Massive windows, a glorious coffee machine and a place to buy food that is not foyer or a basement: our patience and prayers have finally paid off. The St. Mary’s student body has its own space to eat together. However, with a new space comes new concerns.
Confusion about a rule prohibiting food from leaving the dining room left students wondering whether clubs should even continue to meet during lunch.
However, after an email exchange with Dr. Steakley explained that there are exceptions. Because eating lunch is still very necessary to a Flik-buyer, food can leave the dining hall when a student needs to attend an official club/organization meeting. Teachers have been told that they can continue to hold meetings in their rooms, and the Multi-Purpose Room’s use for meetings has been highly encouraged because of its proximity to the dining hall.
In discovering the answer to this question, I found myself conflicted.
Personally, I struggle with lunch meetings. Their timing makes so much sense because people want to use their ALAPPS or O-periods for homework or studying; however, there are some weeks where I find almost all of my lunches being taken up by meetings.
Now, I know this is really my fault. I signed up for the clubs I am in.
Still, part of me finds that the root of my struggle is not even in the lunch meetings themselves but rather the fact that I feel pressured to be involved in so many clubs in the first place.
At St. Mary’s, we do a lot; it almost feels expected. Whether it is college on our mind or a running comparison list in our head, there is a voice pressuring, “Join the clubs, be on the publication, work on SMCF, play a sport, make great grades, volunteer every weekend, and … and ...”
Because of that voice, I find myself not seeing the need to stop and take a break. I am convinced it is reasonable to make all of those lunch meetings. They satisfy my brain’s desire to constantly be doing things because it feels weird when I am not. When I ate in the dining hall for the first time, my friend turned to me and said, “I just need to be doing something. I need to be working or accomplishing something. This feels weird.”
There is a reason schools design breaks in the day. There is a reason lower school and middle school students have recess. There is a reason St. Mary’s students only go to two classes in a row. The human brain needs a rest.
Lunch is supposed to be a break for the mind (and soul and body).
So, even if it causes students to change up club meeting schedules and personally consider what clubs or organizations they love the most, I challenge St. Mary’s to start thinking differently about what “lunch” means.
Over the next few weeks, I will be writing about “the dining hall.” I’ll be responding to some concerns you’ve expressed and how we can look at this from a positive perspective.
I hope to offer some food for thought, and I hope you’ll join me.
For & By Students
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