Slice of Life: Boxed Rice for Lunch 17 of 31

For the month of March, I'll be writing with the Slice of Life community. Disclaimer: I'll be writing every day so the writing will be a bit unpolished most days. Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community together and for inspiring me to try to find the stories that surround me each day.

The group returned from lunch to complete our work together.  Teachers, some with half-eaten lunch in hand, found a seat at their tables and arranged their spaces for the afternoon.  I walked around the room chatting with the group as they settled.  Walking over to a table I overheard, "My energy is fading.  My stomach knows it is lunchtime."

"You didn't eat?" I inquired as we were just returning from an hour lunch break, a rare gift in the teaching profession.

"I had to run over to school for a bit," the teacher confessed, "and didn't have time to grab some lunch."

We still had over three good hours of work left, and I wanted to help.  "There are some vending machines in the back of the building if the chocolate on your table isn't going to cut it," I quipped.

Then I remembered I had a microwave bowl of packaged dried rice with me.  "I also have some rice if you'd like to eat it.  It's dried rice prepackaged in a bowl for the microwave.  It's cheese flavored," I added trying to entice her.

The group around her started to laugh.  "You really have boxed rice with you right now?" they questioned.

"Almost always," I replied.  "I never know where I'm going to be, and often can't carry a cold lunch with me all day without a lot of extra work so I carry boxed rice.  It's quick and I can almost always find a microwave."

I couldn't sell her on the rice, but it did make me chuckle about the lunches I eat these days.  I spend most of my day traveling from school to school in our district meeting with teachers and literacy coaches.  My days stay pretty packed so finding time to eat lunch can be a challenge.

Having been a teacher all of my life, lunch isn't really high priority on my list.  I'm used to hardly having time to eat because of needing time to prepare a lesson, arrange materials, clean something up, meet with a colleague or answer emails.  It's teacher life.  We've all packed a peanut butter sandwich so we can eat as we set up a lesson.  We've all eaten a salad running around our classroom.  Cheese and crackers, carrot sticks, or granola bars work too.

Now as I travel from building to building on a pretty packed schedule, I've come to rely on three foods:  almonds, Clif™bars, and a little microwaveable rice.  I'm living for sure.


  1. We live on granola bars -- sometimes the microwave line is too long for our PD break. Chuckling and totally relating!!

  2. I connected with this one! My desk is full of microwave oatmeal and granola bars for just this reason. Even when I bring a real meal, I often don't have time to cook it and eat leisurely. A little cup of oatmeal is often what can be managed. An enjoyable reflection on one little part of our teacherly lives.

  3. I, like you, travel from school to school with little time to go the the bathroom, let alone eat. I love how you carry food with you. I'm so glad there are protein bars that can get me through the day and can be eaten in the car.

  4. Cathy, I can't believe that it has been a long time since I connected with you. I know the feeling well of eating lunch on the run.

  5. Yep! Been there, done that! I keep those 100 calorie bags of almonds, and Skinny pop, and granola bars on hand all the time. I also try to keep a bring a piece of fruit every day. Pretty crazy, this life we lead!

  6. I didn't even know there was packaged rice! You learn something new every day. Enjoy this next week of eating more leisurely lunches - happy spring break to you!

  7. This is what I call being prepared. I am one who needs to eat lunch. If I go too long without eating I get a headache.

  8. I love this! I often bring a granola bar and an apple as my "Lunch." :-) Way to be prepared!

  9. I often move between schools during the day and it's hard to eat healthy when you're on the go. Like you, I rely on those convenience foods for snacks. I do try to pack myself a sandwich and some peppers in a bag so I can have a decent lunch, even if I only get 10 minutes to sit.

  10. Great idea and great slice. From the big picture to the small idea, getting through the day on a box of rice! Brilliant, hahaha!

  11. "It's teacher life" says it all. I see my students struggling to find time to eat, too. When they arrive in my room during lunch, I also offer food--soup, frozen dinners, grapefruit, whatever I have. Rice seems reasonable to me.

  12. This just cracked me up...I'm not sure about the boxed is good to be prepared. When I'm running late I grab and apple and a cheese stick to get me through.


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