By Anna Keresztesy
Ah, middle school. The angst, the drama, the hormones. Most of all, the anticipation of the next four years here in the Hathaway Brown Upper School. The eighth grade class is currently getting visits from our friendly neighborhood center directors with enthusiastic pitches for how the thirteen year olds should spend their high school career. I have an insider’s look on next years freshmen, not because I myself have middle school maturity, but because yet another Keresztesy is preparing to walk through these hallowed halls. Here’s some thoughts on high school from our sisters across the atrium.
I asked the class of 2023 the following questions; what class are you most excited for, which teachers are the most and least anticipated, rumors about the upper school, if seniors are scary, what they’re going to miss, and overall what was the most exciting part of high school. Across the board, J Mo and the visual arts department has taken over the eighth grade. The most anticipated classes are photo, studio art, and general visual arts. They were followed by dance, business and finance, and multiple answers unexpectedly saying math.
J Mo came to be the majority answer yet again in the eighth grade’s eagerness to have him as a teacher. I feel obligated to specify that the eighth grade is obsessed with J Mo following an obscure incident in which he said “hot soup coming through, don’t be afraid” in the dining hall. He is joined in the answers by the ‘skinny legends’, which I can only guess based on my knowledge of the eighth grade to be Mr. Frasier, Mr. Ciuni, and J Mo once again. Not to exclude anyone, many said responded either everybody or no one.
On the other side, many claimed that there aren’t any teachers they’re afraid of (yet). Oddly enough, Ms. Krist appeared in both most excited for and afraid of, as well as Mr. Frasier (specifically because of his height). Based entirely off of little to no interaction, Mr. Purpura’s legacy of frightening underclassmen has kept up well, with a small group joining the lengthy list of those who tremble when passing the dimly lit classroom.
Following teacher intimidation, the majority of eight graders responded that ‘maybe’ seniors are scary. There were many that said no, but there was still a notable amount of definite fear, including somebody who included that ‘they will probably hate our grade, we’re going to be such nerds’. Aside from upperclassmen’s judgement, the eighth grade has a few other preconceived notions about the upper school. Many will be glad to hear that the legend of the girls in the ceiling is thriving in the middle school. The middle school also knows about the sleep habits of high school, knowing it isn’t uncommon to see people sleeping in weird places. Overall, the eighth grade has heard anything from high school being a sleepless nightmare of non stop work to a laid back family you’ll get to know and love.
A lot of the eighth graders can’t wait to leave the middle school. However, they know what’s yet to come with the majority already missing the idea that middle school grades don’t mean as much. Aside from the warm and welcoming teachers, and the friends who are switching schools, the freshmen class is also going to miss having lunch an hour earlier, and not having to carry a twenty pound backpack for a cross country hike to the next class. As much as some fear losing the relationships they have with teachers they love, nearly every response in the following question included the excitement for freedom.
Without calling out specific middle schoolers or teachers, there is an overwhelming excitement to get out of the middle school and away from the rules. That being said, Ms. Day will have a field day with this freshmen class; apparently it seems that pajama pants are allowed, with one response saying that “Ik they aren’t allowed, but it seems like most teachers don’t care that much about dress code in the high school, I hope I’m right.”.
In the end, the eighth grade is no different from any of us. We’ve all had a first day in the upper school, and we’ve all had to learn our way around. I for one am so excited to hear that next year’s freshman class is so enthusiastic about joining us here across the atrium, and I know that no matter what, these HB girls will get through it all, and maybe even have a little fun while they’re at it.