Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Attention Staff and Students

I had 90 minutes for lunch today. Usually that means I
take a vacation from school for an hour and a half.
Not today. The intercom convinced me to stay.

Every school in the district has an intercom system
with a microphone in the main office and speakers
throughout the school. Usually the intercom is used
twice a day, once in the morning and once in the
afternoon for school wide announcements. Some days it
is used much more often. There is a linear relationship
between the number of times the intercom is used per day,
and how interested I am in the messages it delivers. Once
on a particularly intercom heavy day, I heard it used
to announce that there was a riot in progess on the
first floor.

Today as fourth period was winding down and I was
trying to figure out where to go for lunch, the
assistant principal came on the intercom to give the
morning announcements.

'Good morning Gateway staff and students, these
are your morning announcements. Girls Track practice
is cancelled today, field trip forms for seniors in
college summit must be turned in by Friday Februaury
29th, the Gateway varsity boys basketball team will
continue its run to the state championship tonight
when it faces Desmet in the sectional tournament at
UMSL at 7:45, we hope to see everyone there and on
their best behavior.'

And then there was one last bit of information.

'Special announcement from the cafteria staff, today
is soul food day. On the menu will be smothered
chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, mixed greens,
sweet potatos, green beans, dinner rolls and corn
bread. For desert is yellow cake with white icing.'

Eating in the in the school cafeteria is something I
usually only do as a last resort. Most teachers won't
even step foot in the cafeteria. but I figure if its
good enough for my students, its good enough for me.
At least on those days that I haven't brought anything
for lunch and there's not enough time to pick something

On days when I do eat in the cafeteria I usally end up
with a warmish chicken sandwich, mushy-ish fries, two
ketchup packets (three if I'm lucky), some jello or a
fruit cup, and a half pint of milk for $2.50. Its the
kind of meal you'd expect from a second tier fast food
resturant in a truck stop that's 40 miles on the
interstate from the nearest city. Its just slightly
better than eating a bag of chips and a candy bar and
waiting to find some real food.

Until November of this year, I thought that interstate
truck stop fast food was all the cafeteria staff at Gateway
was capable of. Then I had Thanksgiving Dinner Lunch.
What a differece a little effort makes. Thanksgiving
Dinner Lunch that day in November was good enough to
convince me to spent my ninety minute lunch today on
school grounds and enjoying authentic cafeteria soul food.

I stand by my decision.

While enjoying my feast there was an unschedualed
anouncement on the intercom.

'Will the owner of a white Caddilac parked on the west
ramp please move their car, it was nearly destroyed by a
school bus.'

Thank you cafeteria staff.


Blogger colin loughlin said...

So did you move your Caddy?

11:58 PM  

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