The Eighth Page

Heart of Ice: Winter Term at PA

I met a young lad the other day. Let’s call him Phillip Sakadami. Phillip came up to me, and we had a little chat. I told him about the massive amounts of work I had, how I had to stay up late almost every night, how winter term was awful, etc. etc. etc. Phillip smiled at me, then gave me a swift kick to the place Mac King ’05 refers to as “the mommy and daddy buttons.” He then took my wallet, screamed something that sounded a lot like, “Duck shoe,” spat on me, and then ran away, singing, “Happy na na, happy na na, HEEEYYY-HEY-HEY, goo-ood bye.” Did this encounter actually happen? It did, in the metaphorical sense. You see, Phillip Sakadami is actually PHILLIPS ACADEMY [Editor’s Note: Duh. Even the quasi-exotic mutilation of the school’s name can’t hide it]. And see, I complained to “Phillip” and he kicked me in the place Mark Shvartsman ’05 refers to as “Johnny Tombstone.” But see, he didn’t boot me in my actual magical love box, he punted me in the family jewels of my soul. Wow, I’m deep. Put on your seatbelts, kids, because the metaphor doesn’t end there. See, when Phillip took my wallet, that was symbolism for the school’s outrageous tuition, not to mention the fact that cans of soda are now 60 cents, as opposed to the old price of 50 cents, which now means whenever I want a soda, I cannot ask the man next to me if he has, “Fitty cent,” and then proceed to repeat “Fitty” 9 or 10 times. (I suggest you try it. C’mon, go for it, say it: “Fit-ty. Fiiiiiiiiiitttttttttyy. Fitty fitty fitty.” It’s glorious, I know). And when “Phillip” yelled “Duck shoe!” and spat on me and ran away singing, that was a reference to, well, I don’t really know. Looking back, I probably should have chosen a different metaphor. But it’s too late for that now, isn’t it? [Editor’s Note: Unfortunately.] I’m sorry for being so negative; there were actually plenty of good moments in winter term. Like when our boys’ athletics teams did so well at Exeter. And when the budget crisis ended and the Trustees didn’t cancel all our summer and vacation opportunities. Or the time I got a 6 in Chemistry. And let’s not forget the time God came down and named me King of the Universe while all the pigs were flying and hell froze over. That was cool. Brilliant and ironic sarcasm aside, there are a few good things about winter term. Head of School Day is a nice way to gather up the student body in Lower Right between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. every night for two weeks, only to have their hopes shot down faster than an Iraqi fighter jet cruising over Baltimore (I am ON with these metaphors.). When it finally does arrive, however, I think Head of School day is one of the truly great days on this earth, along with Boxing Day and National Secretaries’ Month (You say National Secretaries’ Month isn’t a day? You say it has month right in its title? Well I say foo. Foo on you.). As you can see, winter term can be tough, especially for a young boy with three nipples, a severe iron deficiency and a harrowing addiction to blood thinners. (I’m uh… talking about… Phillip. Yeah…Phillip Sakadami.). But the lesson one can learn from all this is to keep on trucking. I’m serious, you should go and get a semi and start trucking, before it’s too late, before this schoo — Phillip, rather, gives you a metaphorical kick in your twig and berries. Trust me, you don’t want that; you want that as much as you want a cyst on your thigh (You don’t want that either). So that’s my account of winter term, and yes it is a bit biased. Heck, one person might say that winter term is his or her favorite term of the year, that it’s refreshing and fun. Another might say it is a dreadful, cold, hellish experience that could be used for a Chinese Prison torture. Who’s to say who is right? I am. Winter term is terrible, and short of moving this school to Florida and having no classes and homework, it will always stink. And if you disagree with me and think I’m a grumpy guy whose heavenly visage cannot make up for my pessimistic ideas, I have two words for you: duck shoe.