Puberty has officially hit the 6th graders and the smell of love is in the air. By the smell of love, I mean the hideous reek of old body odor unsuccessfully covered by the hideous reek of body spray. I swear, there are some places I can no longer go in my classroom because the stench of Axe hovers like a cloud of poison gas.
And then there are the girls. Perfume marketed to girls are made to attract girls, not boys (colognes are the same for boys. Please take note: when buying cologne, bring a girl along. What smells good to you might be female repellent) As such, they are the most godawful mix of sweet that it gives you cavities from 5 feet away.
And none of it takes the place of a bar of soap or a stick of deodorant. Around this time, we have to have the Conversation. The Conversation goes something like this: "your armpits have turned on, so you can't go 4 days without showering anymore. And please buy deodorant: you could knock a horse down."
And there's the flirting. Girls and boys haven't figured out how to flirt properly yet, so you get some pretty amusing results. I had a boy who went to sharpen his pencil and, on the way back, he suddenly stopped, stroked the hair of one of the girls in class, then returned to his seat. She looked really confused, so I asked him later why he did it. He looked at his hand, looked at me, and said, "......I don't know?"
Most boys don't know what to do, so they flirt with the girls the same way they'd complement a friend: by hitting them or stealing their stuff. Binders and pencils go missing, then the girl has to wrestle the guy to get them back. Oh, I'm sure he liked it, but she gets pissed off and smacks him one. To a boy however, this is the highest compliment and he thinks she's flirting back. So then we have to have the Conversation about "Most people don't hit each other because they like them. Cut it out before she scratches your eyes out."
Girls flirt differently. First, out comes the flirty clothes. Tube tops and string tops, short shorts and tights, bra straps hanging out, tight T-shirts tied in the back with a hair band so every fold and breast is outlined. Cleavage (is it fair that some of them have more cleavage than me? God is cruel.) popping out of too-small bras. When they laugh, they lean forward, giving the boys a view straight down their top. School dances are worse! They'll gang up on a cute boy, one in the back, one in the front, and one on each arm. Then they shimmy up and down , rubbing all over them. He's got a goofy grin on his face, unaware of the splendid case of blue balls he's going to have in a few hours. So the girls get a conversation too: "Save the skimpy clothes for when you're not in school and when it's not 35 degrees or we're going to make you wear the ugliest pair of pants and shirt you've ever seen. I'm not joking. We'll stick you in a painter's jumper for the rest of the day." If we could possibly get away with writing "loaner" on the back with a sharpie, we'd do it.
Looks like nobody's going to get any work done until 9th grade.