This week on the RTT Blog Hop, we’re talking about rivalries.

When I was in 8th grade, we moved to Lockhart. Let me tell you, that was not the height of my Junior High experience. I went from a school in Austin, where I had a lot of freedom, to Lockhart, where I got yelled at when I got up at lunchtime. Everyone around me had been friends since pretty much birth and here was the new kid. But all that aside, LJHS wasn’t an awful experience for me; in fact, I’m pretty sure my middle school experience was better than most kids’.

Now, in junior high, we did some review games in most of my classes. And there were never any friends when you played those games.

But in my algebra class, we played games after  almost every lesson. And they were not quiet games. There were usually things being thrown and people screaming and things being slammed on the desks and all that. Some games we played individually. But most of the games, we played in teams.

When we played in teams, we played boys versus girls.

In junior high, I wasn’t friends with a lot of girls, especially not after I moved. Girls are mean and dramatic and “clique-y” and I just didn’t really have that in me. I hung out with mostly guys. Don’t get me wrong, I had a few close girl friends. Boys were just easier to be around. There was no drama and they seemed less worried about what everyone would think of them.

As it happened, I was friends with boys in this class, too. But, when we played these games, there were no friends. Winning was all there was. Your teammates were all there was. There was no “well, he’s having a bad day, so let me cut him some slack.” These games were ruthless. And the goal was not only to beat the other team, but annihilate them because bragging rights were awarded. Until the next game.

And that is how my Algebra 1 teacher taught us algebra through rivalry.



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