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Students convey wisdom of 100-year-olds

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

Anyone approaching 100 years old, take note. A bunch of 5- and 6-year-olds in Hays have it down.

In a 100th-day-of-kindergarten celebration Tuesday, students in the three kindergarten classrooms at O'Loughlin Elementary School learned a whole lot about their elders.

Krystal Randa, the youngest member of O'Loughlin's KG teaching team, came up with the idea to have her students dress like they think a 100-year-old might dress.

During the day, the youngsters in Randa's room participated in a variety of learning activities from counting to 100 by 2s, 5s and 10s to making 100th-day hats.

The best was saved for right after lunch, when they took part in an activity that featured naming what they think spending habits of a 100-year-old might be and what they might play and watch on television.

Randa said they had talked about numerous uses of the number 100 during the two weeks leading up to the 100th day.

To no surprise, some of the girls said Tuesday they would buy jewelry and shoes. Some of the more practical answers were canes, pajamas and glasses.

Showing his age, one little guy said he would buy an iPad.

They quickly got back into character, though, putting a scooter and a nursing home on their list of what they would save their money for as they approached 100 years old.

"What would you eat?" Randa asked, to which most answered soft food.

Slade Salmans wrote down noodles. Cooper Johnson said cherry yogurt. Several listed oatmeal and mashed potatoes.

So, what would you watch on TV?

Those answers ranged from the news and weather to "Walker, Texas Ranger" and "The Big Bang Theory."

Their list of games was all over the place.

"Checkers," said Ethan Pfannenstiel, the 100-year-old.

"Go to the (swimming) pool," said Ameliyah McDermott, the 6-year-old kindergartner.

Others named card games, golf and playing musical instruments.

Dressed in flannel shirts and suspenders, scarves and flannel nightgowns, and getting around with canes, the students played the part to a T.

Most walked slowly, some even with a limp with the use of a cane, to the front of the room for a group photo toward the end of the class period.

"Give me your 'old person' look," Randa told her students, who responded on key, some learning forward with sagging shoulders, others wrinkling up their faces.

Hopefully, all 23 of those students save that photo. Imagine the smiles it would bring to their faces 90-some years from now.