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In Conclusion‌ Mr. Miranda

Published by FastPencil, Inc.


Copyright Š 2011 Marcos Miranda Published by FastPencil, Inc. 3131 Bascom Ave. Suite 150 Campbell CA 95008 USA (408) 540-7571 (408) 540-7572 (Fax) info@fastpencil.com http://www.fastpencil.com No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior consent of the publisher. The Publisher makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any commercial damages. First Edition


This book is dedicated to the 2010-2011 seniors of my English classes at H. L. Watkins Middle School. Thank you all for believing in our book project. Mr. Miranda â?§


Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Dr. Sheffield (our Principal), Mrs. Clarke (our Assistant Principal), and Alexandra, Jason, Alan, Alexx, Arvin, Ashley, Chelsey, Eriana, Tommy, Liquitta, Tyler, Chase, Morgen, Jonathan, Christina, Elisner, Keondra, Melisa, Jocelyn, Jahlissa, Grayson, J’Quan, Jovely, Madi, Noah, Olivia, and Sha’Nece (my students). Mr. Miranda


Contents Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28

Introduction ................................................................................................................ ix Forward ...................................................................................................................... 1 Entering Eighth Grade .................................................................................................... 3 My Second Time Around ................................................................................................. 5 Fighting Sucks! ............................................................................................................. 7 Cell Phones .................................................................................................................. 9 Bikes & Friends ........................................................................................................... 11 Fun & Reading ............................................................................................................ Dances and Lunches ..................................................................................................... Clubs and Teams ......................................................................................................... Eighth Grade Sucks ...................................................................................................... Are You From The Islands? ............................................................................................ I have no idea .............................................................................................................. Invalidated ................................................................................................................. Private School .............................................................................................................

13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27

Broken Rules .............................................................................................................. MS Love? .................................................................................................................. Trust ........................................................................................................................ Girls ......................................................................................................................... Friends ..................................................................................................................... Relationships .............................................................................................................. Bathrooms ................................................................................................................. A Black Friend ............................................................................................................ Be Good .................................................................................................................... Be An Athlete! ............................................................................................................ School is School .......................................................................................................... The list ..................................................................................................................... Two Points ................................................................................................................ The Basics .................................................................................................................

29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55


Introduction

Welcome to the eighth grade year of 2011-2012! In this book, you will find insights, confessions, suggestions, recommendations, and plenty of opinions about the eighth grade. The heartfelt advice in this book comes only yet directly from some of the seniors of my Language Arts class of 2010-2011. The various chapters are totally in the students’ words. I took some liberties eliminating too much repetition of the same points between chapters, with some minor grammar corrections, and also with the images of each chapter. You may read all of the chapters, or just read the ones that catch your eye. You might get a kick out of knowing some of the authors, but even if you don’t know them, read, enjoy, but most importantly, learn from what they’ve written for you. Mr. Miranda


1 Forward

Watkins Middle School is home of the Seminoles! We are very proud and excited to offer high quality educational programs to students throughout the county. The challenges and expectations of our programs are designed to make our students competitive candidates for future studies and careers. The rigorous curriculum is scaffold as the eighth graders move through their middle school years. They are exposed to a multitude of possible career choices through partnerships with businesses and field experiences. Along with the knowledge gained and the real world experiences, the students at H. L. Watkins build true leadership skills they will carry throughout life. Enjoy your senior year at Watkins Middle School! My door will always be open to you. Glenda Sheffield, Ed. D Principal

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2 Entering Eighth Grade

To The Upcoming 8th Graders, As you are entering the 8th grade hallways, here is a bit of advice you may want to follow to survive the 8th grade year: ❋ The courtyard will always be full with every grade, so you can easily make new friends. Just be sure to pick the right group of people to hang out with! The assistant principals can be very annoying, but most of them are very cool such as Mr. Wright, Mr. ❋ Jackson, and Mr. Brown. ❋ The teachers here are very helpful, and their classes are really enjoyable , but there are a handful with bipolar issues. ❋ Oh, and most importantly, FCAT! You don’t have to worry about it as much considering I heard FCAT is to be abolished! HORRAY!!! BUT, it is important for you to study for final exams. That is if you want to pass to the 9th grade. Also, get involved with sport. They are entertaining and get your mind off a lot of situations. Just be sure to have those grades and conducts in good shape. By the time you read this, I will be a freshman at a high school. So enjoy your year and be sure to follow ALL of the 8th grade advice!! Sincerely, Alexandra

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3 My Second Time Around

Dear New 8th Graders, 8th grade is the most important year for you. You must not mess around. This is my second time in 8th grade, and I regret it. All of my friends went on to High School while I stayed back. This year, I tried though, and I’m passing with flying colors. I worked through the year, did my homework, concentrated, and just got my work done. I believe you can get through 8th grade too. Remember, time will fly by, and you will be out of this school in no time. Sincerely, Jason

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4 Fighting Sucks!

Dear Eighth Grade Students, Fighting sucks because you’ll get suspended for quite a while and will be missing a lot of work. Getting bad grades puts you on the wrong track for passing the 8th grade.This is what happened to me. The point is that you are now upperclassmen. The 8th grade teachers are hoping you guys are respectful and trustworthy. You should all be proud of yourselves because you did what you had to do to be the seniors in the school. Fighting will waste what you’ve done. Now in the hallways, you might get smacked in the back of the head, and you might not know who did it because it’s so crowded. If this happens to you, don’t fight. All my classes have been fun. Ms. Brown and Mr. Miranda were the best teachers I had. Those teachers give a lot of work, but it will help you warm up for the big test, The FCAT. The FCAT is irritating just like getting in trouble. So Congrats on the big move to being the top dawgs at H.L Watkins. Sincerely, Alan

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5 Cell Phones

Dear New 8th Graders, Here is some advice that will get you through the 8th grade year. One big thing that got me ‘Good’ was CELL PHONES! If you have your cell phones out, teachers will take your phones! (So don’t get caught!) One teacher that I wouldn’t even try is Ms. LaRita Brown. She knows all the body positions, and don’t let your phone go off or else! The best body position to text is the “Lean Back” Position! What you do is you lean back in your chair put your phone by your leg, and text with one hand. Don’t make it obvious that you are looking down just slightly look (kind of like a glance). Another position, or way I text is I put my phone in my book bag, and I make it look like I’m looking for somethingJ. Another teacher that takes phones is Mr. Miranda. (He only takes phones for a period!) But if you’re having a good convo, it’s not worth it. Teachers that won’t take phones are Mr. Keppler, Ms. Wilson, and Mrs. Hughey. Oh! And if you get caught with your phone out; please do yourself a favor and don’t use the excuse, “Just Checking the Time!” It’s the oldest excuse in the book. They have heard that too many times to count! These are some tips that will get you through 8th grade without getting your phone taken! (: Sincerely, Alexx (:

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6 Bikes & Friends

Dear Seminole Seniors, If you ride a bike to school, do not lock it inside the bike racks. Someone could lock the fence. They hardly lock the fence, but if they do and you’re in a hurry, then you’ll have to jump the fence and throw your bike over the fence. Trust me, it’s not fun throwing a bike over that gigantic fence! The best part about school is friends. I can count on my friends whenever I need them. For instance, if I lost something, my friends would help me look for it. When I’m sad or feeling down, my friends will come and be tremendously hilarious near me. That always makes me feel better. If you’re new and you want to make friends, the worst thing you can do is lie about things you did or can do. If you do lie, you’ll make no friends; no one wants to be friends with a kid that lies. If you don’t lie, you’ll make lots of friends. To sum up, 8th grade is hard, but with a lot of determination it will be one of your favorite years. Sincerely, Arvin

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7 Fun & Reading

Dear New Seniors, Eighth grade can look promising, but there’s a lot about it that’s not. Stay away from fights and don’t get into any either. If you do get into a fight say good-bye to the end of the year field trips. Our 8th grade field trips (“Islands of Adventure”, 8th grade Dance, and a Pool Day) are going to be amazing, so don’t mess Then, there’s the cafeteria. Be careful what you choose to eat; you could get sick (a friend of mine got food poisoning because of school). Choose your friends wisely. If you stay away from the bad crowd, you’ll be ok. Try out for clubs, you’ll meet new people and have a great time. I joined Drama Club it was great while it lasted. We even got out of some classes to sing at an Elderly Home. There’s a lot of clubs to choose from like Year Book Club, Art Club, Builders Club, and Drama Club (of course!). It will give the High Schools an impression of a great kid. Mr. Miranda is a great English teacher, but be prepared to write…..A LOT. I promise you, you’ll have a lot of laughs in your classes as long as you get the best teachers. Make sure on picture day that you make your picture count because it’s going in the Yearbook. The Dances are great even though I’ve only been to the Marti-Gras Dance. Well, stay smart and keep your reading counts up, but it might be impossible to beat me! Currently I have 2,018 reading counts points try and beat that! Ashley

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8 Dances and Lunches

Dear upcoming 8th grader, This school year has been full of goods, bads and all in-between. I am going to start out telling you about Dances! You’ll see a flyer for a dance in 5th and 6th period, and you say “Yay! I’ll get to get out of 2 classes!” I would think before you say that. If you do not like rap music and fast-booty dancing packed into a cafeteria then stay in class. I hate rap music, and it’s just really hot and sweaty in there. It isn’t worth going if you have a different taste in fun, like I do. Bring your own lunch; lunches here are GROSS! There are only a few items that I will consider eating: the rice, the salad, the lasagna and all the vegetables. Everything else is repulsive. I got food poisoning from the tacos once; that was horrible! By the way, if you have to text someone right back, be stealthy. If your text is long, go to the bathroom. My year was all right overall. Take these things into consideration as you go through your day and your year would be a lot better. I hope you have fun at H. L. Watkins! Chelsey

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9 Clubs and Teams

Dear Future 8th Grade Students, Here are some helpful points for your last year as a middle schooler. Every student should join at least one extra-curriculum activity. There are activities like art club, drama club, yearbook, soccer, baseball, basketball, track, and even volleyball. I have joined track and soccer in all my years at Watkins. When you join sports, you will meet new friends and even work on your sportsmanship. While in sports, you will be able to show your talents. Extra-curriculum activities encourage you to get good grades. If you do well in these sports, you could be nominated “Player of the Year”. Regarding field trips, wherever you go, I guarantee that it will be fun. You can wear whatever as long as it is appropriate. You can sit wherever on the bus and hang out with your friends. Make sure you make a good reputation with the teachers so that you’ll be able to go on the trips. The one who thinks of all the fild trips is Ms. Brown (short). She is one of the coolest teachers at Watkins. She doesn’t give that many test. She is also like an auntie to most of the students. Mrs. Hughey is awesome. She lets you do almost anything in class; as long as you do your work. Mr. Miranda is fantabulious. He will let you work in groups; that is better than sitting by yourself. Sometimes when we are finish with all of our work, he will let us play with our electronics. If you don’t get Ms. Hughey for math, than get Mr. Rousseau. He is hilarious. As for the physco teachers, I’ll let you find them for yourself. Make sure you pass eighth grade. Eriana

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10 Eighth Grade Sucks

Dear Future 8th Grade Students, 8th grade sucks. ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋

The hallways are noisy The bathrooms are full of graffiti The PE fields are long past due for a trimming If you ride a bike to school, get a good lock or your bike WILL get stolen. The teachers are worse. FCAT is a waste of time. The administration spends seven months teaching a certain curriculum for three hours of testing. And if you do well, you get to wear jeans on one Friday. From my point of view, it’s pointless. ❋ The dances are a waste of money. It costs five dollars to sit in a crowded cafeteria like sardines, listen to music, and eat a bag of chips. Yeah. Best Wishes, Tommy

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11 Are You From The Islands?

Dear fellow new 8th graders from the islands, This upcoming year at Watkins Middle, you might think since it’s a new school and a whole new environment that things will get challenging. You’ll be wondering if the education on St.Croix is different from Florida. Is it harder or easier? What if the teachers are mean? What if I don’t meet their standards? Let me tell you, “Don’t worry”. I’ve had good teachers like Mr. Miranda and Ms. Brown. They’re helpful, understanding, nice, and funny. BOOM!!! BAM!!! Yes, you thought I wouldn’t say funny didn’t you. Well, it’s different here in Florida. If you listen, follow directions, and stay focused, you’ll surely get the good sides of the teachers. Not like they have a bad side…yea. After school, your parents can pick you up or you can ride the bus. My mom usually picks me up but if not, I take the bus. Here are some things about the bus that I know you would like: A/C, leather seats, and radio. I know. I was shocked too! Muchbetta dan dem bruk down buses on St.Croix. Sorry for that there; some of my Virgin Islands Creole. Anyway, if you behave on the bus you’ll reach safely home but if not, be prepared to walk home. My bus driver wanted to make someone walk home once, but she changed her mind. Here are some quick facts of other things you need to know that I haven’t mentioned above. Quickly get out of the hallways, don’t use your cell phone or electronic devices during class unless you’ve been given permission by the teacher, and also bring hand sanitizer. Trust me, you’d need it. Have fun. Liquitta

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12 I have no idea

Dear New 8th Graders, You will want to watch all the fights that happen mainly because they’re fun to watch and give you something to talk about with your friends, but when the AP’s come, you should run for your class. You could get in trouble for watching a fight. How? I have no idea, so don’t ask me. You will need friends in school, so don’t be a social reject and not talk to people. Without friends, you would probably die from boredom. Dress code is stupid, but you need to tuck in your shirt or the teachers won’t stop nagging and writing you up. If you get caught texting in class, just give the teacher your phone. Most of the time, they will give it back to you at the end of the class unless they hate kids. And one more thing, stay away from all the drama queens; they like to start a lot of stuff with people. Tyler

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13 Invalidated

Dear future 8th graders, One of the most important things in eighth grade is the FCAT. Here is an important tip. When they ask for your phone during the state exam, just give it to them. One time, this kid (I know very well) was taking the FCAT, and with five minutes left, he pulled his phone out. He was only doing it to turn it on, but guess what, his test was invalidated!!!! There is a lot that you already know, but I’m going to tell you stuff about the 8th grade. The courtyard will become a place to chill and hang out with your friends. One of the most important things is the subjects and what teacher you get. If you get Mr. Miranda for English, he is a cool guy and will help you as much as he can. His work maybe hard, but he will help. Also, for science, you want Mr. Keppler. He will play a lot of jokes, but he is a really cool teacher (he might be retiring this year thought). There also might be some fights at school. If you just avoid them and walk away, you will not get in trouble. There are classes you can text in, and classes you can’t text in. In Mr. Keppler’s class, you can. But Mr. Rousseau will take it from you. That’s all I have to say, so the best of luck to you. Sincerely, Chase

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14 Private School

Dear 8th Grade Children, Hello thurr, children! You are now becoming the big eight, an 8th grader. You will be spending the next nine months in this zoo we call school. As you can tell, I am not particularly fond of the public education system. I find public education unproductive and insignificant to me personally. I’m more of a private school kind of person. But if you can get past the ignorance of the children here, it’s not too bad. The only way to get through these next nine horrible months of schooling is with friends or avoiding the ignorance of the other children and keeping to yourself. Being by yourself all the time however now that’s the Bad News Bears unless you’re into that kind of thing then it’s fairly simple. For me the hallways caused most of my problems, so for future reference when walking down the hallways and if someone runs into you just say “sorry” even if they ran into you. If they still make a big deal out of the whole scene, and trust me you will run across someone who does, appease them. At our school when it comes to electronics, IPod, phones, whatever, it is best to keep it on you at all time. Children at this school are thieves. They WILL steal your stuff. If someone asks you to borrow your phone, or your IPod, or whatever, say “no” or tell them you don’t have it. Other than what I have already told you, I can’t say much more about this school. All I can say is stay out of drama and keep your mouth shut! Well this is all the advice I can give to you. Good luck you lucky ducky. Morgen (I would say Love, but I don’t like you that much)

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15 Broken Rules

Dear New 8th Graders, Here are some tips on how to survive the 8th grade: ❋ While using the hallways, stay on the sides otherwise you will get shoved around. While using the stairs, wait till the crowd leaves then haul up the stairs. ❋ NEVER take a dump in the toilets. ❋ In the cafeteria, you can sit wherever you want; just don’t get caught. ❋ Don’t get in trouble because then you might not be able to go on the field trips; they are awesome. ❋ The FCAT is easy. ❋ If there are fights then watch them but don’t get caught. ❋ When you text in class, put your backpack on your desk and use it as a protection, so they can’t see you texting. ❋ The nurse has a lazy eye. ❋ Lastly you don’t really have to tuck in your shirt unless it’s very long, and you don’t really have to wear an ID. Jonathan

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16 MS Love?

Dear Unfortunate 8th Grader, In this letter, I will give you a little guidance on how to survive the grade. I’m no expert, but I feel the need to share my knowledge on the painful, rigorous, yet best 9 months of middle school with you. First and foremost, don’t waste your time with these kids now a day. They’re nothing but diarrhea and a headache. The diarrhea is the lies and false claims of love, and the headache is the drama. Not to put you down or anything, but for you to fall in love in middle school, would make you ridiculously stupid. You would have Beavis and Butthead look like rocket scientist. Next, Friends! Can you say drama? Watch out for the he-sayshe-say kind of mess. It’s nothing but a sport for the low-lives who have absolutely nothing to do. That’s why you’re better off staying to yourself and getting 4’s (or higher) on your FCAT writes. This leads me to the next subject. Be sure to get Mr. Miranda. He will break down everything you need to know about writing. For science, Mr. Keppler is okay, Social studies, Ms. La’Ronda Brown would be best, and for math, Mrs. Hughey has my vote. You may want Mr. Jiles (if he doesn’t retire) for P.E. Remember, be good, stay out of your AP’s face, and keep your name unknown. Survivalof the fittest! Sincerely, Christina P.S. if you come into a classroom and your seat is warm, GET UP NOW! Lol! 8th

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In Conclusion‌


17 Trust

Dear 8th Grader of 2011-12, You are beginning the final and best year of middle school. My name is Elisner. I’ve been a student at H.L. Watkins since the sixth grade, so I will say first for you to watch out for some people. Don’t trust ANYBODY except family and some adults. Someone could set you up to get jumped. Don’t let any secrets out to anybody, nor participate in roomers. The hallways have drama; don’t get involved in any of that. The secret to getting through the eighth grade is not to fall into the wrong crowd; it’s that simple. All you should worry about is getting good grades; there will be good consequences. Believe me, if you treat the teachers with manners and respect, they will treat you like a king/queen. Unfortunately, I was not that much of a good student; I wish I had this letter when I started eighth grade. Take care. Elisner

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18 Girls

Dear upcoming 8th graders, Here is some advice that will get you through your eighth grade year. When you’re in the hallways, do not throw food or juice on the floor. Be mature and clean up after yourselves in the restrooms. Wash your hands when you’re done. Girls, don’t leave pads on the floor or toilet if you’re menstruating. Next, when you’re in the cafeteria, and you’re done with your trash, throw it away; don’t leave it on the table or floor. That’s not how ya’ll mama’s raised ya’ll to be. Don’t worry about the boys in middle school. There are a lot of hounding boys at this school. This year there was Justin, Albert, Derrick, J’quan, Taytay, and Gogo. OMG, girls you’l have got to be strong. These ghetto hood-rat girls in this school will be fighting over any stupid boy that’s not even all that; it’s just crazy. One more thing, don’t try to be something you’re not just to fit in with other ghetto-hood rats; just be yourself. If they don’t like the way you are then they are not the right friends for you. Kids have too much drama at this school. Don’t get involved with all the drama over boys. Last but not least, cell phones. Do not use them in class. If you know you’re going to get caught, just turn it off and put it away. I got my phone taken in Mr. Miranda’s class. Keondra

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19 Friends

To whom it may concern, Welcome to the 8th grade! Consider me your personal advisor for the day. I’m going to give you some tips for surviving your 8th grade year. First and foremost, in middle school the word “love” is tossed around a lot. Please listen, and listen closely, you’re not really in love! You’re only in the 8th grade. Unless you’ve been held back more than 3 times, I doubt you know the real meaning of love. So getting tied down by a boy or girl friend wouldn’t be my recommendation to you. I know you’re probably thinking, “Who is she to tell me what I should do?” But, I’m just trying to save you the heartache and drama that comes with these things. Friends-not boy friends or girl frinds but friends-is what will help you in 8th grade. Don’t worry too much about what other people say or what they think of you. Just worry about yourself and passing your classes. Those are the only important things. I hope your 8th grade year here will be as memorable for you as it was for me. Good luck! Melisa

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20 Relationships

Dear upcoming 8th graders, As you are now entering a new grade and becoming the new seniors of H.L. Watkins, you will experience lots of the negative and positive things, but its okay because you’ll get through it in no time with this guide of mine. Now this goes out for everyone. Relationships are just a waste of time and normally just get you hurt. Believe me, I know. I understand that you might like one certain person and that person might like you back which is okay. It’s called “Puppy Love” so get over it! It can lead to “he said, she said” which is petty….you get the idea. There’s other kinds of drama. I always hear stuff like, “Well if she/he hits me, I’m going to hit them back!” Let it go! I saw a girl get another girl mad, and that girl went ballistic. The girl who had gotten her mad just walked away while the other girl was being restrained. The eighth grade hallway gets very crowded and you don’t want to be late to class. I know a lot of the times you want to talk to your friends and wish not to go to class. Trust me, I know how it feels not wanting to go to class because it’s too boring, and you just don’t want to do work. It’s not worth the detentions or phone calls home. Be cool. High school will be here before you know it. Jocelyn

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21 Bathrooms

Dear incoming 8th graders, Be prepared for all kinds of crazy mess as you enter H.L. Watkins as a senior. Here’s a little advice about being an 8th grader at H.L. Watkins. Girls, be prepared for the nastiest things you’ll ever see in the 8th grade, the bathrooms. You’ll see urine on the floors, pads on the wall, and feces in the toilets. When you see this, just calmly walk away and go to the bathroom downstairs. Also, before you go into the bathrooms, make sure you check for toilet paper, and soap. This is one of the biggest problems. If there is no soap or toilet paper, just go to the next stall or a different bathroom. When you get P.E, make sure you’re on time. This way you don’t have to travel all the way to the office to get a pass. If you don’t feel like playing, tell the teacher that you feel sick. After you have told him this, he will allow you to sit down and enjoy the rest of the day doing nothing. The coolest teachers you can get that will break everything down for you, so you can get a better understanding are Mr. Miranda, Mr. Rousseau, and the short Mrs. Brown. Mr. Keppler and Mr. Jiles were cool too, but they are retiring. Whatever you do, do not get Mrs. well like the old saying goes-if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Best of luck. Jahlissa

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22 A Black Friend

Grayson’s guide to survive 8th grade Dear whoever reads this, This is my guide for surviving the 8th grade: ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋

Don’t stay in the hallways too long Avoid the AP Don’t eat the cafeteria food; it is nasty. Do not get robotics unless you really want to. Student Aide is basically child labor.

The 8th grade teachers vary. Ms. Brown (the short one in Social Studies) is not crazy. Mr. Rousseau (Math) will give you homework almost every night, but you’ll like him if you enjoy ping-pong and chess. Mr. Miranda is awesome! Finally, surround yourself with loyal friends. My friend Jahard advices to, “At least know one black kid.’’ Good luck. You’ll need it. Grayson

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23 Be Good

Dear New 8th Graders, There will be many struggles and battles you will have to overcome during your 8th grade year. During the end of your year, you will become stronger individually and physically. You will see yourself growing taller and growing into your body! It’s going to be hard, but it’s worth it. FCAT is extremely important this year. Make sure you work hard and pass because it determines your High School classes and whether you get into a special program or not. Be good throughout your final year. Join teams or clubs. I prefer basketball because it kept me out of a lot of trouble. STAY away from gangs; they will be trying to incorporate you in their activities. That can really ruin your High School future. The lower grade levels now look up to you because you’re what they want to be. Referrals are your worst enemy. Try to stay away from them as much as possible. Stay away from cafeteria food; that should be the last thing you eat. Also become good friends with your teachers, AP’s, and your hall monitors. I simply prefer Mr. Douma; he will keep you out of a lot of trouble. However, I love Mr. Miranda and Ms. Hughey. They love to joke around with you but also are serious about their work, so try to get those two teachers. Make sure you stay around your friends. Pick a good positive group of friends that will keep you striving for the best in your life. You can joke around, but there’s a time and place for that. Stay away from drama that will ruin your last year here. My opinion is, white boys should have at least one black friend, or they won’t survive. Follow these tips and guides to your best ability then you should have an amazing and unforgettable senior year at H.L Watkins! J’Quan

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24 Be An Athlete!

Dear incoming 8th graders, My 8th graders year at Watkins was wonderful because I wanted it to be. You have an option to make yours too! I spend all year without getting into trouble by not starting a fight, didn’t get any calls home, or get on my teachers’ nerves. If I can do it, so can you. It’s very important to join as many teams as you can. Being in a team at your own school, will motivate you to stay focus and stay out of trouble. That’s if you’re serious about what you’re doing. For example, I was a celebrity my 8th grade year at Watkins middle school. I was a role model. The reason I said that is because students looked up to me. I didn’t mind because I was doing something positive. I was the kid who played every single sport, captain of the basketball team, and captain of the soccer team. I was also in the baseball and volleyball team and of course I was a fast runner for track. Yes, every eye was on me. I knew that. That’s why I couldn’t get caught fooling around in the hallway or getting in trouble with teachers. Otherwise, they would tell my coach and maybe get me kicked off the team and end up being nobody. If you’re serious about sports, take care of your books and do your work in school. Without the grade, you won’t be able to make any team. And also your 8th grade year is very important if you’re an athlete or want to be one. Exercise a lot. Eat a lot of fruits in the cafeteria. Be in the best shape you can be because you’re moving up to the big boys in high school. Before I left H.L. Watkins, I set a record running the pacers that’s 115 laps in 13 minutes on the basketball court. Try to break it! To wrap it up, be a good kid, and respect your teachers because they’re here to help you succeed. And remember to join as many teams as you can to be in shape because you’re moving up to high school with the big boys. Also, the girls appreciate boys that are athletic with a positive attitude. Please take my word, like I said, you have the option to make your 8th grade year a good one or a bad one. Jovely

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25 School is School

To whom it may concern, Welcome to 8th Grade! In this letter, I will give you a bit of a… survival guide, I suppose, to a more positive nine months school year. First and foremost, don’t get caught up in love/hate situations. School is school. Yes it’s nice to have friends and obviously you might have a crush or two, but don’t make school revolve around “petty drama”. I advise, to both girls and guys, to keep away from relationships. I’ve seen so many of my friends get hurt over “Middle School Relationships”, and I’ve been hurt as well. It’s not worth your time. Also, quite frankly, it’s just too early. Keep a mind set on school and grades to get to higher places in life. Furthermore, there will be MULTIPLE times in your 8th Grade year that people will try to convince you with peer pressure to do negative things that will most likely impact you in a negative way as a result. This will most likely include fights. Yes, yes, I know fights are nothing new. BUT! Fights do end up on your school record, and considering this is your last year of middle school, high schools will be looking at your school record to find reasons to accept you or not accept you into their special programs. Lastly, just have fun and enjoy the year! I know that classes will be hard and studies will make your schedule tight, but that’s what schools are all about. Don’t let it hold you back. Stay on task, listen to your teachers, and prepare for EACH AND EVERY test. Every grade counts! And with the good grades that follow you, rewards come as well. Yes, I know, the dances aren’t “blow-me-away-fantastic!”, but at least you get time with friends that you might not see in high school… make every minute, every SECOND last. Before you know it, the year will be over. You’ll be leaving for the summer, parting with your old friends, and preparing for High School. Make your last year as the seniors of H.L. Watkins a time you’ll never forget.All in all, if you follow these basic guidelines, your 8th Grade year will be a breeze. “Madi”

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26 The list

To all incoming 8th graders, Here is my list to help you adjust to being an 8th grader: ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋

Talk and get to know your Guidance Counselor. Look forward to trips in 8th grade such as: Islands of Adventure, Busch Gardens, and the Prom. The food is not that great, so you should really think about bringing your own lunch. Some teachers are stricter than others, but you should always feel free to ask them any questions or get extra help if you don’t understand the work. ❋ Make sure that you wear the appropriate school uniform with the shirt tucked inside your pants that should have a belt. ❋ There are a lot of clubs and after-school activities that you can join, such as: football; basketball; soccer; computers; drama and tutoring. These are fun and will help you. ❋ Try to make as many friends as you can, but be careful. A true friend is someone you can trust to keep your private information just between the two of you and won’t tell anyone else in order to embarrass you. These are just some of the things that you can look forward to when you become an 8th grader. Hope this helps you. Noah

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27 Two Points

Dear up coming terrible teens… You’ve made it to the eighth grade that I’ve already much finished. So here are two points that I would like to share with you: 1.

Instead of cheating, actually pick up a book and study. There’s nothing wrong with knowing something for yourself; cheating will only get you so far in life. 2. Staying out of trouble doesn’t make you lame; it shows that you’re mature and a bigger person. A bad attitude is never needed towards teachers, parents, grown ups and even in your surroundings. Respect yourself or no one will. Don’t slack off!! Remember, EDUCATION FIRST!! Sincerely, Olivia

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28 The Basics

Dear Future Eighth Graders, You all may be wondering why I’m writing this. I’m writing this because I care enough to give you advice about being an eighth grader. I know every middle school kid looks forward to being an eighth grader. Just remember that the same rules still apply: stay away from fights and complications, never slip up off your path and forget to do your school work and lastly, always be sure to get to every single one of your classes on time. If there are teachers you don’t like, try to respect them anyway because after all they are the ones giving you your grade. Believe me, I’ve been in plenty of situations where I dreaded going to class because I didn’t want to deal with the teacher’s overly strict rules and ridiculous punishments. The teachers in general are going to look at you as role models and expect you to set examples for the younger students. Peer pressure is going to get harder to resist because you want to fit in with the crowd. Just remember the basics, school comes first. Sha’Nece

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In Conclusion...