By Josh Sutker ‘23

Once upon a time, there was a little freshman named Jimmy. Jimmy has been at Brother Rice for ten weeks, and they have been the best ten weeks of his life so far. He has made many new friends, gone to every home football game, and just attended to his first high school dance.

All is well, and Jimmy is care-free. This week is very, very, very special. IT IS MARIST WEEK! Jimmy will finally get to experience the “Battle of Pulaski” firsthand. Plus, there is no school on Friday. Man, this week sure is going to be special!

Jimmy wakes up on Thursday morning and is excited because he knows he will get out early. He goes downstairs to see his mother cooking pancakes and sausage, his favorite. She sits down and brings him a glass of orange juice. Again, all is still perfectly normal.

Suddenly she says, “I need to see your schedule for parent-teacher conferences.”

Jimmy’s heart drops to the floor.

His heart is still on the ground, but his mind is in the past. He is trying to think back to how his mom found out. He deliberately didn’t talk about school at dinner for a week. He answered the weekly phone call on Sunday at 7 p.m. and quickly hung up. He even removed the Brother Rice website from the bookmark tab on his mom’s computer.

Diverting her from everything related to school did not work. As it turns out, Jimmy’s mom’s best friend’s sister’s daughter’s babysitter heard from their brother’s pet snake who heard it from the cricket he ate that parent-teacher conferences were on Thursday, October 20.

This is the worst-case scenario for Jimmy. He starts to think back to all of the first-period naps in Mr. Wazio’s biology class. His mind then walks down the hall to Coach Lyon’s history class, where he was goofing off all period with his friends. Down the stairs and through the main hallway, he arrives in the lunchroom, where he has already run up a hefty tab on cookies and chicken tenders. After lunch, he goes to Ms. Pacetti’s English class, where he always has his nose deep inside a yearbook instead of his grammar book. Finally, his mind arrives at his ninth-period gym class, where he can remember every single “Southside Johnny” Coach Gleason has given him so far.

As he returns to reality, he realizes that there is no escaping the dreaded parent-teacher conference. He goes to school on Thursday with plenty of energy to stay awake. He stays focused in all of his classes and even packs his lunch.

Wow! Imagine if Jimmy had acted like this all semester! He would still be looking forward to the weekend. Instead, he can’t get his mind off of the events that would take place that night.

When his parents leave for conferences that night, he says a prayer. He finally realizes why we pray to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. He will require her help tomorrow morning if he thinks he has any chance of going to the Marist game.