Chewing gum in class — a menace or blessing?

October 17, 2021 — by Atrey Desai

Sitting down in world geography class as a freshman, my mouth full of spearmint contraband, my teacher immediately found out. “Hey, are you chewing gum in my class? Go spit it out right now.”

Such is the life of a Saratoga High gum aficionado such as myself. Every day, a piece of gum that was started mere moments before entering class is condemned to the trash can, the green, sticky wad clinging to the edge of the garbage bag.

For me, a piece of gum represents the go-to stress reliever, appetite suppressor and guilty pleasure, all wrapped up in a clean, green rectangle of 5 gum — spearmint flavored, of course. I’m addicted.  

I am guilty of chewing gum in almost every one of my classes at one point or another during the week. So far, it seems my teachers haven’t noticed. My bad habit has been concealed — the tell-tale jaw movements of a gum-chewer are now hidden behind a mask. 

But in my defense, chewing gum in class doesn’t hurt my fellow classmates. It’s a victimless crime. 

On Blue Days, when lunch begins half an hour later, I can quell my grumbling stomach as it cries for food at noon. Hunger pangs begone; popping a piece of gum in my mouth will appease my insides. And during tests, my classmates can focus on the questions, instead of listening to the groans of my stomach.

Believe it or not, sneaking in a piece of gum is also a COVID-safe procedure. Instead of pulling my mask below my chin and leaving it down as I would eat something in class, my mask stays on and my mouth stays closed when I chew gum — a win for those around me who either intend to stay healthy or find my broken Spanish annoying. 

So, for the foreseeable future, I have no choice but to continue my habit. At least I’ll never keel over a conversation with onion-breath, or tank the Physics curve with a growling belly. My love for Spearmint 5 gum benefits us all, and if you ask nicely, maybe even I’ll give you a piece.