Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

A student’s lunch is his or her precious time to recharge and take care of business. Smart Lunch, so far, has come across as a marvelously executed idea. I have accomplished much during my lunch period that might have otherwise been neglected. Learning to use Smart Lunch effectively was not difficult and has served as a remarkable convenience to many people.

A few changes as simple as modifying the layout of tables in the lunchroom could help make SMART lunch more fluid and easy. The detractions of SMART lunch –largely the sheer number of people eating lunch at one time– still need to be dealt with, as groups of friends retreat to other areas. These areas include the library, locker bays, etc. Any area where a group of friends can stand around and talk when they find no place to sit in the lunchroom intended for lounging. A large reason for this is the cramped and inefficient layout of the lunchroom tables.

Of course, the purpose of SMART lunch is to provide students with the opportunity to use their time more productively than simply eating lunch. But even the students who are masters of clubs and study tediously before every test will still find themselves in times where they will be left with nothing to do, maybe even for the whole hour.

“Even though I do several clubs, I find I have nothing to do quite often,” said Alec Ballard, junior and avid club participant. Where is the malice in a rest so that you can do your best during fourth period? SMART Lunch would never work if every student ate lunch in the main room every single day- this was part of the deal when SMART Lunch was first proposed. But it is not the duty of any student to make themselves scarce every single day. After all, nothing beats having a place to eat lunch with friends.

If you want to find inspiration, you should look no further than to the room across the courtyard from the lunchroom, where lunch and sitting with large groups of friends becomes a painless experience: the multipurpose room. Things here are serener than in the regular lunchroom. Eight people can hold a conversation easily with plenty of space to eat.

The poet John Donne wrote that no man is an island. So why is the table configuration of the lunchroom not designed to accompany large groups of people? Not every table is filled in the lunchroom during the rush of Smart Lunch–chairs are pillaged and shuffled like playing cards, and students mesh these chairs into unholy configurations to surround one table with as many as 10 people. A more conventional style of table organization, like that in the multipurpose room, could remedy this. There is no room to move and chairs lock each other in position, creating much inconvenience.

If we take inspiration from the multipurpose room and apply it to the lunchroom, laying the tables end on end while placing the extra chairs on either side and divide the room into rows, then this could remove congestion and simplify the entire ordeal.

“I personally think Smart lunch is fine the way it is,” says Taylor Breit, a sophomore, but that does not imply that it can’t be improved upon.

SMART Lunch has been a benefit to academic life at Leesville, and most certainly one of the best things to happen to the school this year. If we took a few simple steps and collaborated amongst ourselves to innovate the design of something as simple as a high school lunchroom, we could improve it even further.

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