Dine and Dash: Sitting at new lunch tables for a week


Daelin Brown

Ximena Trejo Mora, Christopher Owoc, Alex Vu, and Connor Ianetti pose for a picture at their lunch table.

TOWAMENCIN- A cafeteria is filled with stories told by students as they engage with their friends. With the cafeteria being the one place where a large amount of students at North Penn High School are in the same place at the same time, the diversity of the school is really shown as students converse with other students that may or may not have anything in common with each other. Going to a different lunch table every day was an eye-opening experience because I realized the wide variety of interests that exist in the North Penn area from clubs, to sports, to volunteering.

Day 1    

For the first day I found myself at an all sophomore lunch table. Luke Vandergrift from the baseball team, Rachel Ahlmark from the Cross Country team, and Alayna Mullaly from the basketball team, all sat together with common interests in playing sports and participating in Key Club. Being her first year at the high school, Ahlmark decided to try new things and joined the political activism club. Outside of the North Penn walls, Mullaly is doing something, most kids don’t do in their free time.

“I volunteer at the fire company. Whenever they have fundraising events I go and help set up the things for the events. My brother and father are firefighters and got me into it,” said Mullaly.  

Day 2

For another table of sophomores, playing sports was a common interest, but the sports they played were all very different. Megan Wentzel dives, Valeria McGriff plays basketball, and Angelique Valdez boxes and plays rugby. Between rugby and boxing, Valdez enjoys rugby more because of the contact. They all like that they are meeting new people, being at North Penn for the first year. All of them being involved in North Penn sports made it easier for them to adapt to the high school. McGriff separates herself from her friends with the clubs that she is involved in.

“I’m involved in African American Awareness Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I like both of them a lot because it’s nice to spread awareness about different topics in the school,” stated McGriff.

Day 3

Sophomores, John Graver, Cavin Webber, and Zahir Richardson all enjoy hanging out with their friends and playing sports. Webber and Richardson both run track for North Penn, while Graver plays soccer for North Penn. They all like that the school is bigger and that there are so many more people to meet. With Webber’s mom being a drag racer, he always has something interesting to talk about when meeting someone new.

“It’s cool to watch my mom drag race,” explained Webber. “She just does it as a hobby, but my grandfather did it too, so it’s kind of a family thing.”

Day 4

Being on a team was a common interest between juniors Brooke DeGraffenreidt, Olivia Gray, and senior Andrello Lafond. When not working at the mall at Peyton’s Jewelers, Gray is also on the cheer team and likes being involved with a team, seeing them at school and at practice. Lafond also enjoys the feeling of a team, when he’s on the football field on Fridays.

“ I am on the football team and I like the environment the most. Just being able to play with close friends and apply skills from practice on Friday nights makes it worth it,” said Lafond.

For DeGraffenreidt her love for a team activity doesn’t come from work, but her job.

“I like to hang out with my friends when I’m not working at the North Penn boys and girls club. I work five days a week and love spending time with the kids,” explained DeGraffenreidt.

Day 5

Getting involved in everything both our school and our area has to offer, describes senior, Ximena Trejo-Mara and junior, Benjasi Das. With Trejo-Mara already being bilingual, she expands her knowledge and participates in Latin club. Along with Latin Club she enjoys Girl Up club and Us Against Hunger club. As both an involved student and athlete, she has an interesting perspective on the high school’s activity options.

“I run cross-country and I really like having the option to be on a team. It’s really great that you don’t have to travel that far to do things in the building. I like the wide variety of clubs that they have here,” said Trejo-Mara.

Das has also joined a language club, French club, but is also involved in North Penn Television.  When she is not busy with either of those, she participates in some incredible volunteer work.

“I volunteer at the Lansdale-Abington hospital. I think it’s fun. I have been on the nursing unit so far, but I’m starting on a health program. I help the elders for 2 hours and talk to them,” shared Das.  


Over these 5 days at different lunch tables, I came to the realization the lunch room is like a small replica of society. Students at the same lunch table all seemed to have a common interest, just like how in the real world people with common interests spend more time with each other. Although this may be more comfortable for many, I feel if students stepped outside of their comfort zones, just one day at lunch, they could meet new people and learn something new.