Four of Us Meet and Greet with Leaders

by Taylor Lyles, Carchele Fitzpatrick, Alexias Vierra, Cristian Gonzalez

Last Friday, we went to the Crown Plaza Hotel in Concord. We were supposed to dress up. Carchele and Taylor didn’t realize that, but Cristian wore a tie and Alexias work black dress pants that she bought especially for the meeting. Three of us had never been to a meeting like that. Alexias had been to something similar because her Mom goes to meetings like that for work.

It was a breakfast meeting. It seemed like it was mostly a gathering for Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent for public instruction. Mr. Torlakson is California’s top education official. We had met Mr. Torlakson before, when he came to visit our school. He seems like a nice guy. He’s funny. There are lots of important people there: city council members, Mt. Diablo school district officials and other leaders. Chef Cindy knows everyone!

We talked to these leaders. We told them how we’re making food for a bunch of people every day: teachers and students. We said they should come and check it out. They asked what grade we were in, what we were doing in Chef Cindy’s class. We had to be really in-depth. When we answered one question, they would follow up with another question. Most of us had never talked to officials like that before. We learned how to talk to grown-ups we didn’t know and how to be businesslike. It was kind of hard, but it got easier when they were talking to us.

Afterward, we were talking to some people that Chef Cindy knew. We said that when we get our new classroom, they should come over and we would cook for them.

After the breakfast meeting, we went grocery shopping with Chef Cindy at Sam’s Club and Costco. Some of us don’t go grocery shopping with our families. Cristian’s grandparents own a restaurant, so he knows about grocery shopping! Alexias says that she likes the way Chef Cindy shops. She says that Chef Cindy is in and out quickly, while her family goes up and down every aisle slowly. When we go grocery shopping with our families, we buy different things. Sometimes we go to Trader Joes’ and buy vegetarian burrito wraps, or frozen things.

It takes a lot to feed 70 people for lunch five days a week. We learned how to calculate how much we would need. We got two carts: honey, eggs, salad, carrots, strawberries, pineapples, rice, beans, oatmeal, ground beef, four chickens, shrimp, broccoli, bananas, tortillas, paper plates and cups. We got lots of everything. We learned to always look at the prices and what it has inside of it. You need to look for sugar, proteins, carbohydrates, water, vitamins. You don’t want it have a lot of added sugar.

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