Novel Ideas

In the process of churning out yet another variety column (“variety” meaning that I’m not mentally alert enough at the moment to make my thoughts and whines coherent and am instead chucking another bullet list at you, the devoted reader), I decided that I wanted to write something new and different – something that’s never been said in The Phillipian before, an article topic/opinion/thesis never previously stated. I repeat: the short-shorts listed below have NOT been written about before, especially not every single solitary week on the commentary spread. 1. Students at Phillips Academy are way too competitive. We compete over academics, athletics, extra-curriculars, etc., and it always gets in the way of forging valuable friendships. People always ask me what my grades are. I don’t like it. Stop asking me and everyone else. You should measure yourself only by your own standards because otherwise you will destroy your social life. In conclusion, you’re either forgetting why you came to this school or you have the wrong reasons for coming to this school, so please do something about it, whichever it is. 2. I don’t know anything about politics/economics/history/foreign affairs/literature, but I’m going to pretend I do and write a nonsensical article about politics/economics/history/foreign affairs/literature anyway and hope no one calls me on it. 3. I don’t know anything about politics/economics/history/foreign affairs/literature, but I’m being “up front” about my ignorance, so here’s my humble opinion. If you disagree with me, you can’t criticize me, because I already admitted that I didn’t know anything in the first place. 4. Everybody always writes whiny, griping Phillipian columns. I’m going to do something revolutionary and write about how much I appreciate this school. Despite its problems, we should recognize how lucky and privileged we are to go here and appreciate our privilege and luck. Going here is a privilege. Don’t lose sight of how lucky you are. Appreciate things. 5. I’m sick of this Pace of Life Committee stuff. I don’t know about you, but I came here because of the “fast” pace of life. I left my old school because the pace of life was too slow. Andover admits ambitious students, and ambitious students are going to pursue rigorous schedules. Andover also admits independent students, so do not encroach on our independence. Leave the weekends alone. Leave the evenings alone. Let us schedule our own activities and free time. 6. Dean’s schedule is terrible. Saturday classes are terrible. Commons is terrible. All-School Meetings are terrible. The schedule is terrible. Life Issues is terrible. Parietal hours are terrible. 7. Sex! Sex! Sex! ORAL SEX! Have I shocked you yet? Hell! Damn! Bomb Iraq! 8. Students at Andover are so apathetic. We don’t care about anything. As the future leaders of the world, we should take an interest in things, lots of different things, and be passionate about at least one thing. Maybe two. 9. At Andover, we live within the Andover Bubble. I never have time to read the newspaper. I don’t know what’s going on in the world, and neither does anyone else. We get so obsessed with our meaningless little lives that we don’t pay attention to bigger, more important issues, like world peace and Yugoslavia. 10. As such, there’s a point, thus, hidden, however, in this article, and so forth, if you look, and so on, hard enough, therefore. As you can see, etc. 11. Everybody exaggerates how much homework they have and how little they sleep. We’re competing for the bottom of the barrel. Why do we value suffering? Is it a manifestation of a greater culture of victimhood? I think so. 12. Now that I’m a senior, I finally get to take courses that I really want to take, and I really like them. I wish I had had this opportunity before, but instead my schedule was choked up with requirements. Administration, let people take more electives. Interest promotes success. 13. Why do I insist on putting every sentence in my Commentary articles into the form of a question? Does it sound more conversational? Is it more effective at getting my point across? Wouldn’t my writing be more powerful if I cut down on the rhetorical questions? Aren’t I just avoiding making an assertion? What do you think? Well? 14. Bush is an idiot. No, I’m telling you, he really is. He said this really stupid thing the other day, like REALLY stupid. 15. I can’t come up with anything to write about, so I’m going to channel a bunch of apparently unrelated gripes into a cleverly executed bullet list, thus parodying myself and my fellow whiners. Laugh on the inside.