Crashing Waves (of Middle Schoolers)


This is probably not an unusual occurrence for some public libraries. We are situated right down the street from a middle school. At precisely 2:55 pm every school day, the tsunami of pre-teens begins to crash in.

I have observed over the years, that the students tend to come in three distinct waves. The first wave are made up of kids who literally run from school to the library in an effort to secure an internet computer station. You can tell that they’ve been running because they’re usually doubled over and wheezing.

The second wave of students-the walkers- come in about five minutes later. They lay claim to all of the tables on our main (and only) floor where some have actually been known to do their homework…so I have been told.

The third wave comes five minutes after the second. These are the strutters, the kids too cool to be excited about coming to the library (and yet they come, how odd). Maybe it’s because there is little seating at this point, but the strutters rarely sit. They mosey from table to table checking up on their fellow students, and generally making sure that things don’t get too quiet.

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