Every Friday, City and Country students, parents, and teachers arrive at school to a selection of baked goods and beverages provided by the XIIIs. From lemon muffins to cranberry juice, to energy balls, which are gluten-free balls of sunbutter and oats, the Bake Sale is usually well-equipped with treats to give the C&C community a positive start to their day.
However, recently even the XIIIs have noticed a decline in both the quality and quantity of the Bake Sale’s selection. This low point in the Bake Sale was a reminder to reexamine the purpose of the Bake Sale. What should the Bake Sale look like, what does it look like now, and how can the XIIIs improve it?
Ann Roberts, XIIIs Co-teacher, knows better than anyone else what the Bake Sale should be. According to her, the Bake Sale has a few main goals. First and foremost, the profits go to paying off the XIIIs’ debt incurred on their week-long trip to Chicago. The Bake Sale also provides an opportunity for kids who normally would not bake to step outside their comfort zone and try a new activity. However, what is possibly the most important part of the Bake Sale is that it provides a service to C&C and strengthens the school’s sense of community.
One misconception about the Bake Sale is that it is the XIIIs’ job. In fact, it is not even mandatory for the group to do it every year. Their job is to run the newspaper. However, since the Bake Sale has become such an integral part of the C&C community, it is now a tradition that the XIIIs have never said “no” to. Because it is the XIIIs’ choice to run the Bake Sale, it is even more crucial that the selection remains consistently good. The pressure of not wanting to disappoint young children looms over the XIIIs, who once were customers of the Bake Sale themselves.
Right now the Bake Sale is not up to the standard that the XIIIs set for themselves earlier this year. But why did both Liam Oliver and Armaan Afridi, XIsD, say that there were “no problems and a good amount of options?” While older students may be satisfied with the selection available at 8:00 AM, younger kids typically arrive at school later. Even though the Bake Sale runs until 9:00 AM, the choices become slim towards the second half, often leaving juice as the sole option.
Even the XIIIs have concerns about the Bake Sale. Seamus O’Reilly went so far as to say that “We’re kind of failing at delivering items.” The general consensus among the class of 2019 is that they need to step up their game, but how?
Although there is certainly a problem with the amount of food at the Bake Sale, some people are contributing their fair share. When asked if they bring food virtually every Friday, only 6 of the 22 XIIIs raised their hands. Max Beyer, XIIIs, suggested that because a small group of people consistently bring baked goods, others feel as though they can get by with just bringing juice, napkins, or even nothing at all.
The XIIIs brainstormed ways to solve this problem since they all agreed a problem existed. Bryan Lau brought up the idea of using competition to motivate the XIIIs to bring food, which received both support and criticism.
In the end, Ann made some adjustments and ended with a solution that had been used in past years. William McCusker, XIIIs, explained the system, which requires an alternating half of the group to bring food each week. If a XIII fails to bring something for the Bake Sale, the student gets their Friday out-lunch privilege revoked, which is also the current punishment for missing two or more homework assignments. The XIIIs hope that by adding more structure and holding themselves accountable, the Bake Sale will go back to being the best it can be for all students at C&C.
Nobody wants to see a look of disappointment flash across a VI’s face when they enter the lunchroom on Friday morning, expecting an assortment of tasty options. For many, the Bake Sale provides breakfast and is something they should be able to rely on. In addition, it is a staple of the C&C community that has upheld a high standard for the many years at C&C, and it would be disappointing to see that change. The XIIIs hope to rise to the occasion and meet their clientele’s expectations in the future.
Any criticisms or observations you have about the Bake Sale are welcome, and you can email the XIIIs at XIIIs@cityandcountry.org.