Reflecting on the 8th Grade Lunch Reset by Shoshana P.
The first time we all stepped into the Julius West cafeteria, we had some stereotypical ideas of what it would be like. There would be cliques, food fights, drama, and who knew what else. Yet while some of us decided this was the best part of middle school, others decided to hate the lunchroom with a burning passion. With the crowds of people stuffed into tables, the smell of infamously horrible cafeteria food, and above all, the clamour of noise, many students decided to completely avoid the cafeteria. Since many teachers open their classrooms during lunch, it isn’t hard to do this.
Around the beginning of the second semester, eighth graders were told that the following week everyone in the grade would be required to eat lunch in the cafeteria. The rationale for this was that the privilege of eating in classrooms was being abused and students were roaming the hallways without passes. Typical of most middle schools, however, rumors abounded and students were extremely upset because they viewed the new requirement as a collective punishment. Teachers saw this week as a reset of sorts, hoping that it would remind eighth graders that eating in classrooms is a privilege. After a week of grumbling and squishing into the overcrowded cafeteria, the sizable fraction of the grade breathed a collective sigh of relief and returned to spending lunch in classrooms.
Students may or may not have taken away the lesson the teachers and administration hoped we would, but we have a new appreciation for our school. It’s definitely an improvement upon the version of middle school you see in movies, and the phenomenal Julius West staff was simply trying to keep it that way.