I witnessed the craziest thing today at work. My kids are putting on a concert, and we were all invited to watch the dress rehearsal today. I went, since I couldn't make it to the concert tonight. I went, prepared for the typical middle school fare. I was totally blown away.
My seventh grade boys, who are the most ridiculous set of humans I've ever met (with perhaps the exception of my sixth grade boys), were *so* into this singing thing. They were up on stage, feet plated shoulder width apart, hands at the sides, occasionally tapping a toe or bobbing a head to the beat. Their mouths were open wide, their attention was totally focused, they were putting all kinds of effort into this.
They were so off-key, it wasn't even funny. They're twelve. They have no idea how to sing high or low, where their voices can reach and where they can't, and matching a pitch can be a challenge. When their director says "with enthusiasm," they amp it up by nearly shouting. It was the funniest thing to watch. I was absolutely loving it.
I have never, ever seen that group of boys so focused on anything that wasn't a sport or a girl. Never. But there they were, singing their hearts out, and having a great time doing it. It was such a great sight. I clapped for them until my hands hurt. The girls were hooting and hollering, and the teachers were just beaming. I was so proud of them. So proud. I had nothing to do with the concert, but I was proud that these boys were my students.
The big kicker? Their best song: "Eat It" by Weird Al Yankovic. Not kidding. They were loving it. Somewhere under all that bravado and bad hair are some very cool kids.