Many times in the last several years I've enjoyed a meal with my graduating seniors. We'd pick a date and meet at a nearby Mongolian Barbecue restaurant--we'd eat, socialize, and have a good time.
Problem was, the restaurant I chose was rather small. When 10 people would walk in at once they'd kind of freak out. It didn't seem like a very welcoming place. We kept going back, though, year after year, because I like the food there.
But this year I decided to try a different restaurant. We also did a late lunch instead of dinner, which cut the cost slightly. The restaurant I chose was somewhat larger and has a better selection of foods in addition to Mongolian Barbecue (and it's on my way home!).
It turns out that the best time to do this was today, at 2pm (don't ask). So a couple days ago I stopped by the restaurant and told them that on Thursday at 2 I'd be coming in with maybe 20 people; I had no idea how many of my seniors could, or would be interested in, having lunch with me, but I thought 20 would probably be a good number. I wanted to make sure the restaurant would have sufficient food available at the buffet counter at 2pm! The lady there seemed incredulous that I'd bring that many people at once, but she dutifully noted it and said she'd ensure it happened on their end. For my part I promised to call at noon on Thursday and confirm we were still coming.
Someone counted today, there were about 35 seniors there (and my one foreign exchange student, a junior), and we took up about 2/3 of the restaurant. I was amazed that I had a class-ful of students and yet the sound volume was so low, certainly much lower than my 5th period's :-)
I'm privileged to get to work with so many neat kids. They're polite, they're friendly, they're kind, and they're capable. It was fun sharing a lunch with them.