A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Lunch at Parkdale equivalent to Beltway Rush Hour

Parkdale High School, s school full of both bright and dark students–talking about their personalities, of course, where some students are studying hard and others are… well, not. . Learning all day can be pretty stressful without a break, but in the Parkdale lunch room, having a lunch break is no easy task.

Upon ringing of the four lunch bells, a massive crowd of students run downstairs, causing the doors in the first stairwell to always be crowded. This stairwell can get so crowded that some have to take the other stairs and run to lunch.

This detour could be deadly for students’ chances of actually eating. By the time some students manage to get to the cafeteria, it is already full. Students are packed in lines and at tables like cans of sardines. All the lunch lines are all filled up and too long.

By luck or prayer, depending on what you believe in, you may just may be able to get out of the lunch line with five minutes to spare. By the time you sit down, there are about three minutes left to eat.

Although Parkdale has four lunch lines and two snack lines, this still isn’t enough. Lunch is “technically” 30 minutes long but in reality, it’s close more like 25 because the last five minutes are used for dismissal from the cafeteria.

“By the time, I get out of the line they’ve already started dismissing,” said senior Haja Fofanah. “So [that’s] about three minutes left to eat”.

Lunchtime is basically a war zone. The moment the bell rings, students rush out of class, push through hallways and lunch lines, and hope by chance the cafeteria isn’t as crowded as usually so they can actually find a place to sit. Us poor sardines!.

Some lunches, however, are saved from the desperation of getting a meal on time. . For example, take A lunch on an A day. There are plenty of seats, more than likely because A lunch is reserved for students coming from the Annex, the smaller of the two buildings that make up Parkdale.  

However, during D lunch on that same day, there is nowhere to sit. Evidently, A lunch is the place to be.
“Lunch is always crowded when I go to C and B lunch.” said senior Paris White. “It’s always cramp.”

In addition to having to fight our way to the desired treasure that is lunch, students also have to listen to administrators telling us to hurry up and eat or yelling at us, asking why we’re late.  Well, probably because I just got my meal three minutes ago.

It is important for the adults in the room to take into account the time we get lunch and the times we have left to eat. As a person who get their lunch late because they run out of food or the lunch line gets too long, I find it unpleasant  being told to hurry up. Can I eat in peace?!

Lunch is a break that both students and teachers look forward to, so some solutions, like creating more lunch slots or adding a few more classrooms to A-Lunch could give students the food and the peace they deserve to finish out the school day strong.