Disclosure: I had a colorful childhood with lots of interesting characters. If reading about AIDS and the like makes you uncomfortable, don't read.
I was reading somewhere else about the state of sex education in schools. I can't get over the fact that plenty of schools aren't teaching sex education at all. It's important. It scares you away from kids of the opposite gender! While they do reduce the chances, condoms don't prevent pregnancy. I know from personal experience. I have also come to discover that kids aren't having the begeebbers scared out of them with disgusting pictures. What's up with that? The drug needle pictures kept me WAY far away from drugs. And the STD pictures made me lose about 5 pounds and break up with my boyfriend. I wonder if graphic "stupid-teenager-driving -caused-this" videos are shown any more. I remember one where the stupid teenager killed a girl in his class and instead of going to prison he had to send her parents a check for 1 dollar every Friday. It made the guy crack up after 10 years.
But back to middle school. When I was in 6th grade I had a teacher die of AIDS. I didn't know it then, but my mom pointed it out to me the similarities surrounding his death and the things I had learned about AIDS. I think that she looked up his obit in the paper. He was my arts/drama teacher. He liked Michael Jackson, specifically "Man in the Mirror." I had never heard it before but it was a good song. I was supposed to lip sync a song in that class, but I think I remember him getting sick before it was my turn. During my sex ed class in 6th grade (I had one later in high school, it was the scary one) I remember the banana and the condom thing. But what I remember most was that my teacher couldn't find the ones to be used for the class so she went to go get one from her purse. What was she thinking?! I think she was trying to be provacative because she made a really big deal out of it. And I knew that she had just gotten divorced.
That middle school was really interesting. I learned a lot. Being sick and dying doesn't mean you can't still love what you do and feel passionate about it. Getting divorced can make you do really stupid things. And collecting frogs makes kids look at you like you're a frog. (My principal collected frogs and everybody thought she looked like a frog.)