Staples High School: home to tons of hardworking, overachieving students.
Nationally recognized for its programs in theater, radio and journalism. An enviable record of Ivy League acceptances and notable alumni. The number one high school in Connecticut in 2008.
This superb educational experience doesn’t come easy. The Staples Administration works tirelessly to make sure that no students slip through the cracks.
For students who strive for a bit less, let’s say, their four years here are challenging.
At Staples, slackers are swimming against a tide of excellence.
At Staples, slacking is a precise art form that requires commitment, creativity, critical thinking and perseverance. It’s like AP Calculus.
“A slacker is someone who is willing to do more work to get out of work than the original work that they are assigned,” agreed English teacher Brian Tippy.
The first key piece of the formula is discreetly missing class. And there is one cardinal rule of skipping that stands above all others.
“You never cut the same class twice in a row,” advised Grade Level Assistant Alice Addicks, a woman whom slackers said they fear above all others. Addicks was quick to clarify she does not condone the practice.
Methodology. The most effective and most common is the parent note for the beginning of the day. No matter how ridiculous the excuses, they are rarely challenged. Mrs. Addicks recalled the most absurd note she had ever seen from a parent.
“Please excuse my daughter for being late. We had an entomological opportunity in the driveway we couldn’t pass up”.
So. There was a dead bug in the driveway that they wanted to look at.
The next stop is the Nurse’s office. Fake illnesses to get out of a class.
“The most popular are headaches and stomachaches, because students know that they are very subjective,” explained Libby Russ, a school nurse at Staples.
A deterrent: the nurses have well-honed lie-detectors. So this office is considered unreliable for substantial or frequent relief from academia. A senior boy who was granted anonymity explained his alternative method.
“I tell my teachers that I need a cough drop. It’s especially effective if the class I’m in is on the third floor.”
In his arsenal of skipping strategies, though, one is especially deadly.
“Tell your teacher that you need to meet with your guidance counselor, and give a specific reason, such as college,” he advised. “It sounds even more legitimate if you ‘warn’ your teacher a couple days prior.”
But on the occasion that a slacker does step foot into a classroom, a whole new set of rules and strategies comes into play.
First, a certain degree of inattentiveness must be exhibited. For example, class is a perfect time for slackers to catch up on other homework that was neglected the night before.
“Slackers always sit in the back of the room,” explained Mr. Tippy, “because they need to be working on another class’s work during your class.”
For some, the method of choice is pure unconsciousness.
According to Henry Betar ’12, certain specific positions maximize comfort when sleeping in class.
“Right arm out, right cheekbone down on center bicep,” he explained. “Or there’s always the classic elbow on desk, hand on cheek position. ”
Regardless of sleep position preference, from the time they set foot in the school freshman year until the day they graduate, slackers at Staples are slaving tirelessly around the clock to avoid work.
Quota is met as long as they stay out of class as often as possible, meet a minimum standard of inattentiveness when they do attend, and maintain that ever steady B-minus.