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Love hurts.

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We don’t always do what’s best for us. In fact, quite often, it takes effort, skill, knowledge, and perseverance to survive. And, to top it all off, we actually want to not only survive, but to find our true loves, our soul mates, our one and only’s. Now that I’m a bit older, and perhaps wiser, I look at my former self and think, ‘what was I thinking?!’ and scratch my head in bewilderment at some of the choices of friends I made. They weren’t always good for me. Fun? Yes. Helped me to survive? Hardly.

It’s close to the beginning of a new school year. Eighth grade can stand out as one of your best, or one of your worst, years. I promise to do everything I can to make it one of your best, but you have to meet me at least a little bit of the way.

First –trust. Don’t stand in your own way. Recognize that the adults in your world are not out to “get you,” trick you, etc. At least not this adult (me), and I can speak with some authority about your other teachers, too. We are glad to be at school, and we’re even happier when you’re there, too.

Second–friends. There are “fun” friends that get you in trouble. There are the goodie-two-shoes friends that don’t. And the ones that really respect you and like you will be somewhere in the middle – enough fun to keep things creative, but they don’t hurt anyone, especially you.

Third–explore. Use this year to try everything in your classes you can – read books you haven’t thought of before, learn what true scientific method is, and why math may save your life.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. This little frog survived. And so will you.

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