The Bucket List: What you have to do before your high school career kicks the “bucket”
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The school Student Conduct Liaison, Genaro Quintana, could be considered the Santa Claus of our school.
Okay, he may not be morbidly obese or have a silvery white beard, but trade that sled for a sleek golf cart and that red and white outfit for a macaroni-yellow polo and Genaro is literally a joy machine. When times are hard, I have always looked to Genaro to cheer me up with his open-ended responses to my inappropriate jokes. And so, before the end, I wanted to show Genaro how much he means to me and how much joy he gives students on this campus. I wanted to hug him—passionately.
This was not the hardest item on my list. In fact, all I had to do was ask. At lunch, I greeted Genaro and requested a hug, but Genaro hesitated.
“But Joey,” he said. (Genaro likes to sometimes confuse me for another student to make himself feel important, but I know he still loves me). “I’m a man and you’re a boy. I’m too old for you.”
I appreciated Genaro’s humor, but this was not like a hug between two lovers. This would be a hug between two friends, perhaps even father and son. Genaro quickly gave in, stretching out his arms and embracing me.
Our hug was long and firm, but not as firm as I would have liked. Nonetheless, it was one of the greatest hugs of my life. This might be strange, but I would compare it to a mother’s first hug with her newborn child. I only wish Genaro and I had hugged earlier in my high school career.
Get a ride on a golf cart
Many students already have completed this task, but few have completed it without facing punishment or injury. Regardless of the reason, everyone wants to ride on the golf cart, and I was lucky enough to ride around with Genaro during lunch.
After our hug, I asked Genaro for a ride, explaining I wanted to know how it felt to glide in his rickety cart before I left high school. He obliged as I hopped on his steed of a golf cart, and we began to gallop at a whopping five miles per hour.
I felt like a king prancing around in my steel carriage, outfitted with tires and the pull of only a few horsepowers. I was more special than I had ever been at school. Students stood and stared at me as I received the privilege of being escorted on the golf cart, and I waved back like the king I was.
Soon, the bell rang and Genaro dropped me off at my next class. Mission accomplished.
Grate cheese on the stairs
One of the most feared objects on campus, next to the student parking lot, is the staircase leading up to the 700 building. Many students have nicknamed this set of stairs the “cheese grater” because of the thousands of tiny holes poking out of each stair. For me, I have always been curious as to whether I could actually grate cheese on these stairs … and so I did it.
During lunch, I drove to Safeway and bought a small block of cheese. It was a dilemma. New York Cheddar? Brie? I groped each cheese, testing its consistency for how easily it could be grated. Eventually I chose a classic mild cheddar, mainly because it was the cheapest.
I came back to school, got on my knees and began to grate as if I was about to make a quesadilla for a whole family. I worked the cheese against the stairs and began to make my motions more vigorous.
The cheese was grating on the stairs but unfortunately I was not going to be able to save it to make that quesadilla I was talking about because the cheese immediately sunk through the holes and beneath the staircase. My block of cheese was dirty from the thousands of shoes that had tread across each step, and I discarded it because it was useless.
We all have our goals that we want to accomplish before the end of high school, and fortunately, I accomplished mine. I encourage all students to make a list of what they want to accomplish, whether it be using school property to grate cheese or hugging your favorite security guard. My mission is accomplished. Now it is your turn.