Now that I’m retired, I have rediscovered the joy of breakfast. When pancakes were delivered to my friend recently, I realized that the smell of such an item no longer struck fear or brought on exhaustion. Pancakes have lost their power as I’ve come to realize that they are just a breakfast food. Yes– perspectives change quickly as exposure to new experiences inform and balance judgement.
The entire elementary school changes on Brunch for Lunch day. The sweet aroma of pancakes with notes of sausage and maple waft through the hallways as children run amuck. An examination of health room logs likely show an increase in injury rates on this special day. In the staffroom, teacher talk likely includes speculation on whether or not the moon is full. The principal’s office may see an increase in visitors, and sticky ones at that. Yes–life changes on Brunch for Lunch day all because children drink syrup like Melissa McCarthy did shots in Life of the Party.
Back in the late 1900s when I first started teaching, Brunch for Lunch wasn’t as memorable. Next to the ketchup bottles on the condiment station, a small carafe of syrup was available for children to add to pancakes if they wished. The syrup would slowly ooze from the container onto the pancake or tray, then the child would sit down and enjoy lunch. When paper bowls were made available, some children took advantage of the deeper container and were sometimes patient enough to pour enough syrup so that pancakes would float like little boats on a lake. For most however, the perseverance and fine motor skills needed to complete such a task, required too much effort so a dash of amber liquid was all they took.
Since the National School Lunch Program was signed into law in 1946, inarguably the most detrimental change to school lunches happened when small containers of syrup were included with every pancake. I believe that the ENTIRE CULTURE of schools changed when children learned that syrup could be consumed directly from the container. Because EVERY child was given syrup with a pancake, second hand exposure increased. Because the cups of container where similar to cups of apple juice, children learned they could use a straw to suck the sugary concoction until straws were eliminated in the Green Schools Act of 2017*.
The Regan administration* was rumored to have counted ketchup as a vegetable in the 1980s. It’s entirely plausible that the Trump administration* may consider maple flavored syrup a a vegetable as well. Maple is the name of a tree (aka PLANT) and high fructose corn syrup has the word corn (aka VEGETABLE) so it’s feasible that this little shot of syrup counts towards one of the two servings every child should have.
The average age of a cafeteria supervisor is approximately* 52 and female. This demographic remembers a time when syrup was used to enhance a dish, not replace it. For this reason, cafeteria ladies interrupt and redirect children when they notice direct syrup to mouth contact. As a result, children today know how to slam syrup. When children ingest shots of syrup, their behaviors change. If a shot of syrup is one ounce and an average first grader is 45 pounds, the Blood Syrup Content*, is dangerously high resulting in potentially erratic behavior.
Until I joined the leisure-force (or non-workforce) I assumed that responsible syrup consumption was a thing of the past but I’m happy to report that I’ve observed excellent service (no over-serving) at Biscuits Cafe and Black Rabbit Cafe within the past few weeks. In addition to setting up diners for success by offering high quality, non-slammable portions, the rate in which mid-week morning diners consume breakfast also allows for a seamless metabolation* of the product resulting in calm and happy grown ups.
For this syrup survivor, I’m happy to report that there is life after Brunch for Lunch day.
*Approximated Information (aka-made up)