The Meal to Fight For

School Days

By Jacob – Grade 5

When Ruth was in grade 3 she went to a one room schoolhouse called Brisbane school. The school was made of bricks and had a few windows. Only 15 kids went to that school, even though it included students from grades 1-8. There were just a few students in each grade. 

Inside the school there were students desks that were connected to each other. There was a wood furnace in the basement of the school, which was round, small and provided the only source of heat in the building. It was filled with wood every morning and lit by the people who lived in a house across the road. These people did not get paid for doing this, as the school was a community run place, and people worked together to keep it running. 

 On the whole, Ruth didn’t like school and she would run home at the end of every school day – happy to get home. There was one thing she looked forward to each day though. The students had the opportunity to bring a potato to the school each day, which the teacher would allow them to bake in the wood furnace downstairs. Ruth and her friends would start by scrubbing the potatoes, then poke holes into them so the steam could get out, and then place them on a little ledge inside of the furnace during their first recess. The potatoes would remain unwrapped, and then bake for about two hours until lunchtime – and that would be their lunch. 

The students would then use the oven mitts to get the potatoes out of the furnace, but a lot of people still got burnt fingers. 

Almost every day, somebody’s potato would always roll into the furnace, so there was always a big problem between the students, and they would fight over  whose was whose. To solve this problem, the students began carving their initials into the potatoes before putting them into the furnace. One problem with this was that if two initials were the same, there would be confusion and another fight would break out. 

When everyone had finally figured out which potato belonged to which student, they would all head upstairs to eat their starchy lunch. Students would take the little pads of butter they had brought with them that morning, melt them over the hot potato, add a little salt and pepper, and a delicious lunch was finally served.