1.) If you run all out, generally what you're supposed to do, the cooldown lap is you essentially slowing down your running so you don't start hyperventilating or something.
Sounds like a terrible P.E. class though. Can't be as bad as the time I ran the mile, and the time for 16 year olds, even though I'm 15, is 8mins. 30secs., and I'm tiny by the way, so tiny lungs and tiny strides.
I ran all out and stuff, which unusual because usually I just give up and walk a little bit, but no, I ran 95% of the time, walking one corner of the lap. I got an 8mins. 33secs. I failed still. Sad part, I had cut about two minutes from my old mile time. B*tch still wouldn't give it to me. >.>