The Eighth Page

Giving the Perfect Tour

Although classes only began a few weeks ago, Phillips Academy has not missed a beat in preparation for the 2009-2010 school year. I know that many of you reading this are tour guides, are interested in being tour guides, have heard of tour guides, want to be a tour guide for Halloween, heard that tour guides taste kind of like chicken or are in some other way affiliated with the guidance of tours. And the same way that it is important for all future students to see the school before matriculating, it is important for all future tour guides to see a tour before joining our team. So sit back and relax as I take you on a virtual tour guiding tour. Me (extending hand): Hi, My name’s Greg. I’m a three-year upper from Andover, Massachusetts. I’ll be your tour guide today. Todd (staring at my hand): Todd. Me: Well, okay Todd. Follow me. The first building you see up here is Uncommons. This is where we eat all of our meals. Todd: Why’s it called Uncommons? Me: Commons was our old dining hall, but it’s under renovation, so we call this Uncommons. Todd: That’s kind of stupid. Me: What would you rather call it? Todd: The cavern of miscellaneous food items. Me: Umm… Okay. This next building is Bulfinch. All of the English classes are held here. See this room with the giant screen TV? All the rooms look like this. Todd: Really? Me: Yeah. All we do during class is watch our favorite movies and television shows.” Todd: You don’t read any books? Me: What’s a book? Never mind. Let’s keep going. The next stop is the Gelb science building. As a 9th grader, you will probably go into biology, chemistry, or physics. But once you get older you can do some pretty cool electives. Right now my class is designing a nuclear bomb and preparing to invade New Hampshire. Cool, right? Todd: What? Me: This next building is the math building, Morse Hall. It’s called that because we do all our math in Morse code. Let me quiz you. What’s dot-dot-dash plus dash-dot-dash? Todd: I don’t know. Me: If you don’t know that, you’ll never place above Math dash-dot-dot-dash. Now, if you’ll look to your left you’ll see the famous Samuel Phillips Hall. We put it on the front of everything because it looks really nice. See that blue clock up there? I think there’s something significant about it. Todd: What’s the building used for? Me: Who cares? Look at those columns, and the stairs, and the double doors that only one person can fit through at a time. Todd: Can we move on? I want to know about the dorms. Me: Sure, but it’s your loss. Most of the buildings you see around campus are dorms. Mostly the dorms are used for show. We don’t like letting kids use them because they might look less nice. The students sleep in the sanctuary. Todd: In sleeping bags? Me (Laughing): Sleeping bags? He thinks we have sleeping bags! Ha! I gotta hand it to you Todd, that was a good one. Todd: Alright… Tell me something about this fancy lawn courtyard thing. Me: I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. Moving on. The next building up here is Pearson. It’s where Latin and Ancient Greek are taught. Most students never go in there, so that’s where we keep all of the dead bodies. Todd: I get it! ‘Cause Latin’s a dead language, right? You’re calling the students who take Latin “dead bodies.” Me: Uh, yeah… sure. That’s right. Latin… Anyway, the last stop on our tour is the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library. Its name is symbolic with some kind of wise bird, but I can’t quite remember what it is right now. This is the hangout place on campus. The only rule is No Studying. See those stop lights on the walls. If you can be loud enough to make the stoplights go red, the librarians will give you candy. Todd: Neat-o! Thanks for such a swell tour. Me: No problem. If you have any questions here’s my email address, but I’m never available. I wish you the best of luck with your application. (mutters) I hope you don’t get in, jerk.