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Lunchtime and long lines, San Domenico students are done. 

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Kiyomi DallasKidd

If there is one thing that the students love about SD’s lunch, it’s the food. We love our cooks at San Domenico! They always make our lunch periods better by sharing their bright smiles. We are grateful for all their hard work creating delicious meals for our students. Cooks create an environment at the cafeteria that encourages inclusiveness with the options for students with food allergies and different eating habits. Plus there is the amazing salad bar. We want to be able to take a break and take advantage of the delicious SD lunches.

But unfortunately, late lunch times and long lines make for stressed out, hungry students.

The consensus among students is that lunchtime is too late. With tedious long block classes in the morning on Wednesday and Thursday, lunch starts way past noon. Students are left with growling stomachs while trying to concentrate. It’s time to take a look at why lunch is so late and how we can possibly change it for the benefit of students and teachers. 

On most days, lunch starts just before 1 p.m., and ends around 1:30 p.m.. Especially on the days when we have five classes before lunch, our focus on classwork switches to focus on what’s for lunch. How are we supposed to solve for the value of x when all we can think about is a strategy to get to the caesar salad before it runs out? 

Lunch is essential to many students because it is one of the longer breaks of the day. With how short most lunch periods are, many students feel pressure to eat as quickly as possible. This leads to line cutting. The lines often take nearly all lunch to get through. Waiting in these long lines takes too much time, so students decide to cut. This just makes the line longer for people patiently waiting for their lunch. Although it is wrong to cut the lines, it’s hard to blame the people cutting.

What’s the solution? If we organized the lunch lines differently, this would improve the wait and cutting problem drastically. Also, staggering the times each grade is released could help decrease the wait time for lunch and the absolute chaos. 

 Research from University of Washington suggests an early lunch time can improve students’ academic performances because they are able to concentrate more with a full and happy belly. Students who eat lunch earlier have been proven to have higher test scores and a better academic performance on average compared to students who have lunch later in the day. An earlier lunch can also help students maintain a consistent energy level throughout the day. This is crucial for all students’ energy levels but especially for student athletes who have practice after school. Therefore, lunch periods should also be much longer due to the range of positive outcomes for students. 

Furthermore, lunch time is important for students and teachers to have a break from the long and stressful school day. The only problem is that lunch is only 30 minutes! Students may only have 10-15 minutes to eat lunch after waiting in the long lunch lines and pushing their way through the cafeteria. By the time students sit down and begin to eat and relax, the time is already up and we need to start making our way to class. When the bell rings, teachers are expecting us to be on time, in class, and ready to learn. A longer lunch period is not only better for students who benefit from reduced stress levels and improved focus and motivation, but on teachers too. It’s easier to teach students who are not hungry.

Mina Swaim, a student at SD, said this has been her least favorite schedule out of the four years she has been in high school. She explained that she is often so hungry that by the time lunch comes,  her stomach hurts and makes her feel nauseous to the idea of eating. She said her favorite schedule was last year because school started at 8:15, lunch was longer and the schedule was less confusing. 

On the other hand, if we have a longer lunch period that means that our classes will have to be shorter. Changing the lunch schedule will also lead to us having to change the whole schedule, which could get very confusing. But students agree that having a longer lunch is less stressful and more helpful for when it’s time for class because they are relaxed and ready to focus.  

In prior years, SD had longer lunches and students still had time to fully comprehend what they were learning in their classes. This year, lunch times are all scrambled up and different almost every day. Even if we have to change the whole schedule, there’s a big possibility that it will be for the better and be less complicated to remember for the students.

In 2020 to 2021 lunch started at 12:30-1:10 only on Mondays, but on other days, lunch would start at 1:00 p.m.. Tuesday through Thursday block classes were 75 mins but they had a 10 minute break in between. 

In 2021 to 2022 lunch was from 12:40-1:15 on Mondays and on other days lunch was 12:40- 1:20. Every day was a block day except for Monday and we had one break every day except for Mondays, when we had two breaks. There was even an early dismissal on Fridays. 

In 2022 to 2023, every day was a regular schedule except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays, where there were block schedules. There was a 15 minute break everyday and lunch started at 12:55 p.m., except on Wednesdays, when lunch started at 12:40 p.m.. So, you can see how difficult it is to keep up with the constantly changing schedules.  

This year, we have five classes until lunch on Mondays and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have advisory or study hall before lunch as well, which makes the wait until lunch feel even longer. On Thursdays, we even have two study halls, which adds up to 90 minutes! While it is always helpful to have study halls, 90 minutes is a bit too long. I suggest that twenty of those minutes should be for lunch which still leaves 70 minutes for our helpful study halls.

Overall, the times for lunch at San Domenico have always been a bit too late, but this year, with the confusing schedule and the long lines, students are clearly frustrated.

 

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About the Contributors
Coda Swaim, Reporter/Social Media Manager
Coda Swaim is a contributor of The Panther Press. Coda is a sophomore, who loves to play soccer and listening to music.
Larkin Bowie, Review Editor
Larkin Bowie is a sophomore at San Domenico and a contributor to The Panther Press. She enjoys baking and hanging out with friends.
Kiyomi DallasKidd, Contributor

Kiyomi DallasKidd is a freshman at San Domenico and a contributor to The Panther Press. She loves to animate, write, create characters, and illustrate in her free time. 

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