Chicken Nuggets and Cheese Mammoths

Selected the "Other" Essay of the Common Application

How can a high school student serve a community greater than not only feeding the masses, but providing it with the softest, yet most absorbent toilet paper as well? Pshh, saving third world countries from natural disasters can wait, especially with Mrs. Willendorf impatient in the checkout line for another store-brand (not Kraft; she fears the sharp points on the rectangular shape of the package), 16 oz. package of shredded cheddar cheese (not sliced or in chunks) to make little Jimmy’s mac’ n cheese and chicken nugget lunch tomorrow. Yes, for just seven dollars an hour I was the defender of the domestic arts. And as important as this period of my life was to the good of mankind, surely in this supermarket the laws of human nature must have been not written, but printed on the back of every receipt that left the store.

Indignation was a local pastime at Zagara’s Marketplace. To truly grasp what the range of topics to complain about was like, one must first stare at the sun until one’s eyes melt. Once the vision is gone, one’s sense of injustice will not be limited by the sense of sight. From a cashier’s grievance of how soft the buttons on the register machine were to a customer grumbling about the “loudness” of the...

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