Of course, it helped that I was in a very different school, a school in an affluent suburb with a normal-length school day, rather than school in a poor city with an 8-hour school day. (Ignore my misplaced modifiers. I know they are there, but lack the reserves for revision.)
I know that the extended school day is a theoretical boon to students, and I concede that the children may be better off at school than at home alone, or wherever else they might go after a short day. However, my experience thus far is that kids cannot handle 8 hours. They become tired, cranky, belligerent. Even with breaks such as enrichment activities and recess, they become overstimulated. It is too much for their young minds and growing bodies. A six-year-old burst into tears on Tuesday because, in the 7th hour of school, he missed his mommy and daddy. Another six-year-old started crying because she missed her brother by hour six. The seventh-graders just got distracted and mean.
7 months ago