The Oracle

East’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day!

Stepping away from our comfort zones for only 30 minutes: Yay or Nay?

East+participated+in+National+Mix+It+Up+at+Lunch+Day+on+October+31%2C+2017%2C+when+the+Student+Council+set+up+an+opportunity+for+people+to+develop+new+friendships+by+changing+the+cafeteria+slightly.+
East participated in National Mix It Up at Lunch Day on October 31, 2017, when the Student Council set up an opportunity for people to develop new friendships by changing the cafeteria slightly.

East participated in National Mix It Up at Lunch Day on October 31, 2017, when the Student Council set up an opportunity for people to develop new friendships by changing the cafeteria slightly.

East participated in National Mix It Up at Lunch Day on October 31, 2017, when the Student Council set up an opportunity for people to develop new friendships by changing the cafeteria slightly.

Angel Trinh, Editor In Chief

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East High School’s cafeteria was more empty and chaotic than usual on the National Mix It Up at Lunch Day, October 31st, 2017. This annual event occurs on the last Tuesday of each October. East participates about every other year.

Participants went through the lunch line as normal but were given various stickers as they passed through the registers. Each sticker corresponded to a table that the students were supposed to sit at. The goal was to have students meet new people and venture from their comfort zone for only 30 minutes of the day.

Many East students left the building for lunch in order to avoid eating with new people. The majority of participants expressed that the activity was “dumb,” “stupid,” and “pointless”. For example, Junior Mozart Chen expressed “This is completely pointless because no one even goes to the right table.”  Another student even said, “This is the stupidest day of the year.”

As all things, the day was not without error. Some students didn’t get stickers simply due to the large crowds in the cafeteria. Davis Penn (11) claimed, “They could have organized the stickers better because I didn’t even realize that I didn’t have a sticker until I sat down.” Still, some students who did get stickers didn’t even sit at the correct table.

The grand purpose for this event is to break down stereotypical barriers that are built from the distinct cliques and groups that are seen within the cafeteria. The simple act to eat with someone different promotes a healthy, welcoming school environment. Thus organizer and teacher, Ms. Graulty, exclaimed “Why isn’t this a good idea?”

Many students hated the idea of sitting with people they don’t know, because they simply weren’t willing to get uncomfortable for half an hour. As librarian Mrs. Holt assessed, “Mix it up Day makes us realize how stuck in our ways we are.”

Personally, I agree that having a slight change of scenery is important. If more people had been more open and willing to participate, the lunch could have been more successful. I contend that we naturally want to keep habits and stick to the routine of sitting at the same table with the same people every, single day. It’s okay to be uncomfortable when that routine is broken, but I observed that many people weren’t even willing to try to open up. I think seeing how frustrated everyone was during lunch shows how difficult change can be, and it reveals that we need to better equip students with strategies to deal with change better.

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East’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day!