Food is a necessity in daily life, and many Boston Latin School students are famished by the end of R4. Lunch 1 provides a mental break, allowing students to recharge at the optimal time — not too early and not too late.
Before lunch, many students’ energy is depleted because of classwork and tests. Most students have not eaten since 6:30 A.M. or have not eaten at all.
Kenneth Cacho-Bermudez (IV) says, “I don’t [want to] be hungry [because] then it’s a distraction and you can’t focus properly.” Students with first lunch are able to de-stress and satisfy their yearning for food before resuming with another three hours of learning. They can concentrate more during R5 as a result.
A study by Tork reports that 94 percent of respondents said that taking a break helps them bring a fresh perspective on their task. Lunch 1 is the perfect mediator between the first four periods and the final three. It provides a well-deserved break between classes for students’ to refresh their minds.
Michael Li (III) echoes, “Yes, I do feel that the learning process is a lot easier after eating.” Unproductivity stems from an unsatisfied stomach, disturbing students’ ability to focus and retain information. Lunch 1 nourishes students the earliest to maximize their efficiency.
Having first lunch also allows for a better eating experience: the tables are cleaner, there is no trash and the food is fresher because it was cooked more recently. Students are able to study or socialize with friends in a cleaner environment compared to the other lunch times.
Many students might argue that Lunch 2 is preferable because the break in between the fifth period makes it feel shorter. That break, however, actually interrupts the learning process. When teachers are in the middle of teaching and the bell rings for Lunch 2, the rest of the lesson is often not heard. Lunch 1 provides uninterrupted learning without the distraction of hunger.
Additionally, Lunch 2 can make students late for class. BLS biology teacher Mrs. Aimee Messemer has a classroom opposite the dining hall on the third floor. She explains her experience with the different lunch periods, saying, “It is a challenge [for students] to get from my side of the building to the lunchroom to eat their lunch and then get back in a reasonable amount of time.”
Lunch 1 may make the rest of the school day feel longer, but it increases student productivity as it is in the middle of the day. With their minds refreshed, and with their energy replenished, students perform more productively and engage more actively in class.