My wonderful seventh graders are Moonflowers, blooming against the soft glow from the night sky. The edification of their heart, mind and soul has transcended valleys and mountains with a single bound. From memoirs to science fiction, argumentative essays and letters about a book, genre and author studies--their mind is a well-oiled machine churning at break neck speed. I can hear them sing the praises of Ray Bradbury as they saunter down the hall. I find comfort in knowing their understanding of commas and complex sentences is comprehensive; subordinate conjunctions don’t throw them for a curve. The end of the year self-reflections speak volumes-- eloquent odes expressing growth and gratitude for all we have done.
Barrett farts. Loudly.
Three students instinctively throw their left arm out, with right arm and elbow bent like they are sneezing into the crook of their arm.
Silent smirks are shared.
Justin raises his hand and asks if he can help Mr. Creighton clean out the storage room. He can collect the soccer balls. And the basketballs. And the tennis balls. Volleyballs too. The little balls especially.
Nathaniel, Finn, and Mikey dab. Twice.
Seventh graders are fickle, fickle creatures. Their heart once belonged to the Whip/Nae Nae then The Quan. Now the Dab. Dabbing. Not the weed kind, but the dance move, Cam Newton kind. Urban Dictionary defines dabbing as: A type of dance (move) when one crosses one arm diagonally across their chest and the other arm is straight and diagonally extended outwards from their body. This move is quite popular with dancers, football players, and teenagers.
They think I don’t know. They think I am oblivious. They think my blank stare means I am clueless. However, I am cataloging and computing. Internally, mocking. Outwardly, smiling.
In fact, seventh grade should just be summed up in dabs.
Instagram ancient Egypt sarcophagus: Three Dabs
Emily accepts your friend request. In social studies: Four Dabs
Mrs. Markus brings in donuts: Two Dabs...wait....they are Krispy Kreme: Three Dabs
Cheat on vocabulary quiz and don't get caught: Five Dabs
Don favorite underwear, I mean shorts, and Brian likes your new Chuck Taylor's: Ten Dabs
Find an overdue library book in the bottom of locker: One Dab
Copy and paste text from Wikipedia article. Change the first and last word. It’s not plagiarism. Is it?: Negative Four Dabs
Send off ten snapchats in orchestra. Fifty people see it by algebra :Ten Dabs
Simon dares Stephen to sniff the rat’s butt while dissecting the vermin in science. Stephen does, and then licks the rat’s ass: Fifteen Dabs
Shirt buttoned all the way to the top. Tucked in. Crew socks pulled high. Doc Martins perfectly laced. Hair coiffed like Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees. Reference Barry Gibbs from the Bee Gees. Act like you know who the hell Barry Gibb is: Seven Dabs
Mistakenly share Youtube video with the vice principal: Negative Three Dabs
Diligently researching for the Holocaust project also leads to good information on the Nyan cat, funny cat videos, how to make the screen barrel roll, and an Etsy shop for sweatshirts that say, “My boyfriend is hotter than your boyfriend." Mrs. Taylor wants a sweatshirt too: Twelve Dabs
Text your friend Danica about Grey’s Anatomy and how upset you are that George got hit by a bus. Netflix is so dank: Six Dabs
She texts you back instead about Full House and that she can’t believe Mary- Kate and Ashley aren’t on Fuller House. BTW, D.J.’s hair is totally fleek: Five Dabs
Did you know Sam dumped Aubrey for Taylor? I knew she shouldn’t have cut her hair: Two Dabs
Win the homeroom contest for best spirit wear ever. Hair is dyed blue with coordinating headband and leggings: Eleven Dabs
Get a locker pass and also go to the bathroom, say hi to Carmen in Spanish, act like I am studying in the break out area, but am really checking my phone and eating a Twix: Six Dabs
Roll eyes, but then give, ‘ I care and am listening look’ to teacher. Snap it with big eyes when she turns around: Four Dabs
Look up cat video again: One Dab
Scream, “I have Fifth Disease!” and run down the hall: Nine Dabs
Growl loudly and shout, "ShamWow!!": Two Dabs
Present a noice Google site for an English project: Eight Dabs
Spray Axe on binder and earbuds. Talk to Carmen. Get out putty and destress: Twelve Dabs
Incognito mode on the Chromebook. Look up how to type more than 31 characters on Snapchat. No one will ever know: Two Dabs
Last day of seventh grade! Let’s get turnt up!: Forty Dabs