The Green Key: Comfort and Entertainment

The Green Key: Comfort and Entertainment

Sarah London ’22

Returning to school during the COVID-19 era means that a lot of changes had to be made to our school environment in order to keep us safe. One of those changes involves our lunch system, specifically, the locations. Last year, the whole school (teachers and students) ate together in Ellsworth during the same time period. However, this year brought some changes to ensure that no lunch area would be too overcrowded. Each grade level has a different location to eat at every day of the week, rotating through so every grade gets the full experience. In total, there are four lunch locations on campus: Ellsworth, the Murdough Athletic Center, the Lux Truck (located at Wilson Circle) and the Green Key (located in the basement of Ellsworth). However, not all lunch locations are created equally. In fact, I believe that one of the four in particular is superior: the Green Key.

The Green Key provides a great place to hang out with your friends before class.

The Green Key is one of Western Reserve Academy’s most iconic locations, memorable mainly for its Green Keys. These thoughtfully-named events often take place on Friday and Saturday nights; they are a good way to listen to music and hang out with friends, as well as play air hockey and/or pool. Mixers (more serious events that are often themed and involved quite a bit of dancing) also take place at the Green Key for special times. Although things are not as they used to be and the Green Key cannot act as a space for these events, many returning Reserve students still carry those happy memories from years past. I always look forward to the option of eating lunch down in the Green Key on Thursdays.

Aside from the Green Key having significance to WRA’s Community, there are also several reasons why the location itself is the best place to eat lunch. The Green Key offers multiple options for seating locations, including bar height tables and chairs, booth seating and two sets of couch areas. All of these options are very comfortable and casual, which is perfect for eating lunch and just enjoying yourself with friends. The Green Key also has a special aspect to it that none of the other locations has: entertainment. This year, Reserve’s day-to-day schedule has changed, allowing for over an hour of lunchtime. Many returning students were pleasantly surprised by this change; in the past, lunch felt very short, and it was not uncommon for students to rush to finish their food just to get to their next class on time. With all the extra time on our hands during lunch this year, students have taken all the time they need to finish their lunches, work on homework and catch up with friends. In the Green Key, students are offered even more. Lunch in the Green Key hardly ever consists of just lunch—on any given day at lunch in this location, students can be seen playing pool, air hockey, table tennis and even the piano. These activities are something that none of the other lunch locations can provide.

As the temperature outside decreases and it begins to snow, less people will be inclined to sit outside and eat.

In order to further bolster my argument, I will list some of the other options’ negatives. Some may argue that the Lux Truck is advantageous because of its proximity to all the academic buildings on campus. This is true; however, certain issues with this location should be addressed. October is already here, and the weather has started to become colder and will continue to cool down as we move into the winter. All of the seating for lunch at the Lux Truck is outside, and while the Adirondack chairs are convenient and comfortable, things will be less enjoyable when you’re eating your meal outside in the snow. The same issue could be posed for lunch at the MAC; while not all of the seating is outside, there is a sizable portion that is. Assuming that many would rather eat inside than outside as temperatures drop, the opportunity for seating will be smaller. That brings us to Ellsworth, which is seen as the quintessential lunch location. After all, it is the Dining Hall; one would certainly expect dining to happen there. While Ellsworth is the classic option and offers the most seating, it simply cannot offer the same level of comfort and excitement that the Green Key does.

The Green Key provides more seating when compared to the MAC and the LUX Truck, especially when cold weather is taken into account.

So this I believe: the Green Key is the best lunch location offered on campus this year. Don’t agree? That’s fine—more room down there for me!

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