As I watch my almost ten year old son struggle with peer pressure and the need to find his own way in the world of 4th grade adolescents, I am transported back to my own struggle as an awkward 6th grader, a time when I was caught between being faithful to my friends or being honest and true to myself.
I failed at being true to myself—
The room was quiet. Tense breathing and pencils scratching, the only sounds to be heard. As I sat there, studying my own test, I felt C’s pencil tap me lightly on the shoulder.
As I snuck a glance backwards, she waved the folded note in her hand and nodded towards K, who sat in front of me. I sighed. It seemed easy, just pass the note with the test answers to K. I knew they were the test answers because C had told us the day before that she had them.
All I had to do was pass the note to K when C was done using them.
I could use them after K, although I wasn’t much for cheating. My lack of a social life left plenty of time for studying.
All I had to do was pass the note from one girl to the other. Easy. I glanced up at the teacher, she was watching everyone intently. It would take some quick maneuvers to get the note passed. (more…)