Today after school I interviewed my little girl about her first day back. Here's what she said*:
Hedgehog, how did you feel about your long vacation? A bit too long. I really was happy to get back to school.
Did you plan a special outfit for the first day of school? Yes, my blue dress with a butterfly on the corner, a v-neck, and a thing that looks like you have a shirt under it.
Did you go for comfort or style? Both.
What was your first impression of the classroom when the door opened? New, different, good, looked like some good board games and stuff. Really just a lot of things entwined.
What was your first impression of your teachers? The younger one, Ann, was pretty stylish, pretty kind-looking, and Clarissa looked as she is--older, still very stylish, and just like the way most people look.
What did they do to welcome you to the classroom? As everyday, we had free choice for about forty minutes, and that was good, enough time to meet some people, though I only did half group the first day.
What did you do during free choice? Well, I fumbled around with the rubber band peg board, something I really had missed from first grade, with Opal.
You had a new lunchtime this year, right? Yes, it's at noon instead of 11, but today they had it at one o'clock because they had so many things to do, though me and Chloe weren't too happy about that.
Why not? Because our stomachs were not thanking us. How do you feel overall about the change of lunchtime? Good, though it'll be kind of hard to adjust--by 12 o'clock we will be kind of queasy because we'll be so hungry.
What are some of your favorite things about this year? I guess the major one is just being in second grade. How does that make you feel? Good, well this morning when you were walking me to school, I felt a little bit older, and by the end of the day, I felt much older like a full-fledged second-grader.
What do you think about having homework this year? I really can't wait for it! What makes it so exciting? I need some hard math and stuff for me to work on--it'll be something to do--and besides, hearing that I have homework makes me feel older.
So, what did you have for lunch today? Chicken teriyaki and rice, they also had spinach, which I like but I decided not to get it...you know, at the salad bar.
You introduced a classmate to some new food today, right? Yeah, I introduced Sarah, who I was sitting next to and seemed like such a picky eater. I was eating the chicken teriyaki and the rice, and I was saying how good it was, and she decided to get it. Then I was raving about the rice, she got that. What was she eating to begin with? Not really anything.
Were there any boys at your table? Were they being gross? That was one thing I love about this year, and not about last year. The boys are not gross. Do you think it's cause they're older? I think it's cause they REALLY won't allow it in second grade...remember the time that Charles painted his tongue with marker? Was that in first grade? Yes, remember he painted it with a blue streak? They say non-toxic, but they don't mean it in your mouth.
What's the grossest thing a boy did at table last year? I think occasionally...I can't really remember, but I think it was something horrid. Did it involve ketchup? Yes, Achilles liked ketchup on everything. On rice, on pasta, I think he might even have liked it on bagel. When I was a little girl, there was a boy who liked to mix mustard and milk and drink it...wait, for some reason it sounds strangely familiar...from your own life? Yes...
So, did anyone get reprimanded today? Well, today, Chloe, who definitely isn't my type, when they turn off the lights and clap, you're supposed to come over to the rug and sit down, but I think she didn't go over to the rug and sit down, and they finally got her to the rug, they reprimanded her: "you are in second grade. you don't do it in first grade, so you really don't do it in second grade." It was a fairly long speech, and that was the basic premise of it. Did you feel embarassed? Well, I think I felt in my heart a teensy bit of glee.
Which teacher does the reprimanding? It was Clarissa who did the reprimanding, because she is the older. You know how there's one person who's the head teacher and one who is the assistant. Clarissa is the main, so Clarissa's going to do the reprimanding. Believe me, I know.
Are they going to have a time-out chair? No, because on the first day only one person needed to get reprimanded. That is a world record. So they might not even need it. But I still say I like how they had steps in first grade: first the chair, then the outside, then Rose's office. There was one time when four boys were in chairs!
Why do you think you feel a bit gleeful when kids get reprimanded? I guess part of it is I'm glad it's not me, but I guess I don't really like these characters, so I don't care how they get reprimanded. Are you glad that they're getting reprimanded? Sometimes. Have you ever been? No, not once in my lifetime. You do have a reputation as a very well-behaved student! I try. Hey, I try.
Do you tend to be friends more w/ well-behaved kids? Yeah, if there's a not well-behaved kid, he or she is not going to earn my trust. Well, she might, but it'll be pretty hard.
What's your favorite plaything in the classroom? Hard to say, because there's a lot of games, puzzles, decks of cards. But I guess one of them is just how they have so much clean white paper and so many crayons, colored pencils, markers thin and thick, oh it's wonderful--they have the best coloring supplies. They've got two big jars of pencils, two big jars of colored pencils, a small crate of crayons, and a whole rack of white paper. And then they've also got a bin full of scraps of cloth for collages, but that's for a big project with the whole class. But it's still just comforting to look at, you know? Oh I do. Occasionally when I'm by it, I use my side vision and look inside. And there's especially a nice piece of leopard skin. And then you haven't heard all of it. There's a big bookshelf full of books, and two racks of picture books, and a white painted bench as well as a big polished crate full of multi-colored puffy pillows, so you can pick up a book, pick a pillow, find a comfy place to read and boy is it comfortable!
Are you going to have free reading? Yes, we have independent reading or partner reading. I found a nice chapter book that I spied in the chapter book bin and Ann told me one of her students before had highly liked it. That begs the question, what's the book? I think it's called "The Tiger Rising." But anyway, it's kind of good. Do you have to write about it? No, we write about things we're reading at home. At home I'm reading "The Fellowship of the Rings" and I'm going to write about that.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell about? No, that's it!
*Names have been changed to protect both innocent and guilty parties.