Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Tales from the School Cafeteria

There are a lot of elementary schools out there where the cafeteria doubles as the gym and most of the time this is an economical solution for schools.

This was the case on Governor's Island, where I attended Kindergarten through second grade.

My Mom packed my lunch in my yellow and red Snoopy lunch box. The standard lunch consisted of a bologna sandwich and some sort of side (carrots, raisins, that sort of thing) as well as a beverage in my Snoopy thermos.

I picked that lunch box out myself. It was cool because it didn't just have the standard picture of the character on the front. This box distinguished itself because it had complete comic strips on it. I can't say how many times I read those strips, but I never seemed to tire of them.

I don't know why I chose Snoopy of all things, since I was mostly into Little Orphan Annie at the time, but Snoopy it was.

It's because of Snoopy and that catch-all cafeteria/gym that I have a scar on my chin to this day.

Apparently it's a good thing my parents didn't name me Grace.

If it was raining or (unlikely) snowing, we would not be allowed to play outside on the cool toys that they had for us military brats. (Things like old Coast Guard boats and huge concrete culverts that we loved to hide in and climb on...things that would not pass safety standards today.)

That fateful day I, along with the rest of the school was confined to half of the cafeteria/gym after we finished eating. For some reason, all the kids would line up their lunch boxes along one of the out-of-bounds lines for the basketball court instead of along the wall, you know, out of the way.

I was running along and turned to look at a friend who was shouting something at me.


I landed on my chin. How I do not know.

I remember seeing stars and putting my hand to my chin to find my hand turned red with my blood. I remember having to wait in the office for one of my parents to come and take me to the hospital. I remember crying when I saw my Dad, dressed in his military blue, enter the office and ask me what happened. I remember feeling terrible that I had dragged him away from his job because I am a klutz who tripped over her own red and yellow Snoopy lunch box.

Check out School Menu and its parental counterpart Family Everyday, two sites that work together with School Food Services Directors to provide and promote healthy eating and physical fitness for kids and their parents.

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Sandy said...

Oh, man...thanks for the memories! We had one of those cafeternasiums too, but on rainy days we were confined to our classroom. Ugh! I'm sure the teacher REALLY appreciated those days, locked in with a bunch of rowdy kids during their lunch break.

Mom Thumb said...

I had a chin injury in first grade from doing something really dumb. Picture four kids side by side on two teeter totters. Imagine the two on one end are holding hands because they are BFFs. Then picture one going down while the other (me) is still up. And they don't let go of the hands. Ouch.

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