When I was little, I used to hate when TV shows or kids' books would use terms that showed that they were out of touch with modern elementary schools.

For instance, a lot of them would be about a character in the fifth or sixth grade and talk about the "semester," when in fact, many elementary schools have "marking periods" or "quarters" and not semesters. It was as if the authors forgot that because they hadn't been in school so long.

Or on the SATs, a character would say he got 1367 or similar nonsense, when all modern SAT scores end in zero.

Anyway, since I plan to write some teen stuff, I was thinking about a "junior high" in my book, and it occurred to me that the phrase "junior high" is not used much anymore. Most schools seem to be called middle schools and intermediate schools.

I put the question out to the young-adult writing e-mail listserve that I'm on yesterday, and most of the writers said that yeah, there are very few "junior high schools" anymore. Plus, there are few schools that are just 7th and 8th grade. Now a lot of them go 6-8 or 7-9. Most schools are "middle schools" now.

I'm sort of glad that I got to stay in my elementary school through sixth grade. It gets a little scary in junior high. Familiarity is comforting when you're little.

Hey, maybe that's why kids today are growing up faster, because 11-year-olds are being stuck with 13-year-olds and all their gonads!

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