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.”
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).
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.
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.
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.