- 2013 (34)
- 2012 (189)
- 2011 (227)
- 2010 (222)
- 2009 (293)
- 2008 (218)
- 2007 (1)
On a typical morning, most of us wake up and do not plan for our deaths.
We wake up with expectations of waking up again the following day. We go through our routines. We tell ourselves that we won't get irritated with our kids...tomorrow. We tell ourselves that we will put our laundry away...tomorrow.
We make plans.
We picture our futures.
But sometimes those plans are interrupted by car accidents or illnesses or tornadoes.
On a typical day, we send our kids to school with expectations that we will see them again.
But sadly, we all know that this isn't always how the day ends. Lately, it feels like that every few months we are reminded of this.
There are approximately 7 million teachers and 1.75 million school administrators in the United States.
I am not one of them.
However, I know many of them.
Some are even family members.
Not all of them are created equal.
But on those not-so-typical days, some of them are extraordinary.
It is those not-so-typical days, that we are reminded of just how much we ask of our school employees.
On Monday, when that nameless 2 mile wide tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma and ripped through Plaza Towers Elementary School many did all they could to save the children left in their care.
One rescue worker was quoted as saying, "We had to pull a car out of the front hall off a teacher and I don't know what her name is, but she had three little kids underneath her. Good job, teach."
Another teacher is said to have been found shielding six students in an interior bathroom.
I am proud to say that I know countless people whom I believe would do the same. They would risk it all to save the kids in their class. They would do all they could to keep the children in their charge safe.
As a school employee, I think that includes not just the teachers but the administrators, the aides, the custodians and the lunch staff.
Tomorrow my alarm will go off and I will plan for a typical day. My kids will get on three different buses and I will trust that they will make it to and from their respective destinations.
But should tomorrow turn out to be a not-so-typical day, I know deep in my heart that those I have entrusted my kids to would die trying to keep them safe.
To all the heroes in Oklahoma and elsewhere, I salute you.
Less than 20 lunches need to be prepared before summer break is upon us. I have to say that it has been a bigger adjustment than Inexpected going from part time to full time but I have no regrets.
Here's what we learned this week.
Apple crisp: No one wants the apple crisp until you run out. I'm pretty sure there is some kind of law of supply and demand related to this very notion.
It's easy to piss off the bank. You'd think that people who have hours like 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. would be super pleasant. My deposit from grandparent's day had A LOT of coins in it. I separated them all into little ziplock bags and wrote on the bag how much was included but I didn't have any rolls. Guess what came back in my bank bag. Tons of rolls and a note about being required to roll all coins. Who are they trying to kid? I know they have a coin counter. I've been to the bank before.
Kids will notice. Sometimes it feels like kids could care less about school lunch and they'll only notice the negative. But this week when I took the time to make kiwi/orange/blueberry cups just about everyone of those little buggers noticed and were super excited about.
Refried beans still get a reaction. No matter how many times we serve them, we still get a few gasps from the littlest customers who definately judge their food by its appearence. Foods that looks like poop is a hard sale on a K-3 level.
Excited about changes and ideas for next year. If the goal is to continue to improve service and provide healthy meals then we are headed in the right direction.
What did you learn this week?
It's been awhile since I've shared some cafeteria adventures. I was feeling a little burned out from blogging but I'm ready to make a comeback.
Here's hoping that a few of you are still reading and that maybe you'll bring a friend or two with you.
Being a superhero is pretty darn cool. May 3rd was School Lunch Superhero day and we were treated to some really cool cafeteria decorations, thank you notes and even a dance number. My favorite were the notes depicting my hairnet.
Sunflowers are my favorite. The preschool class gave me a sunflower they planted from a seed and told me "Happy Mudder's Day". It may have been the single cutest thing that happened to me this week.
Old people make me laugh. While serving lunch to a ton of grandparents this week, I was asking if they'd like milk or water. One grandpap asked "Got any beer back there?"
Vanilla milk takes down chocolate. Can you believe that there is a milk flavor that can take down chocolate as the champion?? Turns out my kiddos are in love with vanilla milk. It sort of tastes like melted vanilla ice cream. I'm still shocked that so may of my students love this milk.
"I don't wike the wed things." I don't know how you feel about red peppers but I think they are delicious. The students, on the other hand, are not all that fond. They are totally convinced that they are spicy. Now they've started asking me to take put all the "wed" ones.
They don't know what's good!
What have you learned while I was gone??
Over the last few weeks, I have attended quite a few school spring concerts. Performers in the concert ranged from kindergarten through eighth grade and were all very well behaved. However, the amount of inappropriate behaviors witnessed by people in attendance who qualify as adults needs to be addressed.
Let's go over some basic concert etiquette. Feel free to share this with the dummies in your life.
It is not appropriate to answer your phone. I don't care if its your mother, answering the phone during a school concert, or any school function, is inappropriate. Let it go to voice mail. The world will not end.
It is not appropriate to record the entire concert on your iPad. Your iPad is freakin HUGE! I can not see around it, Let's be serious, you can't zoom close enough on an iPad to make a video worth watching. Leave it at home.
It is not appropriate to say "Who the fuck is that?" when school administrators are talking. This should be self explanatory but apparently it isn't. In fact, you should refrain from cussing at all school functions. Odds are that if you came to more school functions you probably would know the speaker.
It is not appropriate to take your misbehaving toddler to the lobby and then let him run and squeal as if he is in the middle of a soccer field. This may shock you, but we can still hear him. If your child can not sit still for 90 minutes they are not invited.
It is not appropriate to check your Facebook, to text your dad, or to play candy crush during the show. You can unplug for 90 minutes. If not, you have a problem.
It is not appropriate to yell anything during the concert. Not "turn on the mike" or "way to go, Jack!" or "We love you, monkey." Just clap, like everyone else.
It is not appropriate to leave once your child is done performing. If your kid is in the orchestra and they played first, you need to keep your butt in that chair until my band student is done playing. You are not allowed to leave because that is rude.
To summarize, turn off your electronic devices, be quiet and stay in your seat. If we all did this, the concert would be even more enjoyable.
I follow a lot of child nutrition blog sites, twitter feeds and Facebook pages. Basically, if something happens in the school nutrition business, I will hear about it one way or another.
So when some of my Facebook feeds started blowing up about this story I too wanted to weigh in.
Dear Mr. Canterbury,
Your proposal that students receiving free or reduced lunch "work" for their food by doing odd jobs such as cleaning tables and scrubbing toilets has to be one of the most ridiculous things that I have ever heard.
First, Mr. Canterbury let's address a few reasons why this simply won't work. It is impossible to explain to a five year old kindergarten student that he must pick up the trash left after lunch to pay for his meal while other students are not expected to do the same. Many children, especially those on an elementary level, are completely unaware that their lunch is subsidize. Anonymity is one of the reason the program works so well.
Secondly, this anonymity becomes even more important to our older students. How would you feel if it was basically announced to all the other West Virginia delegates that since you make the least amount of money, you'll be cleaning the toilets and eating for free.
High school is hard enough, let's not add this to the mix.
You are quoted as saying there is no such thing as a free lunch. Really? It's slightly hypocritical of you considering during your sessions, lunch is provided. Perhaps there was a potluck that I was unaware of but I'm pretty sure all you had to do was show up and someone fed you.
Granted, you didn't pay for that lunch and someone else did, but what exactly did you do to "earn" it?
Here's what I learned.
Computers are temperamental. We depend heavily on electronics. When the server goes down, things immediately become more complicated and I become grateful that I work at the smallest school in the district.
PSSA breakfast. For six days we provided breakfast for the entire third grade class during state testing. It wasn't all that more complicated as we served the regular breakfast kids the same thing as the PSSA kids but the delay between first breakfast and third grade breakfast really made getting lunch ready a little more difficult.
Switching lunch never goes as planned. No matter how simple or how complex the menu change someone will miss it and someone will cry.
Milkmen are an enigma to me. I remain amazed by the fact that the milkman was able to interject into the story he was telling me about an auto accident the fact that he had to pee at least 14 times. I do not want to know about the urinary issues of the milkman.
The overhood fire protection has been inspected and is working. It's always a relief and a terror to know that all systems are a a go should I ever need to pull that little plug and release my over hood fire protection. I'm not sure exactly what comes out of there and I hope I never have to find out.
What did you learn this week?
I made 25 new scrapbook pages. My face and stomach still hurt from laughing.
How was your weekend?
- I'm a 40 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some crack...um...I meant some comments.