The Taste of Responsibilities

Wrt 102

November 2002


My friend Lauren decided last minute to go eat at the Student Activities Center for dinner with me. She went straight for the hamburger while I stood in the center of the food court pondering what I might want to have for the night. A familiar smell aroused my nose. It was the smell of newly cooked cheese pizza coming out from the oven. I paid for my pizza and sat down with Lauren. Looking at my pizza, I began gnawing on the cheese. The first thing that popped up on my mind was the scent of pizza at my fourth grade pizza party. The pizza I was chewing on was not even half as tasty as the one I had back in elementary school.

I was in fourth grade. As a wonderful teacher who always smiled brightly at her students, Mrs. Vivaldi threw all of her three classes a pizza party right before Christmas break. Occasionally, she would have ice cream parties too. Mrs. Vivaldi was one of my favorite teachers because she was only one of the few teachers I had who understood me. She was never impatient or too busy to listen to what a student had to say. The pizza party was held in the cafeteria, which was in the basement. There were long lunch tables sitting side by side in the cafeteria. To the right of those tables was the door to a safe haven, the schoolyard. Recess time was what every student in elementary school waited for. During recess, my friends and I played childish games such as four corners and freeze tag. On the other side was another door to the outside world. This cafeteria door was always opened since the basement gets stuffy in the wintertime.

Suddenly, a distorted figure came into view beside the door. Amplified noises filled the small room. As the figure moved closer, his image became clearer. The children saw that it was the pizza deliveryman carrying five large pizza boxes. All of the children stopped what they were doing. It seemed as if somebody in the room pressed the pause button of the VCR remote control because all of us stopped moving at the same time. We watched attentively as the man made his way to Mrs. Vivaldi. It was probably the only time we paid close attention to what anyone was doing. Little people tend to have a short attention span.

The man piled the boxes up high on the white extra long lunch table. The teacher thanked the delivery man and handed him cash. He walked like a clumsy man out the cafeteria door and into his delivery truck. The breathing of the truck was heard for about two minutes before the engine sped off. After opening the boxes and deeming the pizza inside edible, all the children ran to the teacher to get hold of a slice of pizza they had waited impatiently for. The sweet aroma of the pizza is still fresh in my memory. The memory stuck to me as if everything happened yesterday. I remembered it so well because the pizza party was a significant metaphor of my elementary school days. Nostalgia fills me.

The pizza signified the freedom of the mind as a child. No responsibilities were involved. As a fourth grader, all that was on my mind was playing with my brother and my friends at the park. Never did I once envision that I would be trapped in a world of duties in my later years of life.

I took a bite of my cheese pizza I bought at the Student Activities Center. The cheese pizza brought me memories of my childhood and the times when my mind was free of any responsibilities and obligations. As an eighteen year old, I now have more responsibilities than I can bear. I took another bite of my pizza and lost all appetite after thinking about how life only gets tougher through all the obligations that are dumped upon me and wishing I was back in fourth grade when only games, fun, candy, and pizza were on my mind.