Open Letter to Latin Lunchers

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Jake Schlossberg

As a community, I would guess that we sit through approximately seven billion announcements a year. That’s a conservative estimate, I know, but you get the idea. Now, most of these announcements are completely bearable, totally benign, but my blood boils every time I have to hear another announcement about the cafeteria being messy.

It would be foolish not to recognize that our student body is an incredibly privileged one. We go to a very expensive school for an amazing education that will give us fantastic jobs so we can pass our privilege down to our children. If I’ve observed correctly, many Latin students are privileged enough to have cleaning services take care of their homes for them at least once a week. That means that if you leave a shirt on the floor of your room, someone will pick it up. If there are crumbs on your counter, they will wipe it off. The maintenance team at Latin is not, I repeat, IS NOT your cleaning crew. The job of the maintenance crew at Latin is just that, maintenance. It is not their job to pick your half eaten pasta up from your tables or out from the cracks in the booths. To leave huge messes for the people that do wonders for our school on a daily basis is disrespectful and ridiculous.

I think I know, though, that this is not a battle of right vs. wrong. We all know that leaving our crap all over the lunchroom is wrong. Rather, this is a battle of right vs. laziness. Here’s the deal: lower schoolers are expected to eat neatly, and to make sure that their area is clean once their done. It all goes with the lower school motto, “Manners, Kindness, and Civility.” On a maturity level, lower schoolers might as well be babies compared to us. Babies. Entities incapable of eating for themselves because they are SO underdeveloped. High schoolers are not underdeveloped. So why is it that kids in first grade are more inclined to clean up after themselves than us?

Don’t answer that question. There’s no excuse, just grow up. If you leave you tables messy and gross after lunch, you just need to grow up. Put on your big kid pants and deal with it. The administration has done everything they can to help you. There is now a bussing station by the other entrance of the cafeteria so, if you sit on the upper level, you don’t need to make that long, arduous trek down the four stairs to get to the other station. Even more, there will now be teachers monitoring lunch periods to make sure that everything is going well. Teachers, who already work longer days at school than we do, who have better things to do at lunch than watch children eat, are going to monitor our lunches. All because we, as a community, are too lazy to grab a bowl off of our table. That’s embarrassing.

Often, it’s not us who leave trash behind, but rather our friends. I encourage us to pick up stuff that maybe isn’t even ours. It may be a small burden, it may be annoying, but it helps to keep our space clean, and God will reward you for that in Heaven. Or, if that’s not your thing, you can come tell me that you helped out and I will give you a hug or something, I don’t know. Just do it. If you think that touching other people’s trash is gross, latex gloves are available at Walgreens for as little as $2.19. Or you could suck it up. That’s probably the better option.

I’m writing this article because I don’t want us to think that the only people affected by this problem are the administrators. I, as a student, am sick of coming to tables that are covered in marinara sauce. I don’t like sitting on remnants of people’s fried rice. I’m not going to nag you at assembly, I’m not going to install a security camera or anything, this is just a plea, from one student to another, to take care of our school. This is a place where we go every day, some of us for more than ten years. Whether you like it or not, Latin is another home for us, and we need to take better care of it.

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