Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Erin Aulfinger (Central High School)
Every year, a number of teachers at Central High School are opening their doors to students while the cafeteria serves food.
These teachers often have fifth period planning, so they are open to all three lunches.
Art teacher Jessica White said, “Students need somewhere else to go. I only work half-days, so I enjoy the company, and can offer tutoring for my art students. And it’s also a reward for being respectful to the classroom and each other.”
The students who eat in these classrooms have a variety of reasons.
As one of those students, I’m here to tell you three of mine.
First of all, it’s much easier to socialize. Cafeterias are typically loud, and the administrators walking around are willing to confiscate a cell phone for a day. However, in a classroom, you can eat your packed lunch in peace, free to show funny videos or cute pictures to friends and hold conversation.
Next, it’s less traveling. At Central, the cafeteria is far from just about everything. I’d rather eat in a room within spitting distance of my next destination than have to wade through the crowded cafeteria.
Finally, leaving the cafeteria is like lumbering in a herd. Every entrance is blocked by an administrator telling you, “I don’t care if your next class is on the third floor—you’ll stay here until I say so.” Standing in the large crowds of people, many of whom are speaking just a bit too loud, is extremely stressful and prone to making you late for class.
Central High junior Brianna Matthews gave similar reasons, “I love eating in here because most of my friends do too, the teachers are welcoming and kind, and it’s quieter and less crowded.”
Her senior friend Regina Cole piped in that the cafeteria’s crowds were less tolerable than the small and close-knit group in the classroom.
Senior Tyeasia Dabbs also explained, “You run out of time to eat while waiting in line for food.”
By eating in classrooms, I improve my relationships with friends and teachers, cut down on travel time, and numerous other benefits. If you pack a lunch, find out if a classroom near you is open during these hours.