I don’t recall this student’s name so I’ll call him “Wanna Be”, and he was convinced he was going to be a big league pitcher. He often disrupted the class by announcing that baseball scouts were already watching him and his future was guaranteed.
Wanna Be saw no reason to read the assignments, study for tests, or do homework and he failed both semesters.
In the mornings before first period, I’d often run into Wanna Be before he had his liquid-sugar breakfast and he was a friendly guy—nothing like the surely, moody monster that walked into my fifth period after lunch with a 64 ounce Coke in hand.
The sugar he consumed at lunch often resulted in glazed eyes, a slack jaw, slurred speech and a serious change in behavior.
Liquid Sugar is Toxic
The student snack bar, which was more of a fast food outlet that served mostly French fries, pizza slices, nachos smothered in cheese and hamburgers, sold 64 ounce Cokes for less than a dollar.
Near the end of my teaching career, the high school also had soda machines installed in the hallways to make money for the school district. The vender split the profits.
One morning, I ran into the truck driver stocking the machines and asked how many sodas the students drank. I recall that he said he stocked an average of 2,000 cases a week in the machines at Nogales and a case held 24 Cokes—that’s 48,000 Cokes a week at one high school. The high school had about 3,000 students. You do the math.
To be fair, the machines also sold water but most of the students hooked on this liquid candy hated water and had no qualms saying how horrible water tasted.
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