Monday, November 19, 2007

I forgive you, Kristy Chamberlain

On Sunday afternoon, I invited my junior high youth staff over to our new home for lunch and sharing my vision of the ministry. We had a pretty good turnout and ate some yummy food. To start off the meeting, I had each staff share one story or memory from their junior high years.

As the leader, I went first, sharing the story of my first "lost love" as I was totally ignored and rejected by Kristy Chamberlain in seventh grade math class as she refused the assigned seat next to me because of a suspected crush I had on her. She was popular and cute; I was nerdy and weird. She refused to sit next to me and it devastated me. The worst part was, I thought my crush was a secret. So when Lily McSweeney called me out in band class on my undying love for Kristy, then Kristy refused to have any public interaction with me, it was a little embarrassing.

Kristy: I don't hold it against you, wherever you are.

It seems that almost all of my staff had some interesting junior high stories to share, from participating in the stock marketing club (kind of a strange club, but it included a trip to New York) to being suddenly stabbed with a switchblade sticking out of shoe (lots of s's in that sentence!).

I am not one to make generalizations, but this one seems pretty safe to make: junior high had some seriously awkward moments for everyone. Perhaps your junior high years weren't characterized by social awkwardness like mine. But I am pretty convinced that all people had some sort of awkward social experience at one point that they will never ever forget. For some, junior high was simply insecure and confusing; for others, it was downright traumatic. But we all share that staring-at-the-floor-this-is-so-embarrasing-I-can't-believe-this-is-happening-I-wish-I-was-dead moment.

I don't want to make light of those moments; they can be very powerful in our identity formation. I am only reflecting on my youth staff's experience and realizing that our stories are only a small part of the greater Junior High Awkwardness Story. It was good to remember our stories so we can love our current students with empathy and compassion. I love junior high students, awkwardness and all!

What's one awkward, strange, or silly story from your junior high years?


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  2. I hated junior high with a passion...did you ruin junior high for everyone? Perhaps we will never know...yet...but maybe.

  3. My name is Kristy Chamberlain. I don't think I am the same Kristy Chamberlain of your junior high fantasies, but on behalf of all Kristy Chamberlains I would like to apologize for embarrassing you. Perhaps Kristy was embarrassed, too.

  4. Kristy-
    Apology accepted, though I don't think you are the same Kristy either. But thank you for understanding. Hopefully finding your name on some random blog wasn't too weird. :)

  5. Hi Joel... The REAL Kristy Chamberlin here :)

    I have to admit, as awkward and horrifying Middle School was, this is one event I don't recall! I truly am sorry for the embarrassment I caused - but it looks like we both made it out alive ;) We'll have to find Lily and make her apologize too. hehe
    Hope you are doing well!

  6. Kristy,
    I am doing well, and hopefully you're not completely weirded out by finding yourself on this blog! But I am doing well, and I'm glad we survived middle school!