Friday, November 23, 2007

The Bistro

Starbucks has nothing on room 210. Hot java is brewed first thing and teachers wander in to the "kitchen" at the rear of the room to grab a cup of joe before students meet at their door. In eight years I'm only on my second coffee maker. Not bad when you consider I've conservatively brewed 10 cups a day, 190 plus days a year (I only count the work days!) for the last eight years. I calculate that to be 15,200 talls of Columbian or French Roast or Breakfast Blend or Kenyan or Ethiopian or Kona or Verona. That's a lot of ground beans. That's a great appliance.

Coffee is always available and if you are a regular you know the top drawer of the file cabinet above the social studies, science, language arts, health, math, and administrative files has food. The coffee is served gratis. There has never been a used coffee can with a slit in the plastic lid for change. No one has ever been asked to bring a pound. No need. When low and one never knows when that will happen, a bag of coffee shows up. We've had coffee of every flavor. We've had imported good stuff from the Netherlands. We've had organic beans from Kenya. We've had Eight O'Clock. We've had Starbucks. Yumm.

The Bistro is a wrought iron table with two chairs sitting in a well-traveled hall just outside room 210. It's a commissioned Impressionist scene painted by our art teacher as our French window view. It's lunch, a snack, or conference over a writing piece at this table. It's parents sitting and talking as they wait after school for kids coming out of the computer class. It's an invitation to sit. Many mornings a home-baked product appears for teacher consumption. Pastry chef unknown. Leftovers, quiche, coffee cake with crumbly topping, and juice from a team birthday celebration find their way to this tiny table. The goodies stay out all day with only a student or two feeling at all tempted to try a bite. They seem to know it is for teachers. We've even heard one student say he wanted to be a teacher so he could have something from the Bistro.
This fine establishment opened "its doors" during the work week before the start of the school year as a spin off from everyone knowing where the coffee was. It was a response to a customer need. I did promise the principal I would move it before school started and the fire marshal shut us down. She liked the table so much she let us keep it. I think she saw the possibilities- she's that way!

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