Mia Reicks

Mia Reicks

Have you ever wondered what kids did in the summer while school was out? Well, I was wondering, and what better way to find out then to ask someone who was my age 20 years ago. 

I interviewed Jessica and Jim Green, 41 and 43, of Maquoketa to see what they did in the summer when they were my age. I then realized that their summer was a lot different than summer vacation for kids my age, so I decided to compare summer vacation for my friend and I to Jessica and Jim’s summer vacation, which turned into “Kids: Then vs. Now.”

As well as interviewing Jessica and Jim about their summer as kids, I interviewed my friend, Janie Green, and collected my own answers as well. 

The first subject I interviewed about was chores. Jessica said her chore for the entire summer was doing the dishes, which was a lot harder than now, where there is a dishwasher in almost every house. 

Jim stated that he had a lot of chores. He had to split wood, rack wood, mow the lawn, and rake gravel onto the half mile driveway. He didn’t get paid for a single chore he did. 

I have to load or unload the dishwasher, scoop cat litter, feed my cat, and give him water. I also have occasional yard work, mostly picking up sticks. 

Finally, Janie said she usually doesn’t have any chores, but she sometimes helps her dad move stuff around the garage,

The second topic is boredom. Jessica said that she can’t remember being bored, and Jim claims that he never once was bored out by the river. 

Janie said she gets bored all the time, and I usually don’t get bored, but if I do, I don’t say so, because it always turns into cleaning!

The next topic is electronics. Jim and Jessica both used electronics. Jim only had TV channels 2, 4, 6, 8, and 18. Janie states that she is usually on her tablet, watching TV, or on her phone for six hours and 15 minutes of the day. I usually use electronics for about three hours a day. 

The fourth topic is outside time. Jim said he ate breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and was outside 30 minutes later, swimming and catching snakes, frogs, and fish in the river, playing in the timber, building forts, riding his 10-speed bike down 4 miles of gravel roads to go swimming in the town pool, and tubing in the river. He also said that he was out at 8 p.m., and inside at 9 or 10 at night. 

Jessica said she was usually outside eight hours a day swimming in the lake, riding bikes with her brothers, and playing with the neighbors. 

I am usually outside for usually two to three hours a day swimming, playing softball, shooting hoops, and jump roping. Janie said she is outside for one to two hours a day, but she spends a lot of time, aside from those two hours, painting rocks and pictures in her garage. 

Finally, the fifth and last topic is summer sports. I was the only one who played summer sports — softball — but we all played sports throughout the year. 

After comparing everyone’s answers, I believe that nowadays, kids and teens are on their gadgets a lot more, and back when Jessica and Jim were kids, they did a lot more physical activities and were a lot more tan.