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The Cake Line: Tony Villareal '20

The other day I was relaxing while eating chicken and rice and basking in the sea of freshman when it started... the sound of clapping. I joined along like everyone else, and shouted words of encouragement. Usually the clapping was for a reason unknown to the student body. The clapping today, however, was well known to everyone in the whole school. On this day the school had one more thing in common with the local McDonald’s: The ice cream machine was finally up and running.

The exhilarated freshman roared and cheered, towering over each other like frogs in a rainstorm. They went sprinting for the ice cream machine like it was to be their very last meal; the seniors on the other hand, we couldn’t care less. As for me, all I wanted was a simple slice of the raspberry covered cake in the dessert window just right of the line growing more than seventy-five students long. This is the way it goes: there is a dessert line, and there is an ice cream line. Just like there is a soup line and a sandwich line. If I want soup, I need not to wait with the enormous sandwich line, but simply just walk up and get it. Because these days at Prep, nobody is looking to get a small bowl of Pea and Barley soup. Just like most students don’t look to get the dry, just add water, sandy, flavorless cake, with a little bit of fruit on top. That is except for me.

And on this particular day, I craved it. No real reason. I walked up to the desserts, grabbed the spatula, got my raspberry covered cake and started to head back to my table in the back of the lunchroom. Instantly, the cake was grabbed out of my hand and thrown back with the rest of it. I was in shock. I was distraught. I did not understand. I felt lost in a sea of emotions. Why? I asked. Why did this happen to me? What have I done to deserve this? Was this some divine punishment sent from the lord above for pouring my milk first instead of the cereal? No, it was none of these. Just of course, Mr. Brown. Don’t get me wrong, I have a huge amount of respect for administrators and the hard work they do to make this school run smoothly. So, instead of replying to his action with a retort I simply just looked at him confused as to why he would take my cake and put it back.

Before I asked, he said, “What are you doing?” “Just getting some cake,” I replied. “No you have to wait in line like everyone else.” I simply said to him, “Well I just want cake, not ice cream.” “I don’t care what you want, you have to get in the back of the line and wait your turn.” I was in utter shock and disbelief of what happened. I stood and look at him for a solid five seconds and said, “What if I wanted soup and didn’t want a sandwich, would I have to wait in the sandwich line?” He raised his voice and said sternly, no pun intended, “What if I gave you a Saturday Jug and didn’t tell you about it?” My voice cracked and no sound came out. As I held back my words of disbelief. I tried to speak again, but before I can get a word out, “You either wait in line or you go sit down.” I simply just said, “I’ll go sit down” and walked away.

For me, a cake is simply not worth fighting about. After lunch I thought about what had happened. Then I thought about how it would affect me in the years to come. I thought about how I reacted and how others reacted, and I pondered what would have happened if I would have dealt with the situation in a different manner. If I argued, the consequences would have been quickly delivered and I would have to deal with a punishment much longer than I wanted.

At the end of the day, I know not to argue with the Dean about the cake line versus the ice cream line, however, I simply implore you all to consider the dark world where you are forced to wait in the 75-student-long ice cream line to get a pre-cut slice of cake. Enter, the cake line. Just like the soup line. It makes sense. It is civilized. That's all.

-Tony Villarreal ‘20

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