Transcript: A Day in the Life

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Nick still pretty much follows the same routine he's had since starting middle school. Miguel's life has changed quite a bit, though, since moving out of the city.

Nick gets up when his mom wakes him before rushing out the door. She's got a job as a housekeeper at a hotel downtown and has to be there pretty early. As soon as she's gone, he goes back to bed and watches cartoons until he has to catch the school bus. Nick has to keep the volume down since his dad's sleeping in the next room. His dad works afternoon and night shifts as a security guard.

Nick gets breakfast at school. It's not too bad—better than the lunches at least. For example, today he got orange juice and French toast sticks with syrup.

Miguel's mom is also off to work when he wakes up. Sometimes he gets up to eat breakfast with his dad, but if he's lucky his dad lets him sleep in instead until it's time for him to go to work. Today Miguel was lucky. He got up with just enough time to get dressed before leaving with his dad, who drops him off at school on his way into the office every day.

It wasn't the greatest day for Nick, since today was the weekly PE class. I already told you about that. But at least he'd managed to avoid it by hanging out in the locker-room. Better yet, he'd gotten a packet of cookies from the math teacher as a reward for acing yesterday's test, so he downed that with a can of soda from the locker room vending machine while waiting out the period. He was going to eat them with the milk that comes with his school lunch, 'cause that would go better, but he was bored and couldn't wait.

Miguel got his sweet-tooth fix today by buying a candy bar from a classmate doing fundraising for some club or another. He slipped her a dollar of his lunch money under the desk during math class. He knew that meant he'd be hungry later, but at least he had enough left to buy a bag of chips from the snack bar at lunch.

After school, Miguel generally catches a ride home with a friend's mom. It's not that far to walk, but there's this one really big, busy intersection that his parents don't want him crossing alone. His street is pretty quiet though, and he goes outside to ride his bike when he gets home.

Nick takes the school bus back home. Normally, like today, when he knows his dad will already have left for work, he stops at the convenience store at the end of his block to pick up a snack. Today he got a big bag of cheese puffs and supersized fruit punch for just a buck fifty. He ate it while watching TV until his mom got home. His mom won't let him play outside when she's not around 'cause she says it's too dangerous.

Nick's mom came home exhausted tonight, weighted down with a couple of plastic shopping bags. They'd already had pizza two nights in a row, so she'd skipped lunch break so she could leave early and pick up some groceries. There's a small grocery store near the hotel where she works, and if she gets off a half hour early then she can shop without missing her bus. She cooked dinner, but Nick hardly ate anything since he'd stuffed himself with cheese puffs. As you can imagine, she was pretty annoyed at it since she'd knocked herself out to get dinner on the table.

Miguel, on the other hand, was starving by dinnertime, with all that running around he did today both at school and at home. His mom heated up some frozen burritos and opened a bag of salad. He wasn't so keen on the salad but he scarfed down three burritos.

After dinner, once she'd cooled off, Nick's mom helped him with his homework. Then they watched TV until it was time for bed. She, at least, was too exhausted to do anything else.

Miguel also was allowed to watch some TV in the family room, but only for an hour, and only after he had done his homework. His parents are pretty strict about that kind of thing—it's annoying 'cause half the time he can't hold up his end of the conversation at school about a lot of the TV shows all the other kids are watching.

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