In the American school system, eighth grade is the last of middle school. One is above the rest of the middle school populace, but about to become a high school freshman. There is a certain antsiness about them, those boys and girls, as every day is spent in anticipation and preparation for that next level. No one looks back, the cliques are distinct and don't shift. Their pubertical ideosyncracies stand out tremendously (like that extra 'h' in eighth); they fight to hide it; fight to fit in and be "normal."

"Some people smoke a bowl, some don't" - Dave Matthews - Marijuana use is prevalent at this age, as their parents do not yet suspect anything aside occasional drinking. In my class, the drinkers already stood out. Those same guys would be on coke and opium by the time they were seniors.

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