Thursday, April 04, 2019

Walcott, the YMCA, and School Lunch

My friend teaches with me, and her family goes to a nearby YMCA. They like to swim there. One thing that a lot of us have in common is Francis Lewis branded shirts. For some reason one of our former principals gave us a few, and our current principal gave us one too. The social studies department has these department-branded blacek fleece things with zippers. All of us are jealous, because our departments never gave us that stuff.

Anyway my friend's husband and son were at the YMCA swimming. My friend's son is very dedicated, and lasted a lot longer than her husband. When her husband came out, he was wearing a Francis Lewis International Festival t-shirt. He saw some guy who looked very familiar, but he couldn't put his finger on where he'd seen him before.

Then the guy approached him. He asked him if he'd gone to Francis Lewis High School. He said no, he hadn't but his son did. Then he remembered.

"Hey, aren't you the chancellor?"

"Well I used to be."

Then Walcott said he loved Francis Lewis High School. He had gone there, and his daughter had gone there. When he became chancellor, it was the first school he visited. He said it was a great place. Everyone welcomed him there. The staff was wonderful.

"I know," my friend's husband said. "My wife has worked there for many, many years."

I don't know about many, many years. That makes it sound like she'd been working here since dinosaurs roamed the earth. But he didn't remember how long she'd been working here. I'm gonna hazard a guess and say fifteen years. I could be wrong, but that's more accurate than "many, many."

Then my friend's son came out and spoke with Walcott.

"How do you like the school?" Walcott asked.

"I like the school. All my friends are there."

"And what about the teachers?"

"I like the teachers."

Then Walcott asked him, "Is there anything you don't like?"

He thought for a minute. His mom had been sick for the last few days. Usually, she packed him lunch, but she was a little tired lately, so she'd just been giving him money to buy his own.

"I don't like the school lunch," he said.

It's ironic, because one of the only things Bloomberg did that was worthwhile was upgrading the school lunch a little. He substituted whole wheat bread for white bread. I even went to a PEP meeting where Joel Klein and company spent a great deal of time boasting about how they'd spent millions of dollars buying canned ravioli with whole wheat pasta wrappers.

School lunch is still that. School lunch. It's a lunch no one would pay for if they weren't at school. Whole grains are better for us than processed grains, but it's still crap. It's just healthier crap. Now, when the kids dump the lunch in the trash, they're dumping a better quality lunch.

Excelsior. Onward and upward.
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