Pre-K Investigates: How Do We Know We Are Grown-up?

Friday, February 10th: My day started off as most work days do. I looked through my email, attended a meeting, drank some coffee and made a list of action items for the day. However, Friday the 10th, was no ordinary day because I had an official invite to be interviewed by the Journeys School pre-kindergarten class. This month, the students have been researching the important question: “what makes someone a grown-up?” Through pure luck, adjacency to their classroom and good timing, I had the good fortune of being interviewed by these mini scientists as a part of their ongoing research. Am I a grown-up? You’ll have to read more to find out.

Fifteen minutes prior to the interview, I received this list of questions so that I could prepare accordingly:

  1. How old are you? (We think you are grown-up if you are 14 or 20).
  2. Do you go grocery shopping by yourself? Does your mom go for you or do you go WITH your mom?
  3. Who makes your dinner? Is it your mom? Is it your dad?
  4. Do you have your driver’s license?
  5. Do you have kids?
  6. Do you go to work?
  7. Can you make a fire without help?
  8. Do you drink coffee?
  9. Can you ice skate without falling down?
  10. Can you start a chainsaw?

Needless to say, these kids had some specific, thoughtful questions. Once I sat down with them and they worked through the list, the students determined whether my answers qualified me as a grown-up or “just a kid.” My inability to start a chainsaw really worked against my level of adulthood, but the fact that I shop AND cook for myself made up for the deficit. Through scientific inquiry and (somewhat) heated debate, the pre-k students were able to conclude that I am mostly a grown-up. I learned that one of the most polarizing characteristics of a grown-up is whether you drink coffee and/or whether you know how to assemble a cheeseburger.

The Journeys School pre-k class will continue to think critically about how we know when we are grown-up through more research, discussion and interviews. I plan on dedicating time to becoming more grownup by ice-skating without falling down. Thank you to the pre-k students and their teacher, Emmy, for inviting me to class and letting me be a part of their scientific research!

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