Every year I’d get the inevitable question from my students a few weeks into the school year. Are we your favorite class?
3rd period just knew they were more fun than 2nd ever thought about being. 6th period believed they were superior to 4th in looks, personalities, and academics. And yet every time I got the question, students were stunned by my answer.
No? NO? They were appalled they weren’t my favs because they just knew they had to be! Then they’d ask which class was. I’d smile and say, “Lunch is my favorite class. Just like you.”
Students forget sometimes (well, a lot of the time) that teachers are people, too. I couldn’t wait for lunch every day. Partly because I was STARVING by the time it rolled around, but partly because I craved adult conversation and got to be with my friends. We talked shop sometimes, but often we discussed politics, movies, vacations, our families, and even our hopes and dreams.
I’ve been blessed to be a part of some amazing Lunch Bunch groups. Probably my favorite was the year that we designated “Tuesdays with Tim.” Now my friend Tim is a gentleman and a scholar … but also a little rascal. Even in his 40s, he gets that twinkle in his eye and a look of mischief that clues you in to just what a scamp he must’ve been as a boy.
As we talked over the years, Tim had tons of stories to share with the table. So many that sometimes we’d all eat without saying a word, enthralled by his tales, laughing over his adventures, and sad to hear the bell that summoned us back to class. We decided we’d pick a special day that gave Tim the floor each week, so Tuesdays with Tim was born.
We heard stories about Tim and his brother growing up in a small town in Nebraska. Army stories. Wrestling stories. College stories. Tim was a treasure trove of tales. I look back at the good times we had at the lunch table that year (Shout-out to Kathy, Jim, Jack, Michael, Patrick, Grant, and Yak!), and hope I learned something about the art of storytelling from Tim.
I want my readers to be as caught up in my stories as the Lunch Bunch was hearing Tim’s times recalled. I want them to get excited, be nervous, tear up, and laugh aloud – having that overall entertaining experience as they read a Lauren Linwood book.
That Lunch Bunch has scattered now … but I’m still friends with Tim. And I hope I’ve taken his lessons to heart.