7th Graders

I am ever so glad I am no longer 12-13 years old!

I’m spending another week with the Batesville 7th graders doing an artist residency with them: papermaking, mudcloth, basketry, bookbinding and pop-up cards.

They are taking to the artwork without much trouble and doing some really nice work. One of the classes is working on sashes to be worn by the African drumming corps when they perform. The other classes were doing group mudcloth projects today (individual projects were yesterday) that may turn into a wall hanging at the school or, possibly, tunics for the drum corps. Several of the pieces are really exquisite, all are lovely.

But the angst that goes into their work, their play, their daily lives is amazing! Any amount of attention is too embarrassing; positive attention is appreciated; silly little things can set them off; they devise sillly little things to keep themselves occupied; peer pressure is similar in scope as tectonic plates grinding over one another.

Callousness from friends and unexpected little sensitivities towards classmates all interposed with serious artistic dialogues and banal accounts of what-happened-in-the-hallway-on-the-way-to-lunch-right-after-putting-books-into-the-locker.

Enough to make your head spin and your emotions hide in a dark closet.

Two more days of pettiness, puberty and periodic perfectionism. Two more days of guiding exciting creativity and observing wonder and awe at accomplishments.

Can’t wait!

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