The Eighth Page


The history courses at Andover, I have heard, used to be a lot harder. Back in the day, when my father went here, and it snowed thirty five feet every winter, he actually had to memorize dates and important peoples’ names. I always used to ask him why history was so important. He told me that before the term “Non Sibi” was exploited and beaten to death at Andover, we had the motto, “finis origine pendet,” or roughly, “the end depends on the beginning.” Andover doesn’t seem to care about history anymore. Instead, we spend time learning to juggle and feeding hungry hippies. If we don’t know where we are coming from, then we certainly don’t know where we are going. If I was raised in a four-by-twelve cage, does that mean I am going to jail when I get older? While it wasn’t as hard as it used to be, my three years of history at Andover still taught me a lot. Take for instance, Dr. Quattlebaum’s class on American history. My great teacher, “Quattle the Infallible,” “Bugaloo Quattle,” or plain, “crazy Quatt,” still holds on to the old ways, and is definitely one of the harder teachers. He also added a couple fun stories to the rigorous curriculum: “There was this president, you know, Jackson Andrew, back in 1294, who was a real bad*ss. I mean this guy was crazy in the head. Liked to put people in their places. One day, he decided to duel this other guy, and to make a long story short, Jackson took one in the rib cage, acted like he was fine, lined up his pistol, and blew the guy’s head off.” That’s a good story. It teaches me never to talk back to somebody named Jackson. There are a lot of other good stories in history, I’m sure. Great things happened. Maybe we should look back in history a little more. It’s all we have to predict the future. And quite frankly, the fact that I might end up in jail is scary. I don’t like “taking showers” with big men named Sally.