Friday, December 12, 2014

Middle School Dropout

Sixteen charts, three boxes, one giant trashbag of papers that needs to be shredded, and countless tearful goodbyes...

... and I am officially a middle school dropout.

I may have disliked a lot about the job, but I will never forget the awesome people. And the craziness.

Some highlights from my year as a middle school prevention counselor:

1. My first day, being welcomed by the 80-year-old "matriarch" teacher of the school: "I BETTER NOT see you talking to the men here. MY men. Don't think you can take over because you're a pretty white girl!" *Walks away huffing and puffing* She turned out to be nice. Sort of.

2. Hundreds of after-hours emails from my supervisor. Most were stressful, but some were very kind and flat-out hilarious. She would text pictures of her grandchild, too. I really will miss her.

3. Fights. And getting an ID machine thrown at my head. And the kid that caused a code red lockdown by trying to jump the gate with a backpack full of drugs and a weapon when he was suspended. And the kid that brought an 8-inch kitchen knife to school.

4. Everyone calling me "MAZZOOOOLAAAAA! Like the oil!" after I got married, even on the loudspeaker, because they knew I didn't change my last name. And asking me why I haven't given my man babies yet. And telling me to "Tell your sexy man we say hey! *wink*"You know people like you when they tease you endlessly :)

5. The marching band, drum line, and drill team, which were just as good as the high school.

6. Hearing all the inside drama, because I'm the counselor, and counselors don't tell secrets. :)

7. Making new friends! I have found it very difficult to make friends after college, especially because I'm a shy, socially awkward weirdo... at least I feel like one at all times on the inside, even if I seem outgoing. It was incredibly intimidating coming in to a school where everyone is from a completely different culture. Surprisingly, this is the first time I have felt like I fit in with people at my job. I've never felt more at home. On top of that, my fellow counselors at other schools were so supportive. Luckily, I will be working with one of them again starting Monday. We will be RUNNING THAT SHIT.

8. Mrs. Cooper giving me Beanie Baby cats to put in my office, because she knows I'm a crazy cat lady.

9. The end-of-the-year teacher bash at Bradley's... and riding a mechanical bull for the first time with all of them cheering me on. You know you work with a good crew when you can still show your face at work after that and get pats on the back. Yiiiikes...

10. Letters from the kids telling me how I saved their life or a friend's life, or that seeing a smiling face helps them come to school every day. Just getting ONE of those letters makes all the craziness worth it.

And now, I move on to my next adventure. I have switched jobs quite a few times now, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I realize now that there is nothing wrong with trying to find a niche that makes me happy, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to explore different paths in life. Screw what convention says! Screw what society says! I AM A REBEL! Just kidding, but really, I only get one life, and I plan to drink as much of it up as possible. While wearing my Converse Chuck Taylors. ;)

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