Being interviewed by a kindergartener

What happens when a kindergarten class interviews Sam Davies about living, working, and playing in the City of Richmond? Cuteness, insights, and lots of note-taking.

Bikes in Carytown

Photo by: kaibassplayer73

My kids go to a pretty great school, Sabot at Stony Point. Every year, the school picks an “umbrella” project around a central theme and then every class in the school picks projects to work on within the framework of that broader theme–this year the theme is “Our Richmond.”

Some classes have worked with the VMFA. Another class decided to look at Richmond’s bridges and learn about engineering. My daughter’s kindergarten class has been focused on what it’s like to live, work, and play in our city.

The kindergarteners staged a mock Big Bike Race. They constructed a model of the city out of paper and wood blocks. They took GRTC from school to downtown to tour city hall. They took Amtrak from Staples Mill to Main Street Station. And throughout the spring, they’ve been interviewing parents about what it’s like to live, work, and play in the city. A week and a half ago, it was my turn.

Taking notes

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from kindergarten interviewers. I arrived at the class and they invited me to join them in their circle. Each and every one of them had a clipboard with paper and a pen, ready to take notes. Their teachers reminded them that they could write words or draw pictures to document what they were hearing.

I started by showing items from my bag. It contains everything I need to get my work done, no matter where in the city I happen to end up. So I showed them my various charging cables, my pens and notebooks, and the pocket where I keep my iPad. Knowing that they’d probably want to see it, I also brought along my Blue Yeti Microphone and explained what a podcast is. They all stopped to draw it and asked about my podcast.1

I also showed them some pictures on my iPad of various city errands and stops I make throughout a day. I showed them a picture of the barista who makes my morning espresso at Lamplighter. I showed them a picture of High Point Barbershop. I even showed them a picture of me getting my weekly comics at Velocity. But what really stole the show was a picture of my post office box.

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They were FASCINATED by my little rectangle of postal patronage. Every single one of them wrote down my PO Box number, most also drew a picture of it. None of them wanted the full mailing address, but it was very important to all of them that they write down “25914.”

Questions

What animals do you see in the city?

Humans (because I’m literal). Squirrels. Birds. People walking dogs.

What colors do you see in the city?

All sorts, but I really like the brand new color-coded signs that direct you to the different landmarks and parts of the city.

What’s your favorite building in the city?

I love walking by the old Cokesbury Books building at Grace and 5th. That street has the best trees and I love the way the old building fits on that block.

What types of people do you see in the city?

All sorts. I love walking downtown and seeing a great range of people. From construction workers in hard hats to General Assembly members in the fanciest of suits.

Where do you work?

At the time of the interview, I was two weeks away from starting a new job. I told them that I was nervous because I didn’t know what it was going to be like yet, but that I was excited because it would be something new and I’d get to ride the bus to work.

— ∮∮∮ —

I’m grateful that I had the chance to do this with the kindergarten class. Not only do I love being the center of attention, it really provided me a chance to reflect on how much I love living, working, and playing in our city. All my little trips and errands, all the places I walk on my lunch breaks, all the people I see, Richmond has become my home and I love it. I’m so glad that I live here, and I don’t think I could ever leave.


  1. Sam and Ross Like Things, found on your RVANews. 
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Sam Davies

Sam Davies is the father of two daughters (ages five and eight) who lives in Northside Richmond. He and his wife Kat are trying their best to not raise sociopaths.

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