>I am proud to present grades 5-7. Eighth grade has three separate pictures (what being a graduation year and all), so I'll deal with that separately.

From left to right:

Ah, fourth grade. The year the shit really hit the fan. I started junior high, meaning the day began earlier, there was no playground at "recess," and we didn't get Halloween, winter holiday, or Valentine's Day parties. Puberty sneaked up on me, practically incapacitating me with depression and punishing me with acne. (See: spot on cheek.) I ate a lot to drown my misery and escaped in books. That fugly dress, which for some reason I thought was awesomely puritanical (seriously, I thought Pilgrims might have worn something like it and thus thought it was cool - I went through a weird Puritan obsession at that age, which now strikes me as sort of fitting given what I was going through) didn't fit me much longer after the picture was taken. Fourth grade was also the first year that my chronic absences from school resulted in poor performance. When I earned a 49% on a long division test, it was the first time I flat out failed something. The only good thing about that year is that my friend Julie moved into a house on my block. I met her on April Fool's Day, which if you know her and her family, is very fitting. She's my oldest friend.

The middle picture is from 6th grade. (I couldn't locate a picture from 5th grade, but I'll quickly describe it: fat face, big ugly blue glasses - like in 6th grade and 7th grade- black and white striped long sleeve polo shirt, black stirrup pants. You wouldn't have seen the pants, anyway. Overall, 5th grade was a non-entity year, so you're not missing much.) Other than the weird dorky smile, I think this is cute. I lost a lot of weight the summer before 6th grade by riding my bike everywhere with Julie and restricting myself to a diet of Cocoa Pebbles and carrots. I'm not sure how I came up with that nutrition plan. Thanks to the weight loss, I bought some better clothes (it was the first time I could wear jeans since 3rd grade). I would totally wear that outfit today if I had it. Sixth grade was a pretty good year, although if you take a look at my forehead, you'll see that the zit plague was in full force. I met my friend Rachel at Hebrew school; she's my second oldest friend today. Rachel gave me a measure of self-confidence. That year, I also became interested in The Enemy (aka boys). I had a lot of fun and, as previously noted, some cool clothes that upon which I reflect fondly, like the outfit in the picture.

Finally, here I am in 7th grade. Oy vey. The hair! The zitty forehead! The glasses! The bad make-up application, which is the exact technique I use today! The sweatshirt had a pink skirt to match the collar, and I wore the outfit to a few bar/bat mitzvahs. I loved that fucking sweatshirt. Who knows why? Seventh grade was an adequate year, so there's nothing else to say.

Tomorrow: 8th grade - the year my hair was so big (naturally; I didn't tease it) that it didn't fit in the picture.