Starving for change: give science classes first lunch

Alex Diamond, Senior Writer

A brief apology to my seventh-period physics teacher, Mrs. Lin:
I appreciate the work you do for me and my classmates, and I sincerely apologize for attempting to inhale a Nature Valley Oats and Honey granola bar while you were teaching about inertia. I understand that choking on oats in the back of the room is distracting to my classmates’ learning about the wonderful world of physics and that I should have been eating my afternoon snack outside in the hallway.

This concludes my apology, though I am only beginning my grievances towards whoever designed this year’s lunch schedule.
In years past, I’ve weathered 12:45 lunch with no problem; though the official lunch might be late, I’ve always been able to munch on a pack of fruit snacks while taking notes during third or seventh period. This year, however, I have physics seventh period. Being a lab class, no food should be eaten in the room, which makes the previously inconsequential 12:45 lunch mark seem eons away.
My physics teacher—the aforementioned Mrs. Lin—is very kind and allows me and my classmates to step outside the classroom to eat a quick snack, but this solution (though well-intentioned) comes off as distracting. I personally feel like leaving in the middle of class to eat is disrespectful because missing any section of class (even just a short moment to eat a snack) is a missed learning opportunity. Plus, there’s the dreaded Snacktime Shuffle: students awkwardly weaving through cramped rows, receiving silent glares for stepping on toes and tripping over backpacks, all to reach the hallway for a simple snack boost. These distractions are completely unnecessary and could be easily remedied by science classes automatically having first lunch.
It’s been that way in the past; this isn’t my first time around the seventh-period-science block. Both freshman and junior year I had seventh-period science classes, but both had first lunch so it was never an issue. I arrived to class full and focused, ready to take on whatever that day’s lesson was—very different from my arrivals this year.
Noontime eating is even backed by science. According to the U.S. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Most children and teens need to eat every three to four hours throughout the day to meet their MyPlate daily food plan.” If a student ate breakfast at exactly 8 a.m. (and many don’t even do that) they’d still get hungry anywhere from 11 to 12—way before second lunch begins.
Furthermore, it wouldn’t be a hard switch. The current lunch list is unbalanced; 34 teachers with first lunch and 39 teachers with second. Switching the second lunch science teachers back to first lunch would not only help fix the 12 o’clock hunger pangs but also rebalance the cafeteria sizes.
Thus, for the sanity of students and teachers, put science teachers back on the first lunch—hopefully before I choke on another granola bar.