Evan Xia, 11, Grade 6, Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School
TOP (The Other Paper): How were you feeling before heading into school?
Xia: I felt nervous and excited before heading into school because who knew what was going to happen today. I have been staying at home for over six months and got used to the schedule. Now I need to adapt to the new schooling time. I also felt bad for my dog Simba, because when I headed to school, he missed me a lot, he whined and tried to run toward me.
TOP: Did you have an outfit picked out for the first day? What did you wear and why?
Xia: I wore my lucky shirt to school which was a Patriots T-shirt. When I wore that shirt watching football games on TV, the Patriots usually won.
TOP: Did you pack lunch for the first day? If so, what did you bring?
Xia: I didn’t pack lunch because I wanted to see what the school lunch would be. The school lunch food was chicken, rice with some little carrots and green peas. Utensils, paper towels and some milk were also provided.
TOP: How was your teacher? How were your classmates?
Xia: My teacher was very nice and wasn’t very strict. My classmates were very kind to not just me but also to each other.
TOP: How many kids are in your class? Were you spaced out from each other?
Xia: About 10 people were in my homeroom, including the teacher and myself, and people were about 6 feet apart most of the time. The only time we weren’t social distancing was during recess. We didn’t have physical contact, but some people got closer to each other; less than 6 feet.
TOP: What was different about school due to COVID-19 precautions?
Xia: The thing that was different was that we had to wear face masks the whole time and also that we had to walk in a line.
TOP: What was it like wearing a mask all day?
Xia: It was pretty normal other than the fact it was pretty hard to breathe.
TOP: What were the temperature check and health screening like?
Xia: They used a thermometer that didn’t need to be touched on the forehead; they also asked a set of questions.
TOP: What were your favorite and least favorite parts of the day?
Xia: My favorite part was probably lunch because that time I was really hungry. I didn’t have a bad part of the day. The whole day was smooth.
TOP: What were some things you saw, heard, smelled and felt during the day?
Xia: Heard the light taps on the floor, talking and the light screech of desks moving around. I saw many people, school tools and many different colors that were everywhere. I smelled wet air that came from my face mask and the light crisp air that came from outside when we had recess. Overall, I had a very good first day of school after a half year of stay-at-home order. I look forward to making new friends and I also look forward to going back to school daily. This year is a very special year for everyone, and I hope that everything turns normal soon.