Last week, I took advantage of the elementary school half day to sit down with Jake G., a 2nd grader and member of the Insideschools family. Jake leveled with me on what it's like to go to Lower Lab, why having a computer means more responsibility for him, and how parents can keep their 7 year olds happy at the end of a long school day.
Q. What's your typical day like? What time do you get up?
A. I would need to get up at 7:30 a.m. to get to school, but I usually get up at about 6:20 so I can hang out with my dad, who leaves at 7. When I get to school, we go to the auditorium. Sometimes there will be an announcement. Then we get picked up by our teachers, and we start off with a morning meeting.
Q. Do you have a class news broadcast?
A: We do have a class newspaper. It comes out every six weeks. Last time I was going to do a jokes column. This time I am doing a math corner. The math problem is easy, but the idea is hard, so it takes a long time to figure out that it's easy.
Q. What's your favorite thing about your school?
A. My school's a pretty good school. The only thing it has to work on is actually getting good stuff to bring the two schools together [Ed. note: Lower Lab and PS 198 share a building] ... They have lots of ideas, but a lot of them aren't that good. It might be a little hard — the cafeteria might not be big enough — but we could have lunch together or recess together. That's what I would change. I do have a couple of friends who go to PS 198, from my karate class.
Q. What's your favorite subject?
A. My favorite type of book would probably be fiction. It's a little bit hard for me to get new books, so I read the same books over and over. And there's a graphic novel series I like, called "Bone." And I like Mad Libs.
Q. What do you do at recess?
A. I usually play a made-up game, but I also like kickball. I'm a pretty good pitcher.
Q. How much time do you spend on homework?
A. I usually have three pieces of homework, so it takes me maybe 30-45 minutes. I also have a hamster to take care of, named Sparky. And having my own computer is actually a responsibility too. I like to play Webkinz but I only use it for people I know, like kids in my class.
Q. What are you looking forward to in 3rd grade?
A. Learning how to write in script. I'm pretty sure it's going to happen in 3rd grade, but I'm not sure. But a lot of people use script.
Q. What advice to you have for kids who are nervous about going to 2nd grade?
A. A lot of times kids get hungry after school. Kindergarteners and 1st graders get a snack, but not in 2nd grade. The good news is that my dad always gets me a snack, usually a Clif Bar. My favorite food is sushi.