The Making of Middleschoolandia
When my daughter Carson insisted she needed to homeschool for 7th grade rather than return to Middle school, I asked her why she didn't like middle school.
"Mom," she seriously informed me, "It kills my soul".
Carson has had an unusual life traveling and homeschooling. Skipping 5th grade, she entered middle school at the age of ten, feeling like 'an alien observing a new planet'. Coming home to 'report to the home planet', I was horrified with stories of ‘tweens sexting and vaping, and surprised that my sweet kid was relentlessly bullied for simply being different. I saw how my child suffered trying to retain her individuality adrift in this strange new land.
"I have learnt a lot from middle school", Carson admitted: "How to text, how to swear, much inappropriate knowledge, and how to appreciate a good dirty joke".
I dubbed Carson's stories 'from Middleschoolandia', as her experiences seemed from a land completely removed from the rest of the world.
We have always used our talents as an outlet: "Sassy Kathy", was a character my child could release her brattiness into, and the film was featured at the Big Bear International Film Festival. When we traveled full time, we made a highly fictional account of characters traveling in the TV Pilot "The Rottens". So creating Middleschoolandia was easy: We kept a notebook that my daughter wrote her ideas in, and after six months, we had so much material, I could fit only half of it into this one hour original musical.
Middleschoolandia is seen from the POV of "Ashley", a fictional character who possesses some of the traits as Carson, most noticeably the feeling of being an outsider, a feeling I have heard echoed from many teens,
Middleschoolandia is, as the play says, a state of being, a frame of mind, and a rite of passage. We hope that by enjoying this outrageously funny musical, real life Middleschoolandiers will take comfort that they are not as alone as they believe.