Bon Appetit!

Students Enjoy Lunch in the Upper School


Lunch is an important part of the day for most highschoolers. It’s a time where they can detach from their learning and socialize with their friends. In the Upper School at Parker after the first semester of freshman year, students have the chance to go off campus for lunch. Additionally, there are spots throughout the whole high school where students can go to sit and enjoy their lunch period.

A form was sent out to the whole high school about where students like to eat lunch, whether on or off campus, how many people they like to eat with, and what they like to eat the most. There were 68 responses. The results of the form show that about 72% of the students prefer to eat only on campus, about 3% of students go off campus almost every day, and exactly 25% of the students eat both on and off campus during lunch period. 

The data showed that the top places students like to sit are at the cat boxes and the tables nearby, the third floor tables near the Draft Gym, and the fourth floor tables overlooking the courtyard. “During lunch, the hallways are definitely lively and robust,” Dean of Student Life Joe Bruno said.

Students who go off campus for lunch said that their favorite places to go eat include The Angry Octopus, Starbucks, and Five Guys. 

If students do not go out for lunch, they eat in the cafeteria which has a unique array of foods. The data collected about favorite lunches shows that students enjoy the Parker pizza, the flatbread at the sandwich bar, and the mac and cheese with peas and carrots. 

“The Parker cafeteria is annoying because the system is weird,” an anonymous junior said. “There’s always a long line when the food is good, but when there’s not good food, you’re not going to get it, and you’re going to order [food online], you risk getting in trouble for ordering food.” Many students who eat on campus order food to the school. “We order one day a week, and eat from the cafeteria the other days. You get more of that kind of privilege when you’re older. You’re not really gonna get it when you’re younger,” the student said.

People sit in groups ranging from three to 20 people in some situations, while others just clump in spots and just join together during lunch. As well as socializing with their peers, students will often use the lunch period to do homework, meet with teachers, and just relax from the first classes of the day. 

“I think that generally the places around where I’ve eaten are pretty clean, but I have seen some people leaving a big mess,” freshman Spencer Koh said. “I think a lot of people would agree with me when I say it’s a little annoying that because of some people, none of the freshmen can go off campus, but I understand why that’s the way it is.” This has also lengthened  the amount of time that the freshmen have had to stay on campus this year. 

Slowly people are getting the hang of how the lunch period works and how to best utilize the 30 minutes that they have in the middle of the day. An anonymous sophomore said, “From the excellent lunch staff, to the equally as great food, I never have much to complain about with lunch at Parker. Compared to other schools in Chicago, we have it really good here.”