“It’s cold outside but it’s warm in here,” FCPS lunch lady Carol Bennett says as she gives a beleaguered wave and points us to an open cafeteria seat. “The oven runs pretty hot so it gets a little toasty.” She is speaking with a mouthful of dough, cheese and sauce.
It’s been three hours now since Bennett was notified that Fayette County Schools would be cancelled due to cold temperatures. “No one told me when I got in this morning, and I was so cold from walking in that I decided to fire up the ovens and heat lamps a little early. By the time someone told me the kids weren’t coming in I’d already baked up about 200 rectangles here.”
In an effort to reduce any waste Bennett has taken it upon herself to finish all 200 of the otherwise useless square pizzas. “You know they’re not square pizzas, everyone calls them square pizzas, but, look, they’re actually rectangles. See how the length and width are not equidistant.” Bennett chews then chuckles and says, “Where are those smug math teachers on this?” Bennett’s laugh quickly turns into a loud and repeated cough.
“Feel free to take a pizza or two before you go,” she says as we stand up to leave. “There’s plenty here.” She gives a flirty look as she takes off her hairnet and shakes her head as she lets her hair down.
The cold is expected to pass soon and the children will return on Monday but for now the cafeteria is free of peering eyes.