You know you're in trouble when third-graders manage to interview local celebrities like the mayor and, now, NHPR "Exchange" host Laura Knoy.We're seriously starting to worry about our job security.
Our third-grade correspondents, Sophia Johnson and Ella Fabozzi, took time out of their busy day a couple of weeks ago to sit down and chat with Laura. We feel confident in saying that this was probably Laura's toughest interview to date, which is saying something, seeing as she's used to doing the interviewing.
Laura Knoy: Okay, here we are - three girl reporters!
Ella: Here we are.
Katie: So who wants to ask a question first?
E: Well, I'll go and then she goes and then I go and then she goes.
S: Yeah, I basically have all favorites.
E: If you could be any animal, what would you be, and why?
L: A cat. Because cats do what they want to do. And because they're really pretty.
S: What is your favorite color?
S: (to Ella) Should I ask another one while you finish writing things down?
E: Okay. Um, would you rather be a boy or stay as a girl. Why?
L: I never thought about that before, Ella. I think at this point, I better stay a girl because I know how to be a girl.
S: What is your favorite food?
L: Oh, I have so many favorite foods - that's a hard question!
S: Choose like two or three.
L: Not that I would eat these foods together, but my favorites are peppermint ice cream and garlic bread and . . . I can name one more?
L: Any kind of greens.
E: Why did you choose to be a reporter?
L: Ella's asking me all the hard ones.
S: I have a hard one at the very end.
L: Why did I choose to be a reporter? Do you want the long version or the short version?
E: Pick one.
L: Ever since I was you girls' age, really, since I was 9, or even younger, I wanted to try to help people understand the world around them better.
S: What's your favorite thing not to do?
L: Not to do? Oh . . . Anything to do with taxes or checkbooks or following complicated directions.
S: What's your least favorite animal?
L: (thinking) Least favorite animal . . . maybe a great white shark? I mean, you know, they're kind of scary. Maybe a great white shark or a cockroach.
E: What do you like to do in your spare time?
L: I like to go for a bike ride and I like to read books. Biking and books.
E: (jotting down notes) Biking and books . . .
S: Okay, what would be your favorite thing to do? I asked you what your favorite thing not to do is, now your favorite thing to do.
L: Didn't she (indicating Ella) ask that already?
E: No, I asked what you like to do in your spare time.
L: What's my favorite thing to do at all?
S: Go on vacation?
L: Gosh, there are so many things. Do I have to answer one thing?
S: Uh . . . or should I just skip this one?
L: It's kind of the same question.
S: I'll just skip this one.
E: You could just say go on vacation somewhere.
S: Is spare time your favorite thing to do?
E: (correcting) Have some spare time to yourself.
L: Do you want to ask the question again?
S: What's your favorite thing to do?
L: Besides biking and reading, I would also like to see some friends and go for a walk.
S: Okay, and one more.
E: Wait, it's my turn.
S: Maybe this shouldn't be in the paper, but what do you think about Obama winning? It's okay if you can't answer it.
L: Yeah, I don't think I can answer that. Thank you, though.
S: (giggling) That's what I thought.
E: I have three more questions. If you had one million dollars, what would you do with it?
L: I'd definitely give some to charity. All kinds of charities. I would buy some new clothes and I would go on a big vacation to Tahiti.
S: Tahiti? I love Tahiti!
L: Have you been there?
S: No. But I do love the country.
E: Who was your favorite TV character when you were younger?
L: I loved Captain Kirk on Star Trek.
L: Because he was cute and he always got into really exciting adventures. I'm really dating myself with that one.
E: (talking to herself) Captain Kirk . . . Star Trek . . . he was cute . . .
L: And he had all sorts of adventures in outer space.
E: (writing) Adventures in outer space . . .
S: I think you could just do adventures.
L: I think you should say outer space, because that's what I was interested in. If he had been having adventures in the deep sea, I wouldn't have cared so much. But I loved outer space.
E: Adventures . . . Eh, I don't have any more room. (moves on to the next question) I'm turning nine . . .
L: Ladies, ladies, you're omitting important information. This could be like the key to unlocking secrets . . .
E: Here, I'll just draw a little planet.
L: There you go.
E: Okay. I'm turning nine in four more days. What was it like to be 9 when you were 9?
L: That's a good question. I knew you were going to ask me something about being 9. I had a blast when I was 9. What was it like? (thinking) You're waiting, aren't you?
E: What did you get to do?
L: I did stuff you guys do. I rode my bike around, I played with my friends, I used to watch Batman on TV. I think it's probably not that different. I think our parents were a little less involved in our lives than they are now.
E: What do you mean, "less involved?"
L: I think our parents kind of just let us go. Parents are a little more involved, and some people would say protective these days.
E: Wait, what did you say again, about parents?
L: I think parents back then just let their kids go. They weren't as protective as parents are today. They just let us roam around.
S: Let us run around?
L: Yeah, run around, just be home by 5.
E: My mom wants me to do that. (jotting notes) Parents let kids do anything . . .
L: Well, it's not so much that.
E: Well, not really anything, but let them be free. (swings arms, dances, to illustrate freedom)
L: Wait a minute, you're putting words in my mouth. Um, run around on their own more.
E: Run around . . . on . . . their own. Sometimes I forget how to spell "the" and "went."
S: That's what I did. I forgot how to spell happy.
L: Are you guys done?
E: I guess.
S: Yeah, that's the end.
L: That was easy. Although Ella asked some pretty hard questions.
E: Hmm . . . let me just see . . . (Sophia and Ella flip though their notebooks)
S: Should we ask her some questions we asked these guys? (Indicating Cassie and Katie.)
E: What's your favorite color? Oh yeah, she already asked that.
S: It's green. Wait, what's your favorite music?
E: What's your favorite gum?
L: I just had some. Spearmint.
S: What's your favorite kind of music? Rock, pop . . .
(Ella does a disco move)
S: What's your favorite kind of drink, like (knowingly) Diet Coke (looks at Katie) . . . What's your favorite kind of like drink like that?
S: (laughing) Coffee, okay.
E: What's your favorite letter of the alphabet?
L: I like the letter "Z."
E: My favorite letter is "E."
S: For some reason, I like "B." I also like "J." And I like "X."
E: I like "K" and "B."
L: You guys all set?
S: What's your . . . (laughing) For some reason I just want to ask you more . . . What's your . . . favorite kind of dance, like tango?
L: I don't think I have a favorite dance.
E: What's your favorite play, like Nutcracker?
S: I like to free dance. What's your favorite play that you watch?
L: I like musicals.
K: One more question and we'll let Laura get on with her day.
S: One more? Okay.
(Sophia and Ella whisper to one another)
E: No, that makes them feel old.
L: Oh, I don't care.
E: What's your favorite person, like your hairdresser or . . .
S: Something like that. Like do you like your hairdressers your doc-tah, your glasses person . . .
L: What about husband and kids? Does that count?
E: Anyone in the world.
L: Okay, husband and kids.
(Ella and Sophia debate how many Laura can choose, and whether pets count.)
S: And do you like your doctor?
(Katie shuts off the tape and calls it a wrap.)