VIEW FROM THE TOP

Senior-seventh grade bonding is not too bad

Moans of agony echo throughout the living room. Bodies cower on the gargantuan beanbag and cushioned chairs, and as the door swings open, seniors grimace and wince like they’re vampires seeing daylight. “Seven-twelve buddy activities! Come onto the field!” We succumb.

Have we any other choice?

I reluctantly trudge toward the grass, my steps so heavy, as if I’m dragging my shadow. Ultimately futile was the email I sent last night: “Ms. Moser, please let me be exempt. I have so much work to do and I think that my buddy, along with the entire seventh grade, hates me anyway. Sincerely, Taylor Thompson.” To no avail. I’m about to face the girl to whom I had recently waved and received no response (I can presently infer that that was a misunderstanding).

Seniors and seventh graders gravitate toward their peers, because let’s face it: No one enjoys inter-grade activities, especially not me. Faculty members overlook the scene, their mouths curling into pleased, toothy crescents. I’m thinking they must get some sadistic pleasure from watching two alternate herds (seniors and seventh graders) hesitantly transform into an unhappy smorgasbord of awkward pairs.

My buddy and I introduce ourselves. She’s bubbly, forward, and athletic, which are qualities I often lack. Just as I’m ready to hide under the post-three-legged-race table of Diddy Riese cookies, a sweet song permeated my eardrums: “I don’t want to do this” escapes my buddy’s lips. Let us sing this song in tandem, I declare. The last thing we want to do is participate, and ironically, this fact bonds us.

We tie our legs together. Mine is considerably thicker. Despite our differences in size and disposition, we are both determined: determined to get this over with. Our arms link, and we waddle across the field like idiots. As we finish, a tsunami of team spirit crashes over me, and we exchange victorious grins and an epic high five. We did it! A-period is over! We’re now permitted to resume our lives, Diddy Riese in tow.

Everlasting friendships are sparse and age boundaries remain unscathed, but it was a pleasant change to converse with seventh graders as opposed to treating them as personal bowling pins. Inter-grade common interests are nearly nonexistent, but inter-grade courtesy can be cultivated. I can honestly say that my hallway glares became less menacing, and occasionally, my buddy and I exchange a previously unheard-of acknowledgment: a smile.