School Lunches

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a small vignette from when I was learning about life as a poor kid in a small town. I hope you enjoy it.

Please listen to my audio version as you read along!

Submitted: December 04, 2008

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Submitted: December 04, 2008

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Until I was in the fifth grade or so school lunches were okay. Everyone slid their trays across the chromed cattle-shute of a lunch line, hoping against hope that there would be a new tray of pizza when you got there. You certainly didn't want the crusty burnt one that always seemed to be the last one to leave the pan before the new batch arrived. Yeah, I guess school lunches weren't that bad. Until after fifth grade that was.

I grew up poor. Not as poor as some, but close enough to the poverty line that my brother, sister, and I all got free lunch at school. This never bothered me until I switched from the fifth grade at the elementary school to the new school. Everyone in my school was bussed to the sixth grade. They didn't have sixth at the old elementary.

It was in the sixth grade that I, along with all of the "cool" kids, noticed that I didn't wear the name brand clothes or the stylish shoes. I made do with Wal-Mart and the Dollar Store, often paid for from a fund collected by the school. So when lunch time came it was just another reason for the popular kids to ridicule my parents (and consequently my own) lack of money. Most kids stood in line and gave their money to the lunch lady at the end. Not me, I gave her my name and number. If the clothes and the shoes didn't tell the other kids I was poor then the name and number, like those of a condemned man, sure did.

I survived though. Don't most of us? I guess when I stop to think about it school lunches weren't that bad. At least not before the sixth grade.


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