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caption: Gerald  Donaldson, a family support worker at Leschi Elementary in Seattle, hands off some school lunches to third-grader Elijah Baker.
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Gerald Donaldson, a family support worker at Leschi Elementary in Seattle, hands off some school lunches to third-grader Elijah Baker.
Credit: Liz Jones/KUOW

Elijah, 9, reflects on 2020: 'Very bad with all the glitching'

If kids are sponges for new information, 2020 gave them a lot to absorb, from the coronavirus to a tense election season.

Part of Gerald Donaldson’s job is to notice when kids are overwhelmed, and to help them work through it.

He’s a family support worker at Leschi Elementary in Seattle.

As we close out the year, we asked Donaldson to interview a few students, to see how they’re thinking about this extraordinary time and the world around them — even if they don't always get the news exactly right.

This interview with third-grader Elijah Baker, age 9, has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Elijah, thank you for doing this first and I just want to say I’m glad to see you. We missed you the last couple of weeks when you weren’t here.

So let’s get to the heart of it, how do you feel about what's going on now with the online learning?

Very bad with all the glitching and kicking you out of the meetings and stuff. Like how with the online school, if you get the right answer and the computer is not working, or the hotspot is down, and then you click on it and it says, ‘No, it's not right, restart.’

When we get back into school, how do you think you will feel?

I’ll feel great finally back in my school. I could finally see my friends in real life and not in the computers.

It's been a challenge?

Yes.

Yeah. What do you think of the outcome of the past election?

Good.

What do you think will be the difference on how Joe Biden handles the coronavirus versus Donald Trump?

Gooder than Donald Trump. First because he didn't do really anything about the corona. And second because he got the corona. Third, his people that support him, they don't wear their masks. And Joe Biden — all the people that vote for him, they wear the mask, and he doesn't have the corona, and he wears his mask every time.

Do you think wearing the mask is a good thing that helps prevent the virus?

Yes. And staying six feet away.

Do you have anything else you want to add, any words of wisdom?

Yes. The corona has to be gone soon. But with this virus and people going on without their masks, I don't know if it's going to go well.