The bell rings at precisely 12:10.
A swarm of bodies fills the once empty hallways.
The metallic maws of lockers open and close, resounding definitively over the sea of voices.
Nearly 1,400 people scurry to cafeteria lines, cliques, and club meetings.
It is high school. It is lunch time.
I trudge wearily, weaving my way across campus, swimming upstream against a tide of teenage hormones and sophomoric drama, to the faculty lunchroom. Tucked away behind the bustling cafeteria, accessible only to those with a key (i.e. adults), it is a quiet oasis in an otherwise riotous terrain.
I sigh and then smile as I heat up my lunch. I wait for the curious phenomenon that will undoubtedly occur- the social dance of adults as we gather to take our midday sustenance.
My colleagues file in: some pensively, some exhausted, some eager to vent or relay the more interesting episodes from their morning classes. I take a seat and watch, as I have done for the last seven years, as the others do the same - armed with lunch bags and water bottles, papers and books.
I observe, amused, as we arrange ourselves by gender - men at one table, women at another - and prepare to eat. The segregation fascinates, but does not surprise, me. Much like our adolescent students in the adjacent quad, we are creatures of habit, subconsciously more comfortable in our homogeneous factions than we are in a coed group. The same-sex assemblage somehow feels natural and the happy chatter from each table confirms my blossoming theory - that we will are still and will always be, in high school.
I shrug my shoulders and convivially turn to the women at my table, anxious to hear the latest tidbit from Sabrina's first period Spanish I course before the bell rings and we must shuffle off again to class.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Today's Gratitude List:
- Time, finally, to blog (Oh, how I have missed it!)
- Three new books to read
- Another Back-To-School night under my belt
- Sunshine streaming through the windows this morning (Molly Kittenclaws is also grateful for this)