Call Ed: shortened lunches and bursted bladders

Part of this year’s daily schedule was the shortening of lunch by two minutes and passing periods by one minute. With the time shortened, both feel more rushed than need be. Dr. Michael Havener, principal, said the administration is discussing adding the minute back to passing periods, which would affect lunch as well. In this issue, 95 percent of TKC staff voted they believe the time changes make lunch and passing periods too short.

School can be an array of feelings. Sometimes it’s long, with every minute feeling like an hour. Sometimes it’s frustrating, when a grade is less than satisfactory. However, more often than not when it’s time for passing period, school feels rushed.

With a new schedule, change is inevitable, but two changes that feel pointless are the shortening of lunch by two minutes and the shortening of the passing period by one minute. To some, complaints like ours over something as trivial as three minutes sounds like annoying teenage whining, but these previous minutes make a difference.

One ‘trivial’ complaint is the shortening of lunch. According to WebMD, it takes about 20 minutes for your body to process whether you’re full or not. With our current schedule our lunch is only 30 minutes long, which leaves many kids stuffing their lunches down their throats. Not to mention, says one in three teenagers are considered overweight in the United States. Longer lunches allows students more time to eat, meaning less of shoveling down lunches. Only alotting that much time for lunch results in eating faster, not paying attention to how much students are eating. In a school that pushes health, one would think they would cut out more time for meals.

For seniors, the privilege of off-campus lunch is made even shorter. Students spend three years of their high school careers waiting to enjoy freedoms like Chick-Fil-A, but when they reach that point there really isn’t much to look forward to with lunch so rushed.

Our lunch periods have always felt short, so let’s not shorten them any more. If anything, is it really difficult to revert back to the old one, which was 32 minutes, or just 35 minutes? Of the various drafts of the schedule, there was one where lunch was supposed to be as long as a class period. However, this was decided against because half of that period would have been more of an IP for everyone in that lunch, with teachers open for questions. Dr. Michael Havener, principal, said there was too much uncertainty surrounding what a full half hour of an unassigned ‘homeroom’ would look like.  He also said lunch is considered a break for students during the school day. In our eyes, however, when students labor through six hours and 20 minutes of classes, a 30-minute break doesn’t help much.

On the subject of passing periods, truthfully most students could make their classes in at least five minutes. Obviously, walks from Essex to Dougherty Ferry or either of those to gyms would be pushing it, but it’s not impossible. However, that’s only doable if bathroom breaks, saying a quick hello to friends (accept it, it’s going to happen) and staying after to ask teachers quick questions are discounted.

Our proposal is give us our minute back. If it seems too difficult to do every day, then just a 6-minute passing period during the block days. Class periods are already longer those days, so why not? Those would be the days it would be most needed, especially since there are some teachers who deny bathroom breaks during the block classes and trust me, no one wants to see students peeing their pants because they had no time to run to the bathroom.

Also, adding the minute back to the passing period would work in favor of lengthening lunch. When administration adds a minute to the passing period, they’re taking that minute out of six classes, with the seventh being untouched by a passing period. To even class times, the minutes left over in the seventh class are added back to lunch. Havener said the administration is currently in talks about adding the minute back, and we say go for it. After all, we could all use time to pee.

So please, let us pee.