Let’s Talk with Diane Stuckart

On Being the New Kid by Diane Stuckart

Back when I was in grade school, I envied the occasional kid who showed up as the official “new student” a couple of months into the school year. Class would be halted while said new boy or girl was brought to the front of the home room and introduced. From there, he or she would be taken under everyone’s collective wing, clustered about during recess, allowed to sit at the primo lunchroom table, and generally feted. By the time the school year ended, the newcomer had invariably joined the hallowed ranks of the popular kids.

I’d never been one of the popular kids, myself. Being a smart, poor girl in a rich school district (and a glasses-wearing introvert, to boot), I pretty much was guaranteed consignment to the school’s “out” crowd. I realized early on that my sole opportunity to move up in the social ranks would be at a different school. And so I prayed nightly that my family would move to another district in mid-year so that I could take my place in the spotlight as the new kid in class.

It finally happened in junior high. My dad’s sales territory changed, and we moved from Dallas to a suburb outside of Oklahoma City. Wish granted, right? Except that my parents, being ever practical, scheduled our move during the summer, so that my siblings and I would start school on time. Which meant when I stepped through the doors of Edmond Junior High School that first day of class, I was simply one of a score or more new students that year. So much for feting.

Which brings me to the here and now. Starting in September, I became a new kid at Booklover’s Bench, jumping in as a couple of familiar faces jumped out. And, finally, I’ve been feted! My fellow benchers have gone overboard in their welcome, making me feel right at home. I’m looking forward to a nice long tenure here, and to virtually meeting the wonderful readers who hang out with us.

So, tell me, have you ever been the new kid at school…and was it as good as I always imagined?

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Comments

  1. I had a similar experience when I started junior high. We moved over the summer, and although there were lots of “new kids” to meet, everyone stuck with the crowds they’d been part of in their elementary school days. Since I came from a different school, I was odd girl out until I was allowed in, but I still felt like an outsider.

    • Hi Terry. Interesting how we all had similar experiences. Oh, well, as I always tried to explain to my nieces and nephews, high school isn’t real life, no matter how it might seem that way at the time. 🙂

  2. Welcome, Diane! I get so busy sometimes I lose track of Thursdays, but I am delighted to have you join us at Booklover’s Bench. We were all newcomers here once, and it’s not something I’m likely to forget. My parents split in 7th grade and I was a new kid in a new place for 8th grade. I went from a situation where I was related to about half the kids in school (or I’d known them my whole life) and there were 2 classes of kids per grade, with grades 1-12 in the same set of buildings to a megalopolis or so it seemed. Lucky for me the kids from Catholic school joined the fray the same time I did, so there were a few other odd ducks. LIke you, as a glasses-wearing, bookish, shy person, I felt my newness for several years. Then I just decided I was being myself and they could like me or not. Oddly, I started making more friends right about then. No need to keep feeling new here. We are all of the same tribe!

    • Hi Maggie — thanks, you’ve been very welcoming and helpful. Yeah, sounds like that sudden change in 8th would have been tough. But you looked at the positive and were the better for it, it seems. 🙂

  3. I was never the new kid, but I was the bookworm who wanted to read more than I wanted to socialize. We’ve both come a long way, as evidenced by our tenures as prez of FMWA. Welcome aboard to BB. I hope you enjoy our community of booklovers and writers.

    • Diane A S Stuckart says:

      Thanks, Nancy. So far I’m enjoying my stay on the bench. Yep, I spent a lot of time in the library. 🙂

  4. cherylhollon says:

    I only moved schools once in high school. I had your same dream — that coveted New Kid status. But my parents were sensible as well, we moved at the semester break over Christmas. I was also one of a dozen newbies.

  5. Glad to have you with us, Diane! I’ve never been a new kid (except here at BLB) either, but have felt feted with this group of authors and readers every day since I’ve been here.

  6. tinawhittle says:

    Welcome Diane! We are very happy to have you here. I have never been the new kid except here at Booklover’s Bench, and like you, I received a warm welcome from the crew (and from readers). I know you’ll continue to feel right at home.

    • Diane A S Stuckart says:

      Thanks, Tina. I feel a little better knowing I’m not the only one who had that “new kid” dream. 🙂