Patrick Pritchard remembers the important things in his life, like kindergarten, his favorite restaurant and most things related to food and computers. He knows that monsters are not real, nor does he want summer to end.
At age 10, Patrick is about to enter the fifth grade at St. Mark’s School in North Buffalo.
After a summer of attending camps at the Buffalo Museum of Science, Tifft Nature Preserve and Delaware Park with the Parkside Community Association, Patrick is not ready for his uniform, books and bag that will define his weekdays.
His philosophy is simple: Get through this school year one day at a time.
Q: Fourth grade is behind you. What advice do you have for new fourth-graders?
A: It depends on what school. If they’re going to St. Mark’s I’d say, “Study hard, my dudes.”
Q: What subject did you find challenging?
A: I did good at math but some of it was really hard like long division. I can still do it; I just can’t remember it as well. Got to pull out that iPhone 8, but I don’t have one. My family does, but not me.
Q: Do you want one?
A: Yes, because what if I'm being held hostage and I need to call someone? I can go to the bathroom and call for help. (Whispers: Mom, I'm being held hostage. Come get me!) And also for games, obviously.
Q: What do you like about going to school?
A: That there is a time I will go to a better school, and it’s called college. It’s going to be really cool, but first I have to get through this day, and this week and this year. It’ll be 2026 before I go to college, I’m pretty sure.
Q: What subjects do you ace now?
A: Computer class, lunch and social studies. Anytime the teacher asks something about computers, I always raise my hand.
Q: What makes some people smart?
A: Not studying, because my brother’s smart and he definitely doesn’t study. But one time he studied for the DMV. He’s taking political science at UB. He wants to be president of the United States.
Q: What do you want to be?
A: An artist, but I also want to be a chef but technically chefs are artists because when they put food on the plate they’re making art.
Q: Describe a good day at school.
A: Friday minus lunch because it’s pizza and it’s cold. It’s very bad pizza. As soon as I get into sixth grade, it’s going to be ice-cold because we’ll be the third group for lunch.
Q: What do you wish they'd offer in the school cafeteria?
A: Steak and potatoes with butter and sour cream.
Q: Where would you rather be eating?
A: Tokyo II is one of my favorite places, but I like to try new things.
Q: What have you learned in school so far that will help you as an adult?
A: That’s a tough question. Because math at some point you won’t need because of calculators and phones. Geography you won’t need. I don’t want to be a scientist, so I don’t have to learn the elements. I guess it’s OK to know how oxygen comes from trees, and how leaves are.
Q: Is there anything else you want to say?
A: If you could see my brain right now, it would be dot, dot, dot. My mind is blank. It’s like a desert.
Story topics: Instagram