Yesterday I was asked to cover a high school health class. Several of my former middle schoolers were in the section I covered; though I’ve seen them in the halls on occasion, we haven’t had a conversation in years. As they worked on their projects, they started reminiscing about books they read in middle school, moments they recalled when I got “mad” at them, an 8th grade field trip, and other random occurrences that stuck with them. Most are 12th graders now and it struck me how much and how little they’d changed. They were the same voices, same eyes, similar silliness. But there was a more mature calmness, curiosity and trepidation about the future. When Class was over, they waved goodbye in the same appreciative way they had when they were 8th graders. But instead of sprinting for the door, they walked carefully alongside friends, a little more aware of their surroundings.