Capitol of the Underworld Relocates to Middle School Cafeteria

Sometimes we sell books at schools in conjunction with an author’s visit. I like middle schoolers, and it’s always heartening to see young people excited about a book.

But this time, we were in the cafeteria.

During lunch.

People are supposed to eat here?

I’m not saying the kids should have white glove table service, but could it maybe not be so loud that you want to put your head through a wall? I could barely hear myself speak. I couldn’t hear other people at all. I thought I might be having some kind of PTSD flashback. It’s not that the kids need to keep it down, either – they have to shout just to let the lunch lady know what to slop on their tray.

Note to schools: If you build a room entirely out of linoleum and cinderblocks, it is going to be miserably loud and echo-y, no matter how much stained acoustic tile is on the ceiling. Pack 200 twelve-year-olds in there – you can close your eyes and pretend you’re visiting Milton’s Pandemonium.

Besides that, lunch for the 6th graders happens at 10:06. Their school day starts at 7:15. Dairy farmers and coal miners have a more civilized schedule. I have a great idea: let’s start the school day the night before! We’ll solve the problems of tardiness & juvenile homelessness in one go. And let’s face it, a lot of kids sleep through classes anyway, so what’s the difference?

Next time: Earplugs. I still won’t be able to hear, but I’ll get to skip this nasty, ringing sensation I’ve got right now.


Bonus Nerdy Lit. break for today:

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