No time for lunch

At some high schools, ultra-studious students have to be required to break for lunch, reports the New York Times.

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. — High school students in this well-to-do Westchester suburb pile on four, five, even six Advanced Placement classes to keep up with their friends. They track their grade-point averages to multiple decimal places and have longer résumés than their parents.

“I would never put lunch before work,” says Elaine Rigney, a junior at Briarcliff. She intends to work through the new period.

But nearly half the students at Briarcliff High School have packed their schedules so full that they do not stop for lunch, prompting administrators to rearrange the schedule next fall to require everyone to take a 20-minute midday break. They will extend each school day and cut the number of minutes each class meets over the year.

The principal hopes the 20 minute break will ease the stress.

This year, 12 percent of Briarcliff’s 665 students have no free periods, while an additional 30 percent have classes the entire time the cafeteria is open.

Some lunch skippers eat in class; others don’t eat at all.

When I was in high school, I avoided the cafeteria, which was dirty and noisy. I’d bring a sandwich and eat it quietly in a study area, careful to avoid notice. Later, when the student lounge opened, I often consumed a Tab and two packs of M&M’s for lunch. I’d get a hunger headache a few hours later, which I’d cure with a bowl of soup when I got home. Well into my twenties, my first response to a headache was to eat rather than take aspirin. And now I’m diabetic. I should have eaten more M&M’s when I had the chance.

All Work and No Play Still Might Not Get Jack into Harvard, writes Anne Applebaum on Slate.

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  1. My best friend and I were such relative slackers in high school. We each only took 1 AP course (US History) and 1 Honors course (Physics). The rest of our friends piled on with Honors and AP classes for bio, chem, lit, etc.

    And yet somehow my friend and I managed to get into good schools. Plus, said friend also was accepted to Harvard Law School. Somehow she didn’t ruin her future by refusing to pile on the advanced classes in high school. She’s managed to do well so far. (I, on the other hand, am still working out my grad school goals…)

  2. Cardinal Fang says:

    An AP class is supposed to be the equivalent of a college class. So how come these kids are taking six APs? They won’t be taking six classes at a time when they’re actually in college.

  3. Devilbunny says:

    Because they won’t have taken all the AP exams by the time colleges have to decide to admit them or not, but the colleges *will* see that they are volunteering for a tough load.

    I often ate in class in high school so that my lunch period – enforced – would be free to do what I pleased. As long as you didn’t eat something noisy like chips, teachers were generally indifferent.

  4. Sound like business students.