Middle school is like a school dance everyday. To the chaperone, everyone sparkles and shines.


Awkward moments don’t go unnoticed, but smiles, silliness and friendly laughter more than balance the humiliation. Sometimes there are tears in the punch bowl. Sometimes the rhythm isn’t right. Students miss a step. But at the end of the day, the chaperone has seen more good than bad. The chaperone cleans up and hangs more twinkling stars in anticipation of the next dance.

Middle school is like a school dance everyday. To the students, everyone sparkles and shines more than them. Awkward moments don’t go unnoticed.


They are replayed again and again like a bad song that lingers on the mind. Smiles, silliness and friendly laughter are often lost to insecurities and fear of the next song. Sometimes there are tears in the punch bowl. When the rhythm isn’t right, everyone notices because everyone is watching. At the end of the day, the students only want to be part of the crowd. The students go home obsessing over rhythm and shine as they anxiously await the next dance.

Perception is everything. Often one side is blind to the other, incapable of seeing below the surface or beyond the insecurities.


Right now, I find that perception is the thing I struggle with the most in my manuscript. As a teacher, and a one-time middle school student, I see both sides of the dance.

I know that one side would relate more to my potential readers, but there is a blindness there that I want to enlighten. To maintain integrity and truth of character, perception must be handled lightly. It must not stray too far from the age.

Finding that balance of perception has become my dance, where I seek to find a rhythm and shine.