Middle School Desiderata

Middle School Desiderata by Doug Hanks

(Apologies to Max Ehrmann who wrote the original “Desiderata” in 1927.)

You are the center of the Universe. Embrace the hum that surrounds you.

Walk amid the confusion in four minutes or less

And remember that the tardy bell rings only for those who are tardy.

As far as is possible, learn the names of all teachers and know what they like for an afternoon snack.

Speak your name clearly on the first day of school and strive to earn a nickname that you can live with through the turbulent years of high school.

Avoid loud persons or spend the money for a good set of non-fluorescent earplugs.

Speak well of those in high school for you will follow in their footsteps.

When your grades are going well, be happy. AP classes lie just ahead.

Shower daily and use fresh deodorant.

Eat your vegetables and know that all In-N-Out meat patties were once vegetarians.

Always tighten the lid to the pepper and hot sauce before using it.

Buy your own nachos and avoid pizza that has the cheese on the bottom.

You are the center of the Universe. Embrace the hum that surrounds you.

If you intend to change your self-image, find a flawless mirror.

Be yourself, unless you are an actor and then be someone else.

If you compare yourself to others in popular culture, aim high! Will Smith continues to be a good bet at the moment.

Know that most people in the world were not gifted and talented students.

Do not feign affection, especially for the word ‘ feign.’ No one uses it anymore.

Love love and hate hate. Then try to find other words that are both verbs and nouns and try them out.

Do not befriend everyone who asks, especially that boy from the neighboring junior high whose nickname is ‘Snot.’

Do not fall in love in February for it will cost you more than falling in love in March.

Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but three lefts do.

In the aridity and disenchantment of love, remember that it blooms again every spring break.

Nurture strength of spirit, for the P.E. teachers will demand it of you.

Do not distress yourself with what you read on the internet. Most of it is made up by unemployed people.

Fear grows when one texts all night and gets no sleep.

You are the center of the Universe. Embrace the hum that surrounds you

(And know that you are finally older than the elementary students who must still line up to walk to lunch.)

Therefore, be at peace with God.

And be at peace with the principal who resides just below God.

But mostly be at peace with the custodian.

Strive to be at peace with your soul in the noisy confusion of dressing for P.E., especially if you forgot your lock combination.

Be careful and be diligent to stay out of detention on Friday afternoon.

Even with all its homework and zits and gum on your shoes, the world remains a beautiful place.

You are the center of the Universe. Embrace the hum that surrounds you.

©2012 Doug Hanks. All rights reserved. Copy with permission only. My email is on my profile page.

Cool blue-eyed girl photo by Anatasiya Gepp.

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