An Intense Criticism of the MA Lunch Line System


MA Café Lunch Line, Jan. 2023.

Nate M. '24, Writer, Opinion

Let me set the scene. 

You are standing in our infamous MA lunch line. You stand and you stand, but somehow time itself begins to warp and seconds turn to hours. It must be the MA administration artificially manipulating your perception of time again, you think. The unrelenting flow of outgoing students doesn’t match up with the unmoving wall of people you find yourself in, you think. You patiently wait for your daily serving of chicken and rice as you suffer in resigned agony. Maybe you should have gone to Tenders today. You would have been safe from the administration’s time-tampering there. 

What I describe is a scene not unfamiliar to a strikingly large percentage of our student body, an experience that has become painfully normalized and something that stands as a defining part of every shadow student’s first experience on our campus. The lunch line can be seen as the greatest equalizer we have in our school; it does not discriminate and instead exists as an immovable pillar, mocking anyone who tries to underestimate its power, much like the administration when it subconsciously controls our thoughts. It does not care what mood you are in or what club meeting you desperately need to go to, it will laugh at you and tell you to wait your time just like every other student who chooses to pass through it. This would be where I would recommend the alternative on-campus dining option located on the bottom floor of the SIC, but I have never once gotten lunch from it. Come to think of it, I have never seen it at all. It’s probably just another administration-planted lie, like the dungeons under the VAC or people who actually enjoy mint-flavored Yerba Mates. 

A festive meal for the holiday season!

Through all its flaws, the mess that is the massive line has endured and still exists to this day. I sometimes wonder why our school hasn’t bothered to fix this system and I’m drawn to the answer of tradition, the most logical explanation right behind mind-altering brain parasites planted by the administration through the COVID tests they gave us last year. Marin Academy is nothing short of groundbreakingly innovative, our programs and school philosophy are proof of this. What other school would dare to grade its classes in terms of competencies? What other school would do away with late penalties in the history department altogether, supposedly promoting a healthier workflow and definitely not just removing any incentive to not procrastinate. No, Marin Academy is different. We are unceasingly unconventional, and I personally feel that such an antiquated system for receiving our lunches is not just hindering our student body, but degrading our reputation as innovators as well. How can such a school that facilitates the Conference on Democracy and Minicourse program still rely on a massive, unorganized line for their students to get their lunch? What is going on behind closed doors to keep this malevolent inevitably happening day after day? Are the brain parasites growing stronger?

As for the administration and its suppression, I don’t think that I have enough knowledge to speak or formally accuse just yet, but what I do know is that we, as an institution, can do better. In a community of artists, musicians, and precalc honors students who have no idea what’s going on in the class right now, I know that there must be someone who has an idea of how to fix this. Marin Academy seems to pride itself on its student voice through its endless list of clubs that are very real and definitely not just fabricated to give the illusion of free will, but not one tired and hungry kid has taken the initiative to spearhead a campaign to change this system for the better. If someone could get on that soon it would be really great., I recommend an inquiry into the administration’s suppression while you’re there.