The Lunchroom ‘Off-Duty’


Madison Holloway

Janitor Jackie Casteel sweeps the cafeteria after lunch.

Madison Holloway, 21st Century Reporter

A boy walks down the hall, whistling loudly over the whine of a saw in the woods room. There is a crinkle and snap of a trashbag being opened. Many interesting sounds fill these halls but, overall there is a simply the monotonous hum of students busy in their classrooms.

Once inside the cafeteria, sun shines through the windows reflecting off the tables and floor. These surfaces are clean for the most part, but upon closer inspection, the table feels gritty with crumbs and it looks like the broom may have spared a carrot or two today.

A familiar and strangely nostalgic smell lingers in the air, perhaps the dishrags are also celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.

In the corner of the lunchroom, Interpersonal Skills students sit at a table, talking and laughing, with their cadet and teacher as they fold towels into neat stacks.

Janitors are also at work. Their keys jingle like spare change as they quickly stack chairs and fold up tables to prepare for tonight’s banquet.

“You take three tables and put ‘em along here and then put two along there,” Janitor Jackie Casteel said, directing another janitor.

The chairs swish then clank as the janitors scoot them across the floor before hoisting each one on top of the others.

Among the rows and rows of grey tables and black chairs, one thing stands out in the otherwise plain lunchroom. The large mural that hangs on the wall. It is fitting that this colorful representation of our student’s diverse interests hangs in the cafeteria. This is the only place in the entire school that brings everyone together to do something we all enjoy- eat.