The Eighth Page

Alex Moss’ 30 Day Challenge

As you undoubtedly remember, my first ever article for The Phillipian was a rip-off of Morgan Spurlock’s (the “Supersize Me” guy) 30 Days, a program where he chronicles what it’s like to do some crazy stuff over the course of a month. Emulating my hero, I refused to open any one of my class books for the entire month of October. This was all in the name of justice, however, as my acts proved successful, casting light on one of the most grievous examples of bigotry at Phillips Academy: discrimination against illiterate students. If they can’t read their books, then for a month, neither would I. My grades suffered, my relationships were tested, and my self-esteem hit previously uncharted waters, but as long as it accomplished something, then damn it, I can sleep at night. Read on, young warrior, to discover the truth behind what Big Brother doesn’t want you to know. Tuesday, October 2: Smooth sailing thus far. History proved slightly difficult when I was asked to make reading questions on a particular chapter for the entire class. I almost navigated my way out with the classic “Aren’t you supposed to be the one asking the questions?” line. Unfortunately he took me up on my offer. Friday, October 5: My first test today in math. I managed to answer a few correctly before hitting a rough patch. About halfway through I just started gasping and pretended to pass out. No one noticed. Monday, October 8: Two setbacks today: First I received an 18% on my Biology test. My Spanish teacher spared me, but on Bio, the words “Haha, you have got to be kidding me!” were scribbled next to problem 9. Then, to add insult to insult, my mother called me, implored me to come clean that I was “sent from the future to destroy her dreams,” and hung up. Wednesday, October 10: I just got a 1- on my English essay. I didn’t even know that was possible. I tried my best, but apparently my moral indignation over Moby Dick “being a liar and a thief, not to mention a dirty socialist” didn’t go over as well as I thought it might. Thursday, October 18: In Spanish today I was supposed to make a presentation based on the text about whether or not abortion should be legal. Instead I got up and talked for four minutes about enchiladas. No one was amused, and I have now been labeled a racist. I knew I should have gone with the cultural impact of Speedy Gonzalez. Sunday, October 21: I want to open a book so bad. Every ounce of being screams at me to pick up my Bio textbook and learn. But I mustn’t waver. I can’t and I won’t. Not while there is but one illiterate student who feels oppressed, not while there is but one teacher who expresses disbelief at illiteracy, not while there is but one leaf remaining on the tree of bigotry: I cannot and will not relent. Thursday, October 25: I am nearing the end of the road. Here is what I have learned in the last few days by the simple acts of deduction and process of elimination. James Madison was not the guy who invented revolving doors. The Calvin Cycle is not friends with the Hobbes Cycle. That’s it. This is hard. Saturday, October 27: Well, this just sucks. I’m struggling to maintain a 1.5, they are administering me a mandatory test tomorrow on whether or not I am below the retardation line, and my writing skills have super diminisished. But I’m almost there. This will going to be my last post. God bless America, and God bless the illiterate.