New lunch period creates more problems than it solves

Lola Clark

I can’t help the loud crunching my salad makes as I sit in Chemistry eating. Everyone turns and stares, but that is the reality of having no time in a day to eat lunch.

I rush up the stairs from Chronicle to Ceramics, weighed down by my backpack and my lunchbox swinging from my wrist. As my stomach begins to rumble, I’m reminded I’ve only had some eggs for breakfast, and I’m more than ready to eat lunch. Without a lunch period, I find time to eat during class, and though it is a hassle to carry around lunch, I’m happy because I’d rather be eating in one of the electives I’m able to take than not be able to take the class at all.

There isn’t enough time in the day. There isn’t enough time for the variety of electives I want to take. And there most certainly isn’t enough time for a lunch block.

This upcoming school year, the school is implementing a required block period for either fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh period. This is the school’s way of making sure each student has a lunch period. By forcing a block period, it limits students to taking only seven courses.

By limiting us to only seven courses and attempting to relieve some stress, the school is doing exactly the opposite. It stresses me out more that I now have to fulfill my PE requirement before or after school.

I have to drop my elective Chronicle since with my core class requirements, there is simply no time in my schedule for the multitude of new elective offerings opening up next year.

Here at Harvard-Westlake, we are continuously being encouraged to push ourselves academically, seize new learning opportunities and “joyfully pursue excellence,” as the new mission statement declares. One isn’t able to do all these things when we are now held back from taking the number of courses we want to take.

I’m not opposed to a lunch period by any means. The days I have no frees are nothing short of a whirlwind of running from class to class, with little time for food, but that’s not to say it isn’t possible. With only two days out of the week I don’t have a free, I simply bring my lunch to class. Not having a block period had become the only thing I knew, and the knowledge that I will have a block next year is relieving but also not necessary. It brings me greater frustration knowing I would be able to take another class rather than not being able to eat.

If the school were able to implement maybe a 20-or 30-minute free period in the middle of the day that everyone had free, then everyone would be able to have a break and a lunch while continuing to have eight classes.

Students that need a lunch period would take one fewer class, while the ones that don’t mind a busy day would have the option to take more classes. When it comes down to it, I don’t think lunch should be a requirement.