02 March 2011

let's do lunch

At the end of last semester, my principal expressed some frustration over our school's cafeteria situation. The cafeteria was just completely chaotic and messy during the elementary shift, and it was stressing everyone out. Rumor has it that a visiting student sat with his hands over his ears for the entire meal. Not good. It was clear that we needed to "take back the school," as my principal put it. So at the beginning of this semester, we started a new system at school in which all of the teachers eat lunch with the students, who now have assigned seats in the cafeteria. Although I don't think anyone was too thrilled about the new system at the outset, I must say, my kiddos are quite excellent dining companions, and lunch has really turned into a fun time to chat with them.

All this reminds me of one of my first-ever experiences with lunch duty. Sometime during my first month of teaching in Texas, Miss S (a friend from my teaching program) and I happened to be on duty together. I had re-heated some pasta with black olives and feta cheese, and Miss S, who hails from Louisiana, was enjoying a salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Our students' reactions to our lunch choices were hilarious:

Samuel (to me): Oh, Miss L! Don't eat yet...it smells like someone vomited! Oh wait, that's your food...ew, it smells ugly.

Many students (to Miss S): Ewwwww...Miss S, your food smells ugly too! How can you eat that?!

Miguel (to his friends): Stop guys...be quiet! Don't say that about Miss S's food...that's what they eat in her country!!!

Riiiiight...her country, which is also your country...

Oh, well, you gotta give him points for politeness!

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