School recess: Let’s see a show of hands

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The hands of hungry students reach through the walls to local "snack entrepreneurs," street vendors who know just what the kids want.
The hands of hungry students reach through the walls to local “snack entrepreneurs,” street vendors who know just what the kids want. Rose first noticed the kids reaching through the wall a couple of weeks ago and said “You’ve got to get some photos!”

One of my favorite parts of the school day was a thing we called “snack time.” It started back in kindergarten when we got little boxes of milk and cookies.

“Wow,” I remember thinking, “if this is what school is all about, I’m all in.”

Feed me! Students at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Elementary School get in a little snack time during recess.
Feed me! Students at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Elementary School get in a little snack time during recess.

It didn’t take long to realize that I was a victim of bait and switch. There were numbers and letters to learn, and the names of colors. And pretty soon the nuns were demanding that we do utterly inexplicable things with the numbers (math) and letters (words).

More eager hands to be fed ...
More eager hands to be fed …

Don’t even ask about the colors.

I figured out the game quick enough but that didn’t diminish my appetite for snack time. Even if I had to create my own on the way home from school with a long detour to the drug store and its ample shelves of “snack time” foods.

Outside the Roman Catholic Elementary School in San Pedro Town earlier this week.
Outside the Roman Catholic Elementary School in San Pedro Town earlier this week.

Of course, to get snacks you need money and to get money you need to work. So, the nuns knew what they were doing all along.

The local Catholic elementary school in San Pedro Town has an unusual way of incorporating “snack time” into the class regimen. Every day in the late morning, snack entrepreneurs line up along the wall outside the school.

The elementary school kids flood the nearby streets and beach during lunch time in San Pedro Town.
The elementary school kids flood the nearby streets and beach during lunch time in San Pedro Town.
A leisurely lunch outside the walls of the Roman Catholic Elementary School in San Pedro Town.
A leisurely lunch outside the walls of the Roman Catholic Elementary School in San Pedro Town.

Pretty soon, little hands clutching coins and bills thrust through the gaps in the ornate block wall, presumably calling out orders for chicken tacos, candy bars, sodas …. Business is fast and furious for a while.

Then the bell hearkens the kids back to class.

Later, lunch time, is jailbreak time. The gates swing open and the kids flood the streets in their blue and white uniforms. Some head for the beach a few yards away, some for local deli shops and other eateries and some head for home for a nice cooked meal.

I’ll say this, San Pedro raises very happy kids. The sound of their laughter, teasing and chatter fills the streets with a special kind of music.

 

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6 thoughts on “School recess: Let’s see a show of hands

    4sarge said:
    April 10, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Let’s see, I’m so Old that I remember recess but do not remember having snack time. The recess memories were great kickball, baseball, just running and using up that excessive energy that the young have. Thanks for the great photos and a remembrance of simpler times.

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      April 10, 2014 at 5:45 am

      Thank you for sharing your memories, 4sarge. Yeah, recess was a special time when friends were made, skills tested and energy burned. Do kids even have recess in S schools or is it designated phys ed?

      Like

        4sarge said:
        April 10, 2014 at 5:58 am

        Sad, that I think Recess, PE, Shop classes, Home Ec all have pretty much disappeared from most school curriculums. Money and time are the reasons even though there is a push against childhood obesity. Some time the smarter we get the dumber that we are. Two of our children are teachers and they say that teaching is Not what it used to be. Forced learning to Pass a Test that hasn’t any bearing on Education, Life Skills or Common Sense.

        Like

    Kellianne said:
    May 1, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Your writing is exquisite and so on point!!! I LOVE recess in SP – keep it up!!!!!!

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      May 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Thank you so much, Kellianne. I’ve been off writing the blog for the past week-plus for some reason. Well, other writing intervenes. Will return and thank you for the encouragement.

      Like

    Albert Duell said:
    January 20, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Impressive Article. I will come back often!

    Like

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