Outside the (lunch)box
Students and staff share what makes their lunch period enjoyable
April 22, 2021
It’s 10:15 a.m. and the halls are full with hungry students. Reaching the patio, it’s masks off and lunchboxes open. While others rush to have a mid-morning meal, others flock to the library or a teacher’s room, eager to get work done.
Located in the back of the school, the lunchroom and outdoor patio has become a hub for studying, catching up and having fun. For students like Shota Konno (’21), the neighboring orchestra room makes lunch the perfect location to practice for upcoming All-County auditions.
“A lot of classes let you snack a bit so you can always catch up on that, lunch is a bit early [too],” Konno said. “[Although] we usually have orchestra class, we can’t really practice in there as much, so we spend most of the time we can outside of class practicing.”
In classic high school fashion, lunchtime at Robinson is an opportunity to take a break and socialize with friends. Spanish teacher Fernando Tudanca is one of many Knights to take advantage of the free time. Tudanca has started a new lunch tradition: hacky sack. As students are finishing up their meals, Tudanca makes his way to the patio and begins a game.
We were really bad, but now we’re pretty money at it…we go over there and play, [it’s nice to] get the mind off school for a bit”
— Alex Warner ('21), on playing hacky sack with Señor Tudanca during lunch
“When I was young, I liked to play soccer, so this was a good way to practice without a soccer ball,” Tudanca said. “It’s a group activity, you play with other people and you pass the hacky sack to each other, that’s what I like about it. It’s a group effort.”
While some teachers prefer to catch up with students during lunch, others take time to relax. Thanks to Robinson’s Culinary program, faculty and staff can buy lunch from Chef Smithey’s room, made by the students themselves. Meals range from 5 to 12 dollars, depending on the cuisine. Profits are used to fund the program outside of what the district provides.
“The reason I go there is because I think it’s really helpful when staff support a program like Chef’s where students have the chance to be creative, because they [are creative], they modify recipes all the time, they make suggestions, they’re actually doing the cooking…” Lee Gibbons, Media Specialist and Culinary-lunch regular, said. “I just think anything we can do to support that is a really good idea, the fact that it happens to be great food is totally a bonus.”
As time goes by, lunchtime is shifting away from simply eating and moving on with the rest of one’s day. Even just a short walk from the same classrooms where they’re stressing, Knights have taken lunch as more than a break, and instead as a catalyst for having fun.
“It is nice to see the kids play games, there a lot of Uno going on, sometimes Dominoes, anything to keep them entertained for that hour,” Assistant Principal for Curriculum Jennifer Rosage said.