The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

That’ll be one order of nostalgia, please


SOUMYA: Home of the trashy
It might seem odd to be attached to our cafeteria. Let’s face it. Most of the time, it was filled with junk — Munchies wrappers, abandoned orange juice cartons, soggy plates, half-eaten burgers, lonely ketchup packets — a trash-laden graveyard. Whenever I happened to sit at one of those gray speckled circular tables, a strange dank smell would waft up. Probably the rotting remains of someone’s lunch. But for some reason, I found myself drawn there nonetheless.

MARGARET: Memories
I’ve seen the cafeteria in all its forms, pristine clean in the morning, trashed after lunch, and freshly wiped down after school. Now that I’m a senior, I’m starting to feel weirdly attached to a room that once was just a place to hide from the weather. I guess it all relates to my initial memories of being a photographer, something that means a lot to me in my everyday life.

SOUMYA: Permit-less blues
I am that loser who still doesn’t know how to drive. I am also that loser who is too lazy to make the mile-long walk back home. So I end up sitting around campus, waiting for my ride to come at 5.30. Sometimes it is nice and I sit outside in the bus circle with my Physics homework. Other times, Mother Nature goes ballistic, unleashing gales of bone-chilling wind and sheets of rain.

One day, I was covering a girls soccer game. My teeth were chattering, and I swear I had goosebumps under my five layers of clothing. The game ended. The players trudged off to their warm cars, their insulated homes. I, the intrepid journalist, was left to battle it out against the raging elements.I looked around. Not a person in sight. But behind me, the soft, warm light of the cafeteria called me. I ran towards the light as a coyote would dash after a roadrunner.

MARGARET: Photography
I started photography prematurely on September 23, 2011. I was writing an opinion story for El Estoque on the rise of lunch prices and the loss of tater tots within the cafeteria’s food choices (shocking, I know) and I needed a photo of food in the cafeteria.I remember checking out this DSLR which was still extremely foreign to me at that time. I didn’t really know what I was doing but here’s the photo that ran, just as a helpful reference to what the photo I’ve described looked like.

Margaret's first DSLR photo features two picturesque plates of trash. She takes much more epic photos now, believe me. Photo by Margaret Lin.
Margaret’s first DSLR photo features two picturesque plates of trash. She takes much more epic photos now, believe me. Photo by Margaret Lin.

Photography became an addiction in January. Soon later, I was covering cafeteria events like chess tournaments and LINK events and the like. I would like to say that my photography has improved since that very first sub par photo of, essentially, a plate of trash, that I took but I’ll always look back at that photo fondly as my launch pad to my new-found passion for photography.

SOUMYA: Recipe for peace
I felt strangely at home in the cafeteria’s fluorescent glow. I sat down next to a rotting burger on a puny round seat at the speckled table. I leaned back, my booted feet stretched out. I stayed like that for ten minutes, staring blankly into space.

I was filled with a vague sense of peace and content, just chilling there with that burger. The fact that the cafeteria’s door was open to the unfortunate souls waiting for their mommies to pick them up made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It was a refuge, a kind thought, like a hug. I like hugs. Hence, I like the cafeteria.

It is a shame to see the cafeteria go; I won’t have an excuse to loiter around school and not walk home anymore. But more than that, I feel I am losing a safe haven, one of those places where you know the door is always open, the light is always on, and the trash is always ready to welcome you. I just hope the next cafeteria features rotting burgers that I can visit and hang out with.

I went to the cafeteria yesterday for the last time ever. I was trying to get all sentimental about this final journey to this place that holds such an importance to me but honestly the partition that halves the cafeteria was up so it was hard to feel any sort of those feelings. I did notice a closed up window on the left wall that I never noticed before so I guess that’s something interesting to note.

But who knows what would have happened had I not taken that sub-par trash photo that day. I feel like a whole part of me that’s so integral today to my daily life would have been lost.  In a weird sort of way, I know I’ll always associate my awkward first steps in to the world of photography with the cafeteria.

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