Until We Eat Again
Reminiscing about lunchtime at CHS - By Zevida Germain
Circle K, -- we’ve all been inside one. Whether it's the ice cold Polar Pops and Frosters, rows upon rows of chips and candy, or hot coffee and roller food that takes you back to that age-old Canterbury lunch tradition, it doesn’t matter. But if you walked into Circle K today, you’d probably think the apocalypse had happened. Arrows telling you where to walk, boxes piled up in random places, no more hot food cooking, everyone in mask, and most shocking of all, no Canterbury students anywhere in sight. It rings true for every lunchtime spot these days. The caf hasn't had food in in it for months and the halls are alarmingly empty and quiet. Even the vending machines are empty. So what is there left to do? Reminisce about it of course.
“Lunch was insane,” Rebecca Rubinoff says. “One time we got an entire room of kids to shut up for prank calls. Like 25 people crowded around a phone, dead silent. Another time we shared a cake with nearly the entire hallway. It was destroyed after. I need that insanity back.”
The other stories echo this. Lee Winchester excitedly tells me about seeing Polar Pop cups being set on fire, Nate Fahmi shares their opinion on Circle K coffee, Julianne Costa talks about lunches on field trips, and Ella Pegan reminisces about cuddling friends in the halls. All of them end their stories with the same sentiment: they miss it, and they desperately need it back.
Rebecca presses the fact that missing lunch isn't just nostalgia talking. “I wanna meet new people. I talk to people, but you can’t really meet them. That’s what lunch was for.”
Nate Fahmi looks at it from their grade nine experience, telling me lunch was where they met their friends and got to know their program. Lunchtime things influence the rest of Canterbury life, they say. Nate talks about going to Circle K before coffeehouses and how it strengthens the whole class dynamic, wondering how the grade nines will get on without it, and I can't help but feel the same.
Lunch isn't just important for friendships though, it’s essential for learning. Every one of my interviewees expresses how burnout they feel without it, having to work with no breaks too just talk to your classmates or eat four hours a day.
But Julianne Costa puts it into words perfectly “Just the time to eat and see your friends makes all the difference.” she says. “If (normal) school didn't have lunch, making it through the day would be impossible. I’d just sit and wait for the end of the day. We need that time to just eat and talk to our friends, it’s no wonder grades are dropping without it.”
The message is loud and clear. Students need lunch, or at least a social break of some sort and until we see one, grades and morale will only continue to drop.
Lunch at Canterbury has been a staple of great friends, great stories, and okay food for some time now. Without it, days are longer and we are missing the good old times. but with the covid vaccine looking promising, we hopefully won’t have to wait much longer. So, until we can eat together again the best thing to do is just to talk about it, and be there for each other.
Keep on holding on, Canterbury!
"Lunch was insane... I need that insanity back.” - Rebecca Rubinoff