I have a bone to pick with today's youth. Not a major bone, like a femur or a tibia. A smaller bone. Tiny, really. Like one of the phalanges. The baby-toe bone, perhaps. All you other bones, stand clear. I got no interest in you today. You're Farrell and I'm Rooster Cogburn.
Genius took his ACT in mid-October. He's taken it once before, his sophomore year, and scored a 31. Which is really good, a perfect composite score being 36, and the national average 21. His October score came out today, and he barged into my classroom before school to check it online. He brought his breakfast tray with him. Because anybody who's ever done time in a high school cafeteria knows that food can not be left unattended. Unless you have a strong stomach and weak imagination.
He set the tray on my desk. "Are you eating all of that?" Contents consisted of an open half-pint of milk, an open half-pint of orange juice, three little powdered donuts left in the six-pack, and two chocolate chip Pop Tarts lounging on top of their foil wrapper. Yes. That's how we fuel America's youth. Free to all. The breakfast of champions.
"Don't worry. All of that is only 400 calories. And I don't think I'm going to eat the Pop Tarts." He stated that matter-of-factly while logging into his ACT official site.
"Um. There's no way."
"Yeah. I read the nutritional information. The donuts are 190 calories. I didn't read the Pop Tarts yet."
"Those drinks alone would be 400."
"Oh. I forgot about the drinks. But I was reading a girl's graham cracker calories, and they were 190. Look at the labels if you don't believe me."
"Okay. Donuts...370 calories."
"What? No way. Look here. 190."
"You must not be considering the portion size. No. That's calories from fat."
"Well, I'm not going to eat the Pop Tarts."
"Look. Pop Tarts...410 calories."
"I always plan to eat the Pop Tarts. Then I eat the donuts, and I get full."
"I'm just pointing out that you have to know what you're reading in the nutritional information."
"Okay. I got a 34!"
"I'm really proud of you."
Genius gathered up his tray and left, grinning from ear to ear. You'd think a learned scholar such as himself would be able to calculate the calories in a school breakfast tray.