By Erick Joven
During nutrition, most students have a pretty large to-do list that includes getting out of the classroom, meeting with friends and socializing a bit, walking to the cafeteria, acquiring and eating food, and using the restroom. That might all work out if your class is near the cafeteria and you hit the restroom line early. But what do you do when you have a class all the way in the M building and are across campus? Add the walk to your next class to the to do list.
Twelve minutes is absolutely not enough time to accomplish all of this.
Nutrition has never been long enough to accomplish everything, especially as the bathrooms are completely filled with obstacles such as giant lines for the girls and freshman slap boxing each other in the boys bathrooms.
Here are some very realistic scenarios students face on a daily basis due to having a nutrition that is too short.
Your second period class is Spanish in the Q building. In order to get to the cafeteria to get food, you have to walk through the funnel of students in front of the L building. But you don’t want to spend your whole nutrition alone, so you wait for your friends before going to the cafeteria. Your friends have English in the A building, so it takes a while to meet up. You finally walk to the cafeteria together and get food. You have time to eat, but not enough time to stand in line behind 20 other people in the bathroom. When you get to third period, you ask your teacher to use the bathroom, since you didn’t have enough time. But the teacher says no, because why didn’t you go during nutrition, right? So now you have to suffer until the passing period.
Your class is far away from the cafeteria, so you decide to go to the restroom first. You are one of the first people there, so the line is not too long. But now you have to get all the way to the cafeteria and stand in line to get food. If you are lucky, the bell has not rung yet. So, you pick up some food and walk to where your friends are. But the bell rings and you have not even opened your food. Now you are in a rush to eat, cramming in your chicken nuggets, cinnamon roll or cereal while standing outside the door of your third period. But, you ate so fast that you now have the hiccups.
You forgot your water at home though, so you ask to go get a drink of water but you have to wait 10 minutes after the bell in order to be able to go to the water fountain. Now you are in class making whatever your hiccup noise is for the world to hear, and all you need is a sip of water.
Both of these scenarios could be solved with 5 extra minutes for nutrition.
There is also already precedent for a longer nutrition break. The Covid testing schedule on Mondays and Thursdays has proved very successful in making sure we have enough time to to peacefully eat, enough time to socialize, and enough time to go to the bathroom, leaving students more prepared to focus in third period. When the Covid restrictions and testing lessen, this should still become a regular part of our schedule.