During 3rd period a colleague uses my classroom to teach a class. I usually head to our cafeteria to work, as it is empty and quiet in the mornings. Our middle schoolers come in for lunch right at the end of this period on Wednesday. This Wednesday I was at a table in the back and when the bell rang I was right in the middle of a project, so I kept on working. In the back of my mind I could hear the kids filing in, getting food, talking, laughing.
Finally I finished typing and closed my computer. I was amazed to find that all the chairs at my table were filled with 6th graders, busily settling in to eat. I looked up and there was one more standing next to the table staring at me as if to say, "Dude, you're in my seat."
There were a dozen empty tables available, but this one was their's. Even after all these years kids stake out territory in the school cafeteria. Middle school is ever the jungle.
In the face of hungry 6th graders, I felt lucky to get out alive.