Friday, December 05, 2008

A Tale of Two Lunches

My school has over 3200 students and only 3 lunches. The lunchroom resembles a concert hallway rather than an actual eating area. The crescendo of shrieking females also makes it seem more like a Jonas Brothers concert rather than actual lunchtime. I am one of the fortunate teachers to be assigned to A and C lunch duty. You know I'm being facetious here, right? Hey, lets pick one of the shortest teachers on campus and put her in the middle of Bedlam. Where are all the coaches who have traditionally pulled cafeteria duty? Hey, they all have 4th period and all three lunches off together and sit down in the coach's office watching TV. Now, A lunch is fine because I'm actually stationed in the cafeteria next to the coke machines. I get to glad-hand the students, chat up the cute Campus cop and watch my kids acting goofy with their friends. C lunch is a bit different. I get to stand in the dark hallway leading from the cafeteria to the parking lot away from the eyes of all the other teachers and principals. I am blocking the greatest prize available to students: access to freedom from school. It is not a happy place and definitely keeps me out of my own happy place. Everyday I get snarled responses, muttered obscenities and crudely organized attempts at escape from the inmates..uh..students. I don't want to be mean. I want to walk out that door myself. I hate that stupid hallway. The jingle of keys being pulled from pockets must sound like the doors of prison sliding open to these kids. Until they turn the corner and there stand Ms. 100Farmers. I don't want to be the warden. If someone really pushed the issue, I'd probably suggest that they bring me back a Slurpee and just step aside for them. On the other hand, we haven't had a food fight yet and I've got my escape route planned perfectly for C lunch: out that door to the parking lot with my car keys happily jingling.

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