She’s turning 12. And in my classic avoidance of throwing a party or hang out with a bunch of pre-teens, I planned a girls trip to New York. We will see Christmas lights and snow if we are lucky. Of course, this is coming from two tropical girls who had to buy coats and closed-toed shoes for this little adventure.
You might have heard me talk about my Elle before. Basically, she’s the reader, artsy-type, gifted, blurred lines, I-can-do-anything, brilliant ball of mess I call my first-born. As we boarded the flight and she settled into her window seat, I thought there was no better time to get updated on her perspective of school and life.
So, tell me about the 7th grade.
7th graders are crazy. The work is hard and I get a lot of homework. Or maybe I just procrastinate. I have pre-algebra, art, band, gifted science, language arts and social studies. I find pre-algebra the most challenging. My science teacher makes science boring.
What do you mean?
She doesn’t like to have fun. She could do more labs to make it more interesting. I love science. I like to ask questions, get facts…I like those things. Science is information about how the world works. I like knowing about how the world works. She doesn’t like to share interesting facts. She teaches from the PowerPoint and gives us worksheets. I could learn a lot better if she was more interesting. If you ask her questions sometimes she will tell us something interesting. But most of the time, not.
So, does anything intimidate you about school (making a mental note to call the school when we return for a conference with the science teacher)?
A lot of homework.
Why do you think you get so much homework?
The teachers give you homework not really keeping in mind that the other teachers give you homework too. And, sometimes it’s not just the homework. I have projects and things I couldn’t finish in class [which] pile up on me as well. I also have to study and try not to get distracted, because then it takes me longer. I would prefer if we had school one extra hour a day than all this homework. We could spend more time on the topics or hands-on stuff.
So which class is the most interesting and why?
Third period, Language Arts with Mr. Torrez. He teaches funny, I like the way that make things interesting. He choses to do projects instead of tests; but even his tests are more like projects. He’s very enthusiastic, and he doesn’t like homework. He takes our feedback into account and may surprise us a few days later by doing what we suggested. It’s fun!
Do you think you learn a lot in that class?
How do you see yourself in 15 years?
Probably in veterinary school. Probably a vegan. I will have a horse, and a cute cottage. And I will volunteer to help animals.
What do you think our world will be like?
I think the world will be quite polluted. Less bad things will happen to animals though. (Animal) abuse is already reducing because people are opening their eyes. We will have a female president by then.
Is there anything you think you can NOT do?
Be a politician. It’s difficult to understand. There is a lot of drama and you can’t really tell what’s the truth. Seems nerve wracking. Not my cup of tea.
What about influences at school?
There is a group in school called the “Clique”. I don’t think much about them but they are basically just the popular people. My friends are nice. One’s a drama queen, one’s really quiet, (and) one has really long hair. One wears a character jacket every day. And the other one is best friends with someone I knew in the 2nd grade.
What do you think is hard for pre-teens?
Everything starts getting a lot more…like popularity-wise…more stressful. I don’t like to think of myself as a pre-teen. It makes me feel older and the examples of pre-teens I see at my school are just not the person I want to be. They have social media, and they think childlike things are silly. Not all of them are like that. But, I want to play with my toys and still just be a kid.
Anything else you want to tell me…
When I grow up, I’m looking forward to later bedtimes. And being able to eat all the dessert I want.
Then, we landed and she took me on a dessert-crawl through NYC. Happy Birthday Elle. I will do everything in my power to feed your wonderment and innocence. Oh… and it’s time to detox the sugar-high.