Interview with Grace Addison Lintz
With The New Century School’s 2013–2014 school year starting back up this past week, we thought we’d get an insider’s perspective on how things are going. Miss Grace Addison Lintz is one of the original children to start at TNCS’s forerunner, Patterson Park Montessori, and has been a member of the student body from the ground up, as it were. As you will see, Grace, a.k.a., “Gracie,” is a true original, in all senses of that word. Read on to learn all about TNCS through Gracie’s eyes.
In TNCS’s library:
TNCS: Can we begin by you telling me a little about yourself?
Gracie: I’m Grace Addison Lintz, and I’m turning 8 years old on September 30th. And I’m going to Costa Rica in October to meet my baby brother Lucas.
TNCS: How exciting! How long have you been attending TNCS?
Gracie: I think 6 or 7 years . . . I was either 2 or 3 when I started, and now I’m in the third grade.
TNCS: Wow! You must really like TNCS, huh?
Gracie: I love it! It’s my favorite school! Wait—it’s my only school! (Ba dump bump)
TNCS: Do you remember who your very first teacher was?
Gracie: (Pointing to a spot slightly below her shoulders) She had black hair to here. I don’t remember her name. I only remember Mrs. DuPrau; I’ve been with her since I was 3 or 4.
TNCS: What’s it like to be one of the oldest students here at school? You must feel very special to be a third grader!
Gracie: (Unmoved) I thought I was still in 2nd until I saw the list. (Pause) Mrs. Roberts is the new elementary teacher, and I have homeroom with her.
TNCS: You have homeroom this year? What’s that like?
Gracie: (Thoughtfully) You know how you go home? Mrs. DuPrau is my reading and global studies teacher, and Mrs. Roberts does math, science, teacher’s choice, and snack—and a few other things—and that’s a homeroom teacher.
TNCS: Got it. What is “teacher’s choice”? That sounds kind of exciting!
Gracie: Okay, teacher’s choice is like the teacher can choose. It can be anything, like music. (Here we were interrupted by a knock at the door. Gracie ran to answer it and saw Señor “Freddie” there, who was just checking on why the library door was closed. Grace scampers on back, having been reminded of something important to tell me by his brief appearance.) And aftercare is really fun!
TNCS: Ahh. What makes aftercare so fun?
Gracie: Well, you get to play outside, and you have to join clubs. Last night on the computer, Mommy signed me up for some clubs . . . story club, origami club, and another one but I don’t know what it is. (Pause) Your breath smells like gum.
TNCS: (Giggle) Thanks. I think. So what are your favorite subjects in school?
Gracie: Weeeeell, I love to read—it’s really fun. And I like art because I get to paint. And music because we do a lot of plays. And math. And science. (Pause; coyly) Why are you asking me these questions?
TNCS: (Amused) For the TNCS blog. Do you know it?
Gracie: Yeah, well, my mommy gives it to me to read sometimes.
TNCS: (Throwing caution to the wind) Do you like it? (Long silence) I bet you’re going to read the next one, because it’s going to be about you!
Gracie: Do people read the blog?
TNCS: (About to crack up) I hope so! (Regaining composure) Do you have a favorite book?
Gracie: Yes!!! I do! I have two: Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Babysitting War.
TNCS: (Seeing a preferred line of questioning) Are those chapter books?
Gracie: Mm hmm. I love chapter books. I don’t really read picture books anymore . . . now I’m onto chapter books without pictures because I like to just imagine the pictures.
TNCS: Can you tell me what your favorite thing about TNCS is?
Gracie: (Perplexed) What do you mean?
TNCS: Imagine you met someone who had never heard of TNCS and didn’t know anything about the school—what would you tell that person to give him or her an idea of what TNCS is like?
Gracie: (Promptly) It’s on South Ann St.
TNCS: So it is!
Gracie: Wait—wait! It’s very good because it has a lot of fun things.
TNCS: Like what, for example?
Gracie: Music, art, aftercare . . .
TNCS: (Trying to trigger more details) Do you like the stability balls you sit on?
Gracie: The what? Oh, the bouncy balls? Yeah, because it’s more comfortable. (Switching subjects and tracing a finger from the bottom of her foot to the to the top of her head) A thought starts here and comes all the way up here where I keep five at a time.
TNCS: That will come in handy at test time.
Gracie: Yeah, but sometimes I just have to pick one. Can I get water? (Returning) I love to talk. Can I see your notebook? I’m going to see how many pages we wrote. (Counts 9, which would ultimately become 12)
TNCS: So, as an elementary student, do you get homework?
Gracie: No, we only have to read every day. Mrs. DuPrau says 15–20 minutes, but I like to read for an hour. Mommy says I should talk about reading because I love it. Sometimes we get a few math problems.
TNCS: (In closing) So, Grace, what final thing would you like to tell me about TNCS?
Gracie: Um, like what?
TNCS: (Coaxingly) Think about it this way: you kind of know TNCS the best because you have been here since the very beginning—
Gracie: Kathryn and Fiona and I know it the best because we were the first ones to walk in here. Our little sisters weren’t born yet. (Returning her attention back to the question) Like what?
TNCS: Anything at all from your point of view. (Mischievously) Try bringing a thought up from your foot.
Gracie: We have a lot of classes in our school . . . Let me think for a minute—is that okay?
TNCS: (Really struggling to suppress laughter) Of course—whatever you need.
Gracie: Okay, I’m going to go check on something, and I’ll come back with an answer.
TNCS: (Only able to nod at this point but utterly charmed by her gravitas) Okay—try to think about what makes TNCS special.
Gracie: (Bursting back into the room after about 30 seconds) Spanish and Chinese languages in our school!!!!!! A lot of people from TNCS speak lots of different languages. How could I forget about that?! In Spanish class we learn lots of new things . . . And this year we have new teachers! And the lunch program is yummy!
TNCS: Well done, Gracie! I think you hit some of the most important things about TNCS. By the way, the foreign languages and the lunch program are two of my favorite things about TNCS, too. So, that’s it! I want to thank you very much for your time and for answering all of these questions. I enjoyed this very much.
Gracie: Wait—I want to talk about something else! It’s SuccessMaker. SuccessMaker has reading and math. There’s a cool game in math; you have to use your brain a lot to solve the problem before time runs out. There’s a board that has all our names on it, and we put a sticker on each time we do a reading or math game. (Gush over, she sits back with a satisfied smile.)
TNCS: I can’t wait to learn about SucessMaker firsthand. Thanks again, Gracie. You did great!
. . . And there you have it, readers—TNCS through the eyes of one very clever, charming, special (and sweet!) little girl!