Eating Lunch in the Math Center: A Last Resort

Matt Greenberg

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Of all the places in Scarsdale High School where one can eat lunch, the math center is certainly the most depressing.  How do I know this?  On November 15th, I ate lunch in the math center while finishing a homework assignment.  For those of you who have yet to experience this crushing emotional journey, allow me to share my experience.

It was early lunch.  The math center was filled with studious individuals.  Some had small snacks: a bag of chips or perhaps a water bottle.  I sauntered into the math center with chicken fingers, a bag of chips, and a Snapple.  Immediately, the dirty looks began.  I could sense the collective judgement of a dozen people bearing down on my soul.  Their glares reinforced the idea that the math center simply was not built for lunch.   Unfortunately for them, the decision had already been made.  I was beyond the point of caring.  I insisted on eating my chicken fingers in the math center.

I sat down in a vacant chair next to an impossibly small freshman.  He looked up at me and grudgingly moved his pencil case and school planner to make room for my afternoon meal.  I could see the disgust in his eyes.  

I walked over to the bookshelf and found the textbooks necessary to complete my homework.  While pulling out my chair to sit back down, I accidentally knocked over the freshman’s backpack.  “Sorry,” I said pathetically.  “It’s OK,” he replied.  The tone of his voice suggested that it was not, in fact, OK.

I began working and eating.  Despite my efforts to keep the mess to a minimum, soon my half-completed math homework was dotted with bread crumbs from my chicken fingers.  Without thinking about it, I swiped the crumbs to the side, only to look over and find that I had coated the freshman’s work in my own bread crumbs.  There is no greater disrespect.  I apologized again, only to sweep the crumbs off his work and directly into his lap.

I sat back in my chair and reflected on my lunch experience.  I had only caused pain and suffering to those around me.  I vowed never to eat lunch in the math center again.  It is the first and last time I will do such a thing.  The math center is a holy sanctuary that must remain unsoiled by bread crumbs.

My advice to you?  Do not eat lunch in the math center.  The cafeteria, library, a classroom, or even the hallway are all better options.  To enter the math center with a full meal is to enter a hostile environment.  Prepare for the worst.

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