Get in; get out. That’s a common thought when students go down to lunch to grab their food and sit down. A mere 30 minutes is all we’re given at BMHS to get down to the lunchroom, get our food, eat, and get back to class. This leads to students wolfing down their food last minute, tossing the rest away along with their spent money, or lugging it upstairs to their next class to finish it among the rest of their classmates.
With the lunch periods now shortened, there are some concerns around the students’ eating habits. The New York Times published a study from The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that had been done on school lunches. They stated that those who had 20-24 minutes consumed an average of 6.9% less of their entrees, 3.7% fewer vegetables, and 2.3% less milk. Besides not eating enough, kids are also wasting money they spent. The full lunch at Norwalk high schools is $3.85, meaning students are wasting at least $19.25 every week if they eat everyday.
Our school is aware of this choice to shorten lunch. According to Mr. Hurtwitz, it was an administrative team choice for the school to use a 30 minute lunch. He says, “To work with the block schedule, 30 minutes was really what was going to work...” “It was a very conscious decision to figure out how to, you know how to accommodate 90 minute-because the classes have to be 90 minutes.” He also says that he’s seen the issues at lunch, saying “I’ve heard complaints from students that the lines are too long. I’ve sat there and I literally, with a watch, and I’ve watched from the time that students come into the cafeteria to the time that the servery area empties out is 12 minutes.”
Mr. Hurwitz does understand that students want some facilitation when it comes to lunch and has suggested that we can have a cart that serves sandwiches and pre-packaged food for those who are only grabbing a quick meal, keeping the lines in the main servery emptier and quicker.
In reality, it’s not the school being evil or the schools trying to train us to be robots by putting us on the eating schedule, it’s them trying not to cut into class time so that we don’t lose even more time than we already have. In previous years we had 47 minute classes. Multiply that by two and you get 94 minutes, we have lost time in class for this new schedule. Look around you next time you’re in the cafeteria. How many students really sit there and take their time to eat their food? Many of them do eat in a hurry because they’re hungry, so extra time may not really help the majority, besides giving more time to chat. Unless we get a smaller school or shorter classes, BMHS will most likely stick with this 30 minute lunch.