Cleveland, OH –The oldest child of Steven and Sara Monroe, Rebecca Monroe has seen some sh-t in her thirteen years on this earth. There was the playground migration back in 2014, which some say was hardest on the stuffed animal population.
And no one can forget the Great Cafeteria Wars of last year. Our reporter sat down with this elementary school vet to talk about those olden days of six months ago, before the pandemic.
Reporter: You’ve mentioned in your best selling memoir The Battle For My Junior High Soul that when you were growing up, things were different. What’s changed?
Rebecca: That’s a great question. Have a gold star. That’s what I used to get when I didn’t talk in class or cleaned up my crayons back in second grade. I try to keep the tradition alive.
If you get five of them, you get an extra juicebox during snack time. Yeah, things were different back then. We didn’t have to wear masks, and some days we could just sit and hang out with friends. I miss those days.
Reporter: Is that something that this next generation doesn’t understand?
Rebecca: I don’t think they understand anything, to be honest. They are still at that age of innocence, and I hope that it continues for them. For the kids, it’s all about screen time and their parents as their teachers.
They don’t know that there used to be a better life.
Reporter: What used to be better?
Rebecca: Parents used to care about sleepovers. Not so much now. Parents are so caught up in not catching a virus and having to learn how to do fractions again. I mean, OMG, they are totally not qualified to be our teachers.
And yet, here we are. Also, the school used to call your name out in morning announcements when it was your birthday. That’s the way it used to be.
Reporter: What would you tell the incoming class of 2020? What do they need to know?
Rebecca: Mrs. Callus is an ok teacher, and she gives good hugs. She doesn’t do that anymore because of the spread of the virus. And in the lunchroom, when they say follow stay in line, they mean stay in line!
I’ve got the scars to show what happens when you don’t. They’re not as strict anymore, which I think is a mistake. Kids need discipline, not participation trophies.
Reporter: If you could have one thing from your childhood for today’s kids, what would it be?
Rebecca: Nap time. Seriously. They don’t get naptime anymore. And I would want them to appreciate pizza day more than I did. For me, pizza day in the cafeteria was just another day.
But in the months since I’ve left that life, I find myself thinking about it more and more.
Reporter: In your book, you mention a boy named Jacob. Let’s talk about him.
Reporter: What happened with Jacob? What’s the story there?
Rebecca: Stop. You’re embarrassing me.
Reporter: Is it because he’s a boy?
Rebecca: I don’t like talking about boys with you.
Reporter: What do you want to say to Jacob?
Rebecca: OMG stop!
Reporter: Ok, we won’t talk about Jacob. How about Jacob’s older brother!
Rebecca: Dad! Stop!
Reporter: I just want to know what’s going on in my daughter’s life!
Rebecca: Mom! Dad is trying to talk about boys!
Reporter: Don’t bring your mother into this.
Rebecca: This interview is over.
There are a couple of things we can take away from this interview. First, 13-year-old daughters know everything there is to know about life, and we should probably just go ahead and give them control of the country.
Let’s be real, they couldn’t do any worse, and having your name called out on your birthday seems like a step in the right direction.
And second, no matter how much things have changed, many things have stayed the same. And Jacob, from my daughter, she thinks you’re cute. Do with that what you will.