August 13

D.C. You Soon!

Sorry
it took me so long to blog, but I’m on vacation, and I couldn’t get on the
computer until now. My parents are pretty strict about how much computer time I
have when we’re taking a trip. At least this year they let me bring my laptop to
use when we’re in the hotel, which is almost never.

We’re
in Washington, D.C., right now. Today we visited the Washington Memorial, the
Jefferson Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. I’m kind of memorialed out, I
think. I also got to see the White House from the outside. It’s huge! I bet it
would be really fun to live in a place like that!

I
like going on vacations, but now that I’m in middle school, I feel like I have
to keep in touch with my friends at home as much as I can. I know they won’t
forget about me or anything, but I can’t help feeling left out of all the fun
they’re having back home. When I was in elementary school, I didn’t worry so
much about being left out when I was on vacation. But back then everyone hadn’t
split up into different groups the way they do in middle school. And of course,
there’s the fact that Addie dumped me while I was at sleepaway camp. I know my
new middle school friends would never do that to me. At least I think they
wouldn’t. But then again, I didn’t think Addie would either. So just in case,
I’ve been texting my friends whenever I can.

My parents HATE when I text on vacation,
so I have to hide it. So far I’ve only been caught once. My mom spotted me
texting Liza from the National Gallery instead of looking at the paintings, and
she was not happy about it. The funny thing is, I was texting Liza about the paintings.
I knew she would have loved that museum—or at least appreciated it a whole lot
more than I did. I get kind of tired in art museums after a while. But Liza is
an artist, and she loves museums. So I bought her a few postcards of some of my
favorite paintings.

Do
you feel left out of what’s going on at home when you’re on vacation? Where are
you going on vacation this year? Are your parents as strict about computer time
and texting while you’re on vacation as mine are? Do you sneak your texting as
much as I do?

Uh-oh.
G2G. My mom and dad are bugging me to hurry up so we can visit another museum.
See, I told you I get very limited computer time when we’re on vacation. But
I’m definitely going to be logging on as much as I can. So please zap me a
message.

TTYL

XOXO

Jenny

July 8

Crush Alert!

Okay,
so I just found out the HUGEST secret! One of my friends has a major crush on
an eighth grader. I only found out because I saw her scribbling his name on one
of the pages of her notebook. I swore to her I wouldn’t tell anyone. And I’m definitely
keeping that promise. I’m not telling anyone which of my friends has the crush,
or who she’s crushing on.

I
think my friend’s crush is going to stay secret forever, mostly because she’s
not willing to let this guy know she likes him. She says she doesn’t want to
let him know because it would be way too embarrassing if he doesn’t like her
back. I totally understand how she feels. I can’t think of anything worse than
letting a boy know you like him and having him reject you. (Wait, there is one thing worse than
that—having the Pops find out that you like a guy who doesn’t like you back.
Now that would
be embarrassing! The Pops would make sure the whole school found
out—immediately.)

I
wish I could help my friend get this guy as her boyfriend. But since I’m sworn
to secrecy, I don’t think there’s much I can do. It’s not like I can just go up
to this guy (who is actually really cute, by the way) and tell him. I really
would like to help her though. Has this ever happened to you or one of your
friends? What did you do?

Thanks!

XXOO

Jenny

June 8

The Long and Short of It

Have any of you ever argued with
your mom over clothes? I didn’t used to, but now it seems like every time I go
shopping with my mom, we get in a fight. Mostly it’s over how long (or short)
the clothes are; and that’s exactly what we argued about yesterday afternoon. I
was trying on skirts for school. I thought they were really cute. But my mother
insisted that every skirt I tried on was too short. And in the end, I didn’t
get anything!

I’m
not sure how to explain to my mom that everyone in school wears short skirts.
(Especially the Pops, not that I’m trying to be like them or anything.) If I
tell her everyone else is doing it, she’s sure to say no. She absolutely hates
when I say, “But everybody else is.” She usually says something like, “If
everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you jump, too?” Which is totally
beside the point.

Just
so you know, it’s not like the skirts I was trying on were so short. In fact,
most of them were a lot longer than the ones Dana and Claire were wearing in
school today. They were just normal length skirts—at least normal for middle
school.

So
how can I convince my mom to let me be a little stylish once in a while? Is it
even possible? Or should I just stick to wearing jeans for the rest of my life?

Thanks
for all your help!

TTYL

XXOO

Jenny

May 8

School Scaredy Cat!

We are doing the coolest thing in
science class. We’re studying how roller coasters work. Okay, I know that
doesn’t sound particularly cool. But when you consider the fact that the entire
sixth grade is going to an amusement park next Wednesday to ride roller
coasters, it definitely rises on the coolness meter.

I
can’t wait to go to Seven Wonders Amusement Park! There are some really awesome
rides there, like the carousel, the frog hopper, and the bumper cars, all of
which are a lot of fun. But people don’t go to Seven Wonders for those rides.
They go for the roller coasters.

They
have lots of different kinds of roller coasters at Seven Wonders. There’s the
Coney Island Coaster, which is a wooden roller coaster that makes this wild clacking
noise when it climbs up the track. There’s the Lunatic Loop, which goes
completely upside-down…twice. And then there’s the Black Hole. That one’s my
favorite. It goes upside down three times and turns on its side almost
constantly. And the whole time you’re in total darkness!

There’s
just one bummer about next Wednesday’s trip. I don’t think Chloe’s going to
come. It turns out that my brave friend Chloe (she never has trouble standing
up to Addie, Dana, and the rest of the Pops) is a big chicken when it comes to
roller coasters. I tried to tell her that she doesn’t have to go on them. She
can go on the more mellow rides, or she can try to win a stuffed animal at some
of the games. But she doesn’t want to hear it.

I
think I know what’s bothering her. Even though Chloe acts like the Pops don’t
bother her when they make fun of her clothes, I know sometimes it bugs her. And
if the Pops figure out that Chloe is afraid of the roller coasters (and they will figure it
out—those girls can smell fear 100 miles away!), they’ll never let her live it
down. Chloe can tolerate being told that she’s not fashionable. What she can’t
tolerate is having the whole school knowing she’s afraid of something.
Especially because this time it would be true.

I
really hate the Pops. Even when they’re not actually doing anything, they still
manage to ruin everything. That’s because everyone else in school is always
trying so hard to wear something that will impress them, or say something
they’ll think is smart or funny. Deep down, we all want that Pop approval. Or
at the very least, we all want to avoid their cruel disapproval. I know it’s stupid to be
that way, but that’s the reality at our school. Is it like that at your school,
too?

Do
you guys have any ideas on how I can convince Chloe to come on the trip with
me? It would be such a bummer for her to miss out. And I know I’d have a lot
more fun with her than without her.

Thanks
for your help.

XO

Jenny

April 7

Advice Needed!

Okay,
I’m a little stressed. Tomorrow is parent-teacher conference day in my school.
It should really be called parent-teacher-student
day, because my middle school makes us come to the conferences, too.
My teachers say this is a good thing because being at the conference lets us
talk about what we’re having the most trouble with and how we can fix the
problems. But I would really rather not have to go.

It’s
not that I’m doing poorly in school or anything. I’m pretty much a B or B+ student,
which isn’t so bad. What’s worrying me is that I’ve never been to one of these
conferences before, and I don’t know what to expect. Are my teachers going to
go through every grade on every test, paper, and homework assignment? I hope
not. I bring home most of my tests, but every now and then, I mess up on a pop
quiz, and I don’t see the point in bringing those to my parents’ attention.
Have you ever done something like that? I think everyone has. Except maybe my
friend Josh. He’s pretty much a genius, and I doubt he’s ever messed up on a
test or a quiz. Anyway, I don’t do that very often, but I still think my
parents would be kind of mad if they found out.

I
guess the hardest part is that it’s going to be three adults and me in the
room. I’m definitely going to be outnumbered. Not that my parents and my
teachers are the enemy or anything. It’s just that when grown-ups get together,
they sort of form a team, and I’m not part of that team. How can I be? I’m only
in sixth grade.

Does
your school have conferences with the kids in the room? How did yours go? Is
there anything you think I should do or say when I’m there? I’ll take all the
advice I can get.

Thanks.

xoxo

Jenny

March 5

Party Problem

Oh boy, do I have a problem. I’m
really hoping you guys can help me out, because I’m having a tough time with
this one.

Yesterday,
I got an invitation to a party at Josh’s house. All my friends are going to be
there. It’s not his birthday or anything; it’s just a party he’s having because
March doesn’t have any major holidays, and it always seems to go on forever
without a break. I was really excited about the party, until my parents told me
that we have family friends coming to town that weekend.

These
friends, Jasper and Connie, are really nice people. My mom went to college with
Connie, so I’ve known them my whole life. They have a daughter, Melissa, who is
in fifth grade. She’s
the problem.

Melissa’s
nice, and I don’t mind hanging out with her when it’s just her and me. But my
mom told me I couldn’t go to Josh’s party unless I brought Melissa with me, and
the thing is, Melissa’s still in elementary school! And even though she’s only
a year younger than I am, if I’ve learned one thing this year, it’s that
there’s a huge difference between being in middle school and elementary school.
Not only that, but I’ll be the only person Melissa knows at the party. That
means she’ll probably be glued to my side the whole time. I know that sounds cruel,
and I don’t mean to be. I’m just being honest.

I
really want to go to Josh’s party. But I don’t want to have to bring Melissa.
So I’m torn. Do I forget the party and just hang out with Melissa? Or do I go
to the party and bring her with me? What would you do?

Thanks for your help.

xoxo

Jenny

February 10

Addie’s At It Again!

I HATE ADDIE
WILSON! Yes, I know if you put something in all caps you’re supposed to be
screaming. That’s okay, because I am
screaming. I really do HATE ADDIE WILSON! She told a seventh grader named
Michael that I like him. And now, every time I see him in the hall, he gives me
this funny look. And if he’s with his friends, they all start laughing.

Let me make one thing clear: I do not like Michael. I don’t
even know him! Not really, anyway. Addie just got this stupid idea in her head
when she overheard me telling Chloe that I liked his t-shirt. His t-shirt! Not
him.

I don’t know if Addie misheard me, or if she heard me
correctly and just decided to do something mean and embarrassing to me anyway.
It really doesn’t matter. Either way it was mean, and I’m totally embarrassed.
And now I’m spending every day going out of my way to avoid Michael whenever I
can. If I see him coming down the hall, I quickly go the other way or dash into
a nearby girls’ room. Unfortunately, I’m not always fast enough. That’s when he
sees me and gives me those weird looks.

I wish I could think of a way to get back at Addie for this.
But I’m not really good at doing mean things. It’s just not worth it because I
always feel so guilty afterwards. Still, it would be really nice to see Addie
squirm with embarrassment for once.

My friends keep telling me I’m overreacting and that this
will all blow over in a few days. I sure hope they’re right. I don’t know how
much longer I can take hiding in the school bathrooms. Those places can really
stink sometimes!

I’ll keep you posted on what’s going on in my life. Be sure
to keep me posted, too. Okay?

XOXO

Jenny

January 8

Taking a Vacation from Myself

I had the best winter break this year! My parents took me out
West to this amazing ski resort. The snow was perfect and the trails were
amazing. Best of all, I finally learned how to snowboard. I had to take a lot
of lessons before I felt comfortable on the board, but there were some really
amazing instructors at the resort. Now I’m trying to convince my parents to buy
me my own snowboard for my birthday this year.

There were a lot of kids at the
resort, which always makes it a better vacation as far as I’m concerned. There
was this one girl, Larisa, who I got really friendly with. We’re both in sixth
grade, so we had a lot in common. We listen to the same music, and we watch the
same shows. We even read the same book in English class last marking period.

There was one big difference
between Larisa and me, though. I’m pretty sure she’s a Pop at her school—and
(as you know) I’m definitely not. Larisa never actually came out and said she
was a Pop (they never do that!), but there were a few telltale signs. For one
thing, she wore makeup, and pretty much the only sixth graders who wear makeup
are Pops. She also had this incredible camera phone, with a keyboard that slid
out from under the phone for text messaging. Only a Pop would have the latest
model of cell phone. After all, they’re the ones who set the trends.

So now you might be asking yourself what a Pop would be doing
hanging out with a non-Pop like me. I would be asking the same question, except
I know that I kind of let her believe that back at my school I was a Pop. It
wasn’t that hard to do. For starters, I asked my mom to buy me a pink-tinted
Chapstick in the gift shop at the resort. That made it look like I was wearing
lipstick. And I made sure to mention the names of makeup brands I’d overheard
Addie and her friends mention, because I figured those had to be the coolest
ones out right now. As for my clothes, I don’t usually have the newest styles
at school, but on the ski slopes I was totally up-to-date. I’d just gotten a
brand-new ski jacket for Christmas, so to Larisa it seemed like I always
wore the newest and coolest clothes. And whenever Larisa mentioned a scary
movie she’d gone to see with her older brother or her friends, I just said I
hadn’t seen it yet because I’d had a lot of tests to study for at school. (I
didn’t mention that my mom and dad never let me see movies like that.) As for
my phone, I just kept it hidden in my pocket. That way Larisa never saw that I
have one of those regular old boring phones you get for free when you sign up
for cell phone service.

When we left, Larisa and I
exchanged phone numbers and e-mail addresses. And we’ve been e-mailing back and
forth, which is a lot of fun. The only trouble is, now she’s saying she might
want to visit me sometime in my hometown. It would take a lot of planning,
since she lives pretty far away, but I’m not sure I want her to come anyway. Then
she would find out I’m not a Pop. How embarrassing would that be?

Have any of you guys ever done something
like I did—you know, sort of pretended to be someone you’re not? I’d be curious
to know if you, or any of your friends, ever got caught, and how you handled it
if you did.

Anyway, here’s wishing everyone a
really great 2009. I hope all your wishes come true!

XOXO

Jenny

November 30

Caught In the Middle in Middle School

Okay, I’m totally freaking out. All my friends
are fighting at what’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year!

You
guys know that my group of friends is really tight, right? We have each others’
backs no matter what. At least we did until this weekend. Now Chloe and Sam are
in this huge fight. And they’re practically insisting that the rest of us
choose sides.

It
all started with a text message Chloe sent to Liza on Saturday about how she
thought Sam was showing off by singing and playing piano when we were hanging
out at her house on Friday afternoon.

Unfortunately, Sam happened to be sleeping over at Liza’s house when
Chloe sent the text. Sam and Liza have the exact same pink slider phone, and by
mistake, Sam picked up Liza’s phone. So it was Sam who clicked on the text
message and, well, I guess you can figure out what happened next. Sam was
really insulted by what Chloe had written. Chloe was mad that Sam had
intercepted the message, and angry that Liza had let
her intercept the message (even though that was totally not Liza’s fault at
all). So now Chloe isn’t talking to Sam or Liza, and Liza and Sam aren’t
talking to Chloe.

Considering we all sit at the same lunch
table, you can imagine just how uncomfortable fifth period was this afternoon.
It got to the point when Carolyn said something to Liza, Chloe got mad at
Carolyn. Then when Marilyn said something to Chloe, Sam got mad at Marilyn.
Somehow Marc, Josh, and I managed to stay out of it (we just talked to each
other) but that can’t last forever. Sooner or later Chloe, Sam, and Liza are
going to insist we choose sides, and I just can’t do it. I like all of my
friends. And besides, this fight has nothing to do with me!

I
think this is what my mom was talking about when she told me life was a lot
easier when she was a girl and there were no cell phones at all. Don’t get me
wrong. I like texting people. It’s fun and it’s fast, and you can talk to your
friends without anyone else hearing your conversation. But texting can also be
dangerous. People don’t think before they text. And when you can’t hear the
expression in someone’s voice, you can totally misread their meaning. (Although
I’m not sure there was any way anyone could have misunderstood Chloe’s meaning.
Calling someone a show-off is pretty mean, no matter how you say it.)

My
friends have gotten in fights before, and we’ve always managed to make up
sooner or later. It’s just that with the holidays coming, and all of us
planning to do stuff together over winter break, I don’t want to be fighting
now! I want to be having fun—ice skating, sledding, and celebrating with all of my friends,
at the same time.

Any
ideas on how we can get Chloe, Liza, and Sam back to being friends—fast?

Thanks
for the help.

XO

Jenny

November 1

From Scaring to Caring

Hi, there! Jenny here. I’m back to give you the latest news from Joyce Kilmer Middle School. Last time I blogged, I was telling you about how I wanted to have a hayride for Halloween but Addie wanted our school to have a traditional Halloween dance. Well, we wound up having a dance, like Addie wanted, instead of a hayride. It turned out the hayride would have been really expensive, and the whole chance-of-rain thing kind of freaked people out, so I didn’t get my way.

I was actually okay with that, though, because Halloween night turned out to be so awesome. We didn’t just have the Halloween dance, we had a total Fright Night. While the music and dancing were going on in the cafeteria, the kids on the Student Council were busy in the gym with our really creepy haunted house. It was so amazing. We turned out the lights and played spooky music with scary sound effects. As kids walked through the haunted house, we made them touch wet, gushy eyeballs (they were really peeled grapes), and slithery, slippery worms (which were really limp spaghetti noodles). That stuff grossed a lot of people out, even though I think they knew it wasn’t really eyeballs and worms. The best part came as our friends walked through the dark, ghoul-filled gym—oops! I mean haunted house. Everywhere people turned, monsters jumped out at them in the dark. (Okay, the monsters were really just student council members dressed in creepy costumes, but in the dark we were really frightening!) Personally, I loved scaring the Pops. They were acting so cool, and talking about how babyish a haunted house was—and then BAM! I popped out at them in my mummy costume. Sabrina and Dana totally freaked out. Of course they denied it later, but I knew what had happened. And so did everyone else who was in the haunted house at the time.

Now that Halloween is over, everyone is all into Thanksgiving mode. At our school, the Thanksgiving theme is Giving Thanks by Giving Back. So we’re doing all sorts of community service projects. Next week, my friends and I are taking part in a walkathon to raise money for kids who have serious illnesses. We have to walk five miles. That’s a lot of walking, but it’s okay with me, because we’ll raise money for every mile we walk.

The Pops are running a clothing drive for our local homeless shelter. They’re asking people to donate clothes they don’t wear anymore. They’ve been getting a lot of stuff—mostly jeans and t-shirts, but some nice dresses and jackets from parents and teachers. I’m glad the Pops are finally able to do something good with their love of fashion. Usually they’re just obnoxious about it. (Which is not to say the Pops aren’t still obnoxious. They are. Just not about their community service project.)

Do you guys do any community service stuff at your schools? What’s your favorite way to help out? I’m looking for good ideas for next time, so please let me know.

Talk to you soon.

XO

Jenny