Cafeteria coffee condemnation


The Ventura High School snack bar is where the coffee can be purchased. Photo by: Garette Jaffe

Garrett Jaffe

One day at the beginning of the school year, I made the poor decision of staying up all night studying for a quiz on “Scarlet Letter” in Erin Jones’ class. And as a result of my clearly excessive hours of toiling over quotes and annotations to prepare for this quiz, I would evidently destroy any hope of brain functionality or memory of the materials I had studied, from sheer lack of sleep, in a heart crushing demonstration of the irony of failing a quiz from studying too long.

I found myself later that day, having known of my academic miscalculations, dreading the repercussions of them that would later appear on Student Connect, wandering towards the snack bar in a trance-like state like that of an insomniac in search of food.

As I reached the snack bar and began to read the menu, I saw that they had added some kind of a mocha drink, to which my sleep deprived and soul trodden self rejoiced to, in the hope that I could at least lessen the weight of a night of two hours of sleep with the oh-so-sweet contents of caffeine and the conduit for it, in the form of a smooth and bitter-sweet ice-cold coffee.

There are a lot of coffee shops in the U.S. tempting teens, and the percentage of teen coffee drinkers is only increasing! Source: numbers from the NDF

But I would soon after find that the contents of this cup were of an over stimulating pungent smell, the coffee itself tasting feeling like molasses, so sweet and packed with sugar that it felt it could bring about diabetes in one gulp. I will never drink that coffee again because now I know of it’s revolting aroma and taste and its lacking of caffeine that, in my case, and many others, is a saving grace, so to speak, of a long day and night of learning. I write this with no real aim or solution or narrative at all, but only out of perplexity that the administration would ever serve this stifling and serrated sugary drink to its students, and dangle the idea of caffeine in front of its tired teenagers.

Junior Cody Black said in regards to the question of what role coffee plays in his school life: “It plays a big role because it helps me get through the mornings when I have to wake up really early.” But this coffee at the snack bar in its lacking of caffeine does not help tired teens in the slightest bit. In my case, and I’m sure many others, it only brings about disgust and discontent.