By Cabot Martin
Long lunch is a false promise, giving students the illusion of a tremendous privilege, but supplying less real worth than a wooden nickel. Long lunch is a schedule change that adds ten minutes to the traditional 30-minute lunch break. This change is viewed by many students as an amazing and week-changing event, but in reality, it holds almost no real value.
Firstly, it is not a legitimate schedule change for students in first and third lunch; it simply adds time to lunch. The only real change is for students with second lunch, who usually have 40 minutes of class, 30 minutes of lunch, and then 40 minutes of class. On long lunch days, there are only two lunches, so students with third lunch are moved to second lunch, (the last 40 minutes of second block), which is 120 minutes. Also, some students in second lunch are moved to first lunch, which is the first 40 minutes of second block.
This means that many classes with second lunch have a sustained class of 80 minutes, whereas on other days their class would have been split in half by lunch, as mentioned previously. So, to call it a ‘schedule change’ is technically correct, but it is not a significant change, like the Friday schedule, or club day schedule, which are large, legitimate changes to the classes students attend at a certain time.
Secondly, it creates a student rush at the cafeteria, with more than 100 extra students crammed into tightly packed lunch lines. Monticello High School has 1096 students. On a normal day, there would be about 350 students in all three lunches. On a long lunch day, there would be 548 students in each of the two lunches.
Assuming seniors make up exactly one quarter of the student body, that would mean there are 274 (137 per lunch) seniors that have the option to leave the school, and drive to a closeby restaurant. If we approximate that ¾ of the seniors chose to drive for lunch, that still leaves 70 seniors (35 per lunch) at school. If we subtract 137 (number of seniors in both lunches) from 548 (total students in both lunches), we get 411 students. Then, we add back the 35 seniors who most likely stay at the school, and we get a final estimation of 446. This means that there are more than 100 more students per lunch on long lunch days, which obviously leads to massive lunch lines and not enough seating.
This forces administrators to put extra tables and chairs in the common area in front of the auditorium. Students also relocate to the library, or even sit on the ground in the main lobby of the school, which is surely an unattractive sight for visitors and potential students.
Long lunch is simply a useless and worthless change that creates more problems than it solves, and the administration and students need to realize this right away.