The Fly In The Senior Soup
October 28th, 2004
What does it taste like? Clams in black-bean sauce? Barbecue Dipsy-Doodles? Cafeteria salad? It’s been three weeks since my senior year started, and I still don’t know that taste, that delectable elusive taste of being a senior. I have all the senior entrées–a six period day and a joint deed for the senior bar, but the meal is a disappointment. I feel like the restaurant patron who has found a fly in his seemingly perfect soup.
Contributing to the absence of the delicious senior flavor are unwelcome developments. The popular Stuyvesant Advantage cards are a great way to save money on lunch, amongst other things [AMONGST WHAT?]. However, the benefit of money saved on lunch is blocked by the weight of our textbook phantoms: the piles of textbooks that bar us from going out to lunch and making our daily commutes to Terry’s and Portobello’s. For the time being, they prevent us from enjoying our last year of lunches at Stuyvesant High.
Alas, there is no supposed senior relaxation, only the sweat from my brow and hands as I gussy up for the college. I am ceaselessly plagued with standardized tests that presume to define my academic aptitude, trips out of state to colleges (a well defined butt print from long car trips is developing in my car), and troublesome applications to college (steel bolted doorways to the rest of my life). This fall, there is no hot towel for me. For two excruciating months, my lot will be work and worry.
Then the lockers. Who can forget the ritualistic no-holds-barred fight for the senior bar lockers? We are reduced to starving madmen scuffling for this crème brûlée of seniordom. Bribes, deans with bolt cutters, and the arts of physical persuasion are just some of the weapons employed for a senior bar locker- the super cherry on the top of our senior celebration cake.
Some of us are aware of the social superficiality of the senior bar lockers, but they use the lockers “convenience” as a way to justify their efforts. I doubt that they’ll look back to their Stuy High senior year and reminisce about their locker and its meaningful convenience.
There are also strangers, people I’ve never seen before in my three years at Stuy, coming out of the woodwork to populate the bar. I watch them at times, with four free periods to spare, and it’s frightening to learn new faces and names. Actually, they are no more strangers to me than I am a stranger to them: I never really got to know the people; they are acquaintances that have been there for four years neglected by my own eye.
My friends from classes past tease and tempt me with the aroma of spring term. “Just finish your college applications, and you’re home free,” they say. Meanwhile the soup that they have lauded tastes like stagnant water on my lips.
I don’t think I’ll ever be home free. Senior year is nothing more than a toast to just that – work today for your better tomorrow. The taste is nothing more than a carrot over the donkey, a way to bear through the double checkpoint barricades, textbook debts, and intangible feelings of being.
In the meantime I’ll be spending my time drinking cold senior soup. The waiter tells me to try the flies. They're supposed to bring out the exquisite taste of the meal. All I can say is, this is not what I ordered.