Monday, October 4, 2010


One of the most enjoyable parts of my job at Girls' Prep is teaching health class. I teach two sections of 7th grade, one of 8th and two of 12th grade. Each year has a different theme so it's not just health and sex ed all year every year. 7th grade is self esteem and healthy body image, 8th is diversity and 12th is the transition to college. As you can imagine, to teach 7th grade leaves you quite vulnerable to addressing the awkward topics: puberty, anatomy, and general "growing pains". It's pretty tricky to talk about how your body will change and how to embrace it no matter what it looks like, without talking specifics. I had imagined I could speak totally in the abstract, until one of my students (who is also my advisee) raised her hand and said, "OK, I'm just going to put it out there: boobs. What's the deal?!!? Some girls get them, some girls don't, the ones with them don't want them, the ones without them are dying for them. It's like the same between people with straight and curly hair." (And yes, it was all in one breath).
And so my lesson plan went out the window and we had a very informative class focused around boobs. Here is some of what came up:
Why DO some girls get them and some don't??
Is it true if you have big boobs you can't play sports?
I have a friend who has HUGE boobs and she has to wear three sports bras (this was just a statement)
Do underwires give you cancer?
Is boob size hereditary?
How much do boobs weigh? If you get implants do you gain weight? So if you get them reduced do you LOSE weight!?!?
Why did my guy friends get weird when I got my boobs
Why are boys obsessed with boobs?
Can your boobs be two different sizes?
As you can imagine, news of this conversation soon caught up with the other two sections of 7th grade and it was the topic of class for the whole week. Sadly I think it also infiltrated other classes as some girls could not help themselves and blurt out "BOOBS!" uncontrollably.

This is what makes 7th grade hilarious.


  1. The idea of a 7th grade girl sitting in history class declaring "Boobs!" in proclamation and than laughing uncontrollably is a) something I would have done in 7th grade at Girls Prep and b) absolutely fantastic and hilarious.

    Serious question - do you address breast cancer during these conversations?

  2. I love your stories of the girls!! And I can hear you trying to be serious with them...and then telling us the story while we are busting up laughing in tears!