are the best, brightest kids. They are applying to $25,000 dollar a year private schools on the west side. They know exactly what to do, could do it better then I could, and will most certainly snigger about my silly little procedures later when I am out of ear shot.
But they are in 8th grade, and they cannot be contained. I will so, so miss them next year.