The nightmare at our feet


Gazebo Photo by Arya Datta

Imagine going into Marble Slab, and the only flavor they have is chicken. 


Imagine washing your hands with garlic-scented soap. 


Imagine brushing your teeth with barbecue-flavored toothpaste. 


Imagine having carpet in your high school cafeteria.

Utterly horrifying.

For Stratford students, this is a daily, terrifying reality. 

I have been eating my school lunch every day in the newly-dedicated Prentice Robinson Cafeteria since I was in kindergarten. When I was 6 years old, I enjoyed my PB&J and CapriSun at lunch with my friends.

I always have felt uncomfortable by the fact that there is carpet below my feet. I have looked down every day for the past decade only to see myself walking in a graveyard of fractured chips, splattered sauces, and mysterious stains.

…no matter what anyone says, you can never truly clean a carpet.”

Stratford has to be one of the only schools without tile on the lunchroom floor. It simply does not make sense to me.  There is tile where we go to buy our food, but we add carpet to the place where we consume it.

The only benefit of having carpet is that it makes the lunchroom a little quieter. However, lunchrooms are going to be loud, regardless. It is a communal space where students get a break from their classes to eat and hang out with their friends. 

Also, with the prevalent concern about coffee spills on the “extremely expensive carpet” in the hallways, I am genuinely baffled as to why we pay every year to replace it because the immense level of nastiness it will achieve by the end of May is inevitable. Adding tile to the floor would be a one-time investment, and insisting on having carpet and being forced to replace it is not only a hassle for everyone involved, but also our school’s bank account as well. 

In addition, I would like to just point out that, no matter what anyone says, you can never truly clean a carpet.

After that Coke stain dries or that Goldfish cracker gets stepped on one too many times, there is no way that running a vacuum over it will effectively get rid of all the food particles lodged in the carpet’s crevices. And this inability to effectively clean the carpet can only lead to one thing: uninvited guests, also known as roaches, ants, or any other disgusting pest that comes to mind.

Carpet is simply problematic.”

Students spend so much time trying to sweep the lunchroom floor if they have cleaning duty during their study hall, but their attempt is moot. If they were sweeping crumbs on a tile floor, they would not be met with the resistance of the carpet nor the possibility of only pushing the fallen food further into the follicles of the carpet.

The same goes for drinks. A drink spilled on a tile floor just needs a paper towel and a Clorox wipe. However, a drink spilled on carpet is essentially a lost cause; the second it hits the coarse, navy, fabric lining the pavement below our feet, it is never coming out.

This is precisely why we end up wasting so much money on buying new carpet every year, and why a one-time investment on tile makes more sense overall.

Of all the flooring options, carpet is the worst. No one who has the option of hardwood, tile, or literally anything else on their floor, says “ooh! Do you know what I love? CARPET!” The way dust falls and settles into it, the impossibility of removing red wine spills, the mess dirty feet can track inside and turn your carpet from beige to brown polka-dot. 

Carpet is simply problematic.

It does not belong in a lunchroom.

It is just plain gross.