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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Graduation season is upon us. Try not to act like an ass.

Regular readers know that I cover numerous graduations for our local paper. Last year I posted some basic unacceptable behaviors. I would like to elaborate on that as I get ready to attend the first of a handful of graduations tomorrow.

Wearing clothes that make you look like any of the following: a slut, an audience member on Maury, or an escaped convict: not appropriate.

Bringing children with you who are incapable of sitting for 10 minutes let alone 90 -- not appropriate.

Yelling things. Not appropriate. Someone should tell you that your child isn't more important than the child in front or behind him/her in line. Shouting things like "Way to go Dumbass" is disrespectful.

Answering your phone. Completely unacceptable and downright rude. I don't care if you're on call. I don't care if your waiting to hear if your grandchild was born. If your phone rings during graduation, you cannot answer. If you need to return that call, please exit.

Leaving during a speech. Not acceptable. Try to remember that these kids are 17 or 18. They are speaking in front of a ton of their peers and many of their loved ones. Clomping up the bleachers in your big ass shoes so you can get to your car first is unacceptable. In all honest, it makes me want to trip you.

Just because I'm taking notes doesn't mean I have extra paper to share with your irritating child. Asking me for my pen - unacceptable. It always amazes me just how perplexed people get when they see me taking notes at graduation. I must not look like a reporter.

Allowing your child to slide down the stadium bleachers. Not acceptable. Seriously? Someone needs to tell you this?

Can't wait to see what tomorrow night brings.

It's going to be hot out there. Just in case you were wondering, bikini tops are also unacceptable.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lessons From the Lunchlady: Special Edition: hotdog day

A certain kind of crazy happens in my school cafeteria on hotdog day. I imagine that it happens elsewhere as well, but I can only speak for the kind of crazy that happens in my kitchen.

Five things you will only hear in hotdog day (hopefully)

"Hey, you broke my wiener" said a 2nd grader as he discovered his hotdog had split a little. My response, "That's so you know where to put the ketchup."

"It's time to catheterize the hotdogs," said by one of my coworkers or me as we temperature those little buggers.

"His pickle is bigger than mine," said by a kindergartener in reference to the dill spear he received with his lunch. Best response: "never compare pickles. It only leads to hurt feelings."

"I've got a wiener in my pocket," said by a first grader in a bad attempt to parody this song. This version might be better than the original.

Finally, we just can't serve hotdogs and baked beans without some little kid telling us the beans are a magical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot."

One thing's for sure, I do have a lot of fun at work.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oklahoma on a not-so-typical day

On a typical morning, most of us wake up and do not plan for our deaths.

We wake up with expectations of waking up again the following day. We go through our routines. We tell ourselves that we won't get irritated with our kids...tomorrow. We tell ourselves that we will put our laundry away...tomorrow.

We make plans.

We picture our futures.

But sometimes those plans are interrupted by car accidents or illnesses or tornadoes.

On a typical day, we send our kids to school with expectations that we will see them again.

But sadly, we all know that this isn't always how the day ends. Lately, it feels like that every few months we are reminded of this.

There are approximately 7 million teachers and 1.75 million school administrators in the United States.

I am not one of them.

However, I know many of them.

Some are even family members.

Not all of them are created equal.

But on those not-so-typical days, some of them are extraordinary.

It is those not-so-typical days, that we are reminded of just how much we ask of our school employees.

On Monday, when that nameless 2 mile wide tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma and ripped through Plaza Towers Elementary School many did all they could to save the children left in their care.

One rescue worker was quoted as saying, "We had to pull a car out of the front hall off a teacher and I don't know what her name is, but she had three little kids underneath her. Good job, teach."

Another teacher is said to have been found shielding six students in an interior bathroom.

I am proud to say that I know countless people whom I believe would do the same. They would risk it all to save the kids in their class. They would do all they could to keep the children in their charge safe.

As a school employee, I think that includes not just the teachers but the administrators, the aides, the custodians and the lunch staff.

Tomorrow my alarm will go off and I will plan for a typical day. My kids will get on three different buses and I will trust that they will make it to and from their respective destinations.

But should tomorrow turn out to be a not-so-typical day, I know deep in my heart that those I have entrusted my kids to would die trying to keep them safe.

To all the heroes in Oklahoma and elsewhere, I salute you.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lessons from the Lunchlady: It's easy to piss off the bank

Less than 20 lunches need to be prepared before summer break is upon us. I have to say that it has been a bigger adjustment than Inexpected going from part time to full time but I have no regrets.

Here's what we learned this week.

Apple crisp: No one wants the apple crisp until you run out. I'm pretty sure there is some kind of law of supply and demand related to this very notion.

It's easy to piss off the bank. You'd think that people who have hours like 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. would be super pleasant. My deposit from grandparent's day had A LOT of coins in it. I separated them all into little ziplock bags and wrote on the bag how much was included but I didn't have any rolls. Guess what came back in my bank bag. Tons of rolls and a note about being required to roll all coins. Who are they trying to kid? I know they have a coin counter. I've been to the bank before.

Kids will notice. Sometimes it feels like kids could care less about school lunch and they'll only notice the negative. But this week when I took the time to make kiwi/orange/blueberry cups just about everyone of those little buggers noticed and were super excited about.

Refried beans still get a reaction. No matter how many times we serve them, we still get a few gasps from the littlest customers who definately judge their food by its appearence. Foods that looks like poop is a hard sale on a K-3 level.

Excited about changes and ideas for next year. If the goal is to continue to improve service and provide healthy meals then we are headed in the right direction.

What did you learn this week?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Lessons From the Lunchlady: I'm back....

It's been awhile since I've shared some cafeteria adventures. I was feeling a little burned out from blogging but I'm ready to make a comeback.

Here's hoping that a few of you are still reading and that maybe you'll bring a friend or two with you.

Being a superhero is pretty darn cool. May 3rd was School Lunch Superhero day and we were treated to some really cool cafeteria decorations, thank you notes and even a dance number. My favorite were the notes depicting my hairnet.

Sunflowers are my favorite. The preschool class gave me a sunflower they planted from a seed and told me "Happy Mudder's Day". It may have been the single cutest thing that happened to me this week.

Old people make me laugh. While serving lunch to a ton of grandparents this week, I was asking if they'd like milk or water. One grandpap asked "Got any beer back there?"

Vanilla milk takes down chocolate. Can you believe that there is a milk flavor that can take down chocolate as the champion?? Turns out my kiddos are in love with vanilla milk. It sort of tastes like melted vanilla ice cream. I'm still shocked that so may of my students love this milk.

"I don't wike the wed things." I don't know how you feel about red peppers but I think they are delicious. The students, on the other hand, are not all that fond. They are totally convinced that they are spicy. Now they've started asking me to take put all the "wed" ones.

They don't know what's good!

What have you learned while I was gone??

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Basic concert etiquette for Dummies

Over the last few weeks, I have attended quite a few school spring concerts. Performers in the concert ranged from kindergarten through eighth grade and were all very well behaved. However, the amount of inappropriate behaviors witnessed by people in attendance who qualify as adults needs to be addressed.

Let's go over some basic concert etiquette. Feel free to share this with the dummies in your life.

It is not appropriate to answer your phone. I don't care if its your mother, answering the phone during a school concert, or any school function, is inappropriate. Let it go to voice mail. The world will not end.

It is not appropriate to record the entire concert on your iPad. Your iPad is freakin HUGE! I can not see around it, Let's be serious, you can't zoom close enough on an iPad to make a video worth watching. Leave it at home.

It is not appropriate to say "Who the fuck is that?" when school administrators are talking. This should be self explanatory but apparently it isn't. In fact, you should refrain from cussing at all school functions. Odds are that if you came to more school functions you probably would know the speaker.

It is not appropriate to take your misbehaving toddler to the lobby and then let him run and squeal as if he is in the middle of a soccer field. This may shock you, but we can still hear him. If your child can not sit still for 90 minutes they are not invited.

It is not appropriate to check your Facebook, to text your dad, or to play candy crush during the show. You can unplug for 90 minutes. If not, you have a problem.

It is not appropriate to yell anything during the concert. Not "turn on the mike" or "way to go, Jack!" or "We love you, monkey." Just clap, like everyone else.

It is not appropriate to leave once your child is done performing. If your kid is in the orchestra and they played first, you need to keep your butt in that chair until my band student is done playing. You are not allowed to leave because that is rude.

To summarize, turn off your electronic devices, be quiet and stay in your seat. If we all did this, the concert would be even more enjoyable.

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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