Why PHS should invest in a second microwave

Kevin Hsu, Staff Writer

*Opinions expressed in this article represent the views of the editorial board and not necessarily those of the school population or administration.

In the Poolesville High School Cafeteria, all students share a single accessible microwave for personal use. Many students at PHS use the microwave during lunch to prepare the food they brought from home. Students who make use of access to the microwave often use it frequently, such as Melanie Guo, a freshman in the Humanities House. 

“I usually use the microwave every day, five times a week,” said Guo on her use of the microwave. There are 50 minutes in each lunch period with the exception of the advisory schedule which only allows 48 minutes. The issue with having a single microwave for students to share is the line that forms throughout the period.

“The wait gives me less time to eat,” Guo said while waiting in line to prepare her lunch. Another student, Kenna Gwanmesia, a freshman in the SMCS house who was also interviewed, agreed that the line inconvenienced her use of the lunch period. Another conflict with students’ schedules are for those who do not get the opportunity to eat during lunch. Many choose to eat during their classes, a practice that Mr. Morrell, a social studies teacher at PHS has witnessed over his years of teaching.

“Generally it is not allowed,” Morrell said, except “under certain circumstances, i.e, [a] student taking a makeup test during lunch [having] no time to eat.” Though Morrell allows students to eat during his class, it is a rare occurrence, and some exceptions are made. Conveniently, he also has a microwave oven in his classroom which he allows students to use only during lunch, though he notes that the microwave is old and unreliable.

On the availability for the use of microwaves in the school, Morrell supports the idea of purchasing a second microwave for the cafeteria to save time for students. It was also considered, that the staff and students don’t share the same microwave.

“Most staff have a microwave available to them in their department offices or the teacher break room that they can utilize,” said Morrell, “These are often used and bought by the department members.” 

For the consideration of a new microwave for the cafeteria, the cost could be as low as $60, as the first listed microwave on Walmart’s website sells for that price. If the PHS administration made the investment of an additional microwave to the cafeteria, it would be a time-saving solution for many students in the school.