Have you peaked yet?

I had an IEP meeting at my son’s school yesterday.  He’s in eighth grade.

The educator who ran the meeting looked like she had peaked in high school.  You know the type.

RahShe had brown hair that she had tied back with a giant blue ribbon and was wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt over a white mock turtleneck.  The T-shirt had been decorated with footballs and megaphones using writable paints and said things like “Cheerleading Coach” and “Rah” in big block letters.

I think I’ve said “Rah” once in my life.  When I was struggling to open a jar of pickles.

She told me that she didn’t always dress that way.  “Big football game tonight,” she said.

 I didn’t believe her.

She looked too comfortable dressed as a teenager, even though those years — time of your life kid — were well in her past.

I knew that she had gone to college and then returned to that place where she was most comfortable and popular and successful — public school.

She didn’t even seem that great with kids.  She called my son “Buddy.”  He winced.  She didn’t notice.

I think I picked up on this because it was the exact opposite of my high school experience.  I never went to a football game.  I wasn’t in any clubs.  I spent most of my time hiding out in the library and wishing that I could disappear.

I certainly didn’t peak in high school.  As I write this, I’m wondering whether I ever peaked.  Or if I ever will.

Something tells me that I haven’t.  That this best is yet to come.  At least that’s what I’d like to think.

 * *  *

 How about you?  Have you peaked yet?

7 responses to “Have you peaked yet?

  1. Hilarious! I hate having to deal with ex-but-still-attached cheerleaders at my kids’ schools…

    Let me know what “peaking” means, and I’ll tell you if I have or not…I see it more as a Dow Jones Industrial Average graph, rather than one giant Mt. Everest. You know, with lots of little peaks…This is what I tell myself anyway… 😉

    • And, since you have me thinking about this now, how sad it is that one might peak only once, even if it is as big of a peak as Mt Everest! Then one would continue to chase that high, instead of looking for the next peak to conquer!

      Then they end up in our schools, frustrating our children who are smarter than those “once-peaked”.

      I’ll take the bumpy climb, with lots of little peaks, thank you. 🙂

      • And that’s the thing. If there is a Mt. Everest peak, we would never be able to relive that moment. And that is very sad. I’m going to have to ponder this one for awhile, but yes, a perfect life should be filled with many smaller peaks. Think the Rocky Mountains and not Mt. Everest.

    • I guess life is filled with many little peaks … at least for healthy individuals. I’m never one for balance, so I like the idea about one huge peak and on the other side waits a fully self-actualized human being. Not very realistic, I know.

  2. So perfect – I was just speaking to one of my former students about this! She graduated 8th Grade last year and came back this week to visit. She actually had me in tears as she thanked me for getting her ready for High School.
    But then she said, “Miss Chappell, I know you might not like this, because you’re a teacher, but I hate High School.” I just laughed a little bit. I responded, “That’s a good thing.” In my experience, the people that like High School, peak while they’re there. It’s okay to not get it – it’s okay to be the odd kid. Once you’re out of High School, you can find you’re own niche and be so great at it.
    Perhaps the teacher you mentioned in your post returned to public school because she was so comfortable there. But not me – I returned because I was so UNcomfortable, that I wanted to be an ally for students that are just as odd and out-of-place as I was. Maybe one of these days I’ll get the courage to be the gay ally, too.

    • I don’t know anything about this teacher. I was just going by what I saw. But yeah, high school is an uncomfortable place for many young people. I think it’s great that you teach so that you can help students who don’t fit in. I wish I would have had a teacher like that. And the thing about being a gay ally … maybe that will be one of your peaks.

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