I always found myself in a tricky situation during lunch because all I ever wanted to do was eat and get out of the dining room. Unfortunately most other people wanted to talk. There were a group of black students who always sat together at the same particular table. Anyone was welcome to sit there though most people felt intimidated. I sat there a couple of times but the topics of conversations caused me more stress than I could bear between periods.
Then I tried having lunch with anyone who wanted to have lunch with me and pretend that I was not antisocial. But I was not a kid who enjoyed talking for the sake of saying something.
One day a small group of girls had lunch with me. They sat down around me while I was eating alone.
Everyone knew that most of the students at St. Paul’s were not on any kind of financial aid. One of the girls decided to recount the story of her legacy and how for generations her family amassed more and more wealth. It all began with her great great grandfather. She was ruining my appetite.
“Well, my great great grandfather was a slave.” Silence. I just wanted to be clear that not every family has the same opportunities. At the end of the day we both ended up in Upper dining room.
So I got my wish – lunch everyday on my own.