Casually tossing his reddish-blonde bangs to the side of his freckled face, a Wapakoneta Elementary School fourth-grader said there‚Äôs one thing that should be known about him.
‚ÄúPeople like to call me Justin Bieber ... because of my hair,‚ÄĚ Eric Carpenter said with a grin.
The 9-year-old isn‚Äôt much into music though. He‚Äôd rather spend his time playing guard for the Warriors, which his father coaches. Of course, he‚Äôd prefer to be fullback.
Eric also plays baseball.
He refers to one of his shirts when asked his favorite subject in school. It reads, ‚ÄúMy favorite subject is...‚ÄĚ and then has math, science, writing and social studies all crossed out and lunch and recess written in.
Eric would be happy if cheese pizza was served for lunch every day and likes kicking the soccer ball on the blacktop at recess.
Admittingly, school is a little harder this year than when Eric was in third grade.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs more math,‚ÄĚ Eric said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre multiplying three-digit numbers by three-digit numbers.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs a lot of homework,‚ÄĚ he said.
And that‚Äôs on top of football practice or a game almost every day of the week.
‚ÄúI squeeze it all around,‚ÄĚ Eric said of his busy schedule.
If he does have free time, Eric may be found watching his favorite movie, ‚ÄúHorton Hears a Who,‚ÄĚ playing video games such as Carbon or Halo Reach with his older brothers, or watching ‚Äúany random show on TV.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúMostly, I just lay down on our couch, sit there and watch TV,‚ÄĚ Eric said.
While he was holding the book ‚ÄúHatchet‚ÄĚ in his hand, it was for a class assignment. Eric said he does not like to read so he doesn‚Äôt by choice pass any time doing that.
With an older brother, Daniel, who is deaf, Eric does use some sign language in communicating with him. He‚Äôs been doing that since his mother taught him when he was 5.
A favorite sign to make is ‚Äútogether,‚ÄĚ which looks like stirring a pot with both thumbs up, and he also likes doing the alphabet with one hand.
Bonnie and Dean Carpenter, of rural Wapakoneta, also have a third son, Steven.
Eric said one of his favorite family traditions is attending the Allen County Fair each year. When they miss it, they put on their own little festival at the house, play games, eat party food and drink pop.
The fourth-grader really likes it when they can make it to the fair, where he has a special route which takes him past his favorite game ‚ÄĒknocking down a tower of cups. He‚Äôs won several stuffed animals playing it before.
The fan of the British science fiction show ‚ÄúDr. Who,‚ÄĚ Eric said he sometimes wishes he had a time portal he could tell where he wants to go, although the only place on his agenda at the moment is England, because he likes saying British words.
Sometimes Eric finds himself passing time looking random things up on the computer and getting a good laugh.
‚ÄúOne time I typed dog into yahoo and it came up as a giant hot dog,‚ÄĚ Eric said.
When asked what he‚Äôs looking forward to most about this school year, Eric answered, ‚ÄúThe end of it.‚ÄĚ
He‚Äôs alos not real excited about attending Wapakoneta Middle School next school year either, where he knows he‚Äôll have to work even harder.