When Café M opened on the first day of school this semester, I was undoubtedly excited. The prospect of delicious food half the price of the Green Truck enticed me throughout Winter Break. Not only were my expectations matched, they were profoundly surpassed. Yet, I had my reservations. That first day back from Winter Break, as I sat eating a whole-wheat pesto pizza and sipping an Arnold Palmer, I couldn’t help but wonder if the new Café M was absolutely necessary. Yes, the food is delectable and simultaneously affordable, but do we really need custom omelets, a pizza oven, chocolate chip pancakes, and a salad bar? I worry about what is going to happen to the seventh graders when they go off to college in five years and realize that Café M is nicer than their college cafeteria.
I remember the days when Café M was a window. I thought we were lucky, spoiled even, to be able to have La Brea Bakery pastries and wonderful clam chowder in large luscious sourdough bread bowls. It never occurred to me that there was more out there. I was happy in my ignorance of the world of school catering. Whenever I visited other schools, I marveled at differences in quality. Even our window was far beyond the wildest imagination of the students of other high schools, whose cafeterias often reminded me of the prison dining halls I see on Law and Order.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I am aware that I am remarkably lucky to be able to go to a school where I can order a sandwich and eat a freshly made risotto pudding. But I’m also aware that I am sixteen years old. Honestly, if you give me a diet coke and quiet place to study, I’ll be fine. I just hope that the rest of the student body recognizes just how lucky we are, and doesn’t act too upset when they can’t get custom pizzas at their colleges.
Julia Moser ’11