pLEaSe wEaR YOur COllEge cOMmitMeNt dAY ShIRts, The Larry Momo Story

Tuesday– I mean, this felt like a bad idea from the start. When Mr. Momo first announced to the seniors that the College Counselling Office recommended that students not wear college gear on May 1st, commitment day for schools across the nation, he was met with a chorus of rebellious teenagers wanting to proudly display the name of the college they’d attend for the next four years. Remember, this was back in October before anyone had heard back from schools. That means when they envisioned the distant May 1st, about half the grade probably saw themselves in Harvard sweaters.

The seniors pushed back, but the College Office wasn’t going to be bullied around like that. Instead of backing down, they dug themselves further into the hole with an unexpected power move: they were going to make their own shirts that everyone could wear. To them, this seemed like the perfect solution, to the seniors, the exact opposite. The next few months filled with tension, as the now college-bound seniors waited to see if the counselors were bluffing or if they really were buying shirts. The first of May was right around the corner when Mr. Momo appeared at a grade-wide meeting, marched in on a throne carried by Juniors who planned to apply to an ivy league school with a GPA below 3.8. The seniors’ nightmare had become a reality…

The time had come; it was sink or swim for the seniors’ attempt to stand up to the system that had held them down for so long. Would anyone take a stand? Who would be the first to shout “Enough!”? Is that punctuation in the last sentence correct? Probably not. You may remember my strongly-worded Opinion piece in The Garlic, which some have called the defining work of our generation. Someone posted in the Facebook group, and soon the grade had banded together, determined to wear shirts with their future alma mater emblazoned across the chest. Hurrah!

The fun didn’t begin ’til this morning. As seniors rolled up to Trinity, they took a deep breath before walking into the swamp in their college gear. Finally, they could show the world where they were going, and that they were proud of it. On this blesséd day, we were all Mahtab Shihab ’18, letting the world know we are going to Harvard!

A brief hiatus was taken mid-day, as seniors replaced their shirts and sweaters with shirts made by the college office. The counselors hosted a barbeque to congratulate the seniors, and the grade gathered to eat and take pictures. So many pictures. I know I’m an intimidating presence, but in the future, I want everyone to know they’re welcome to ask me to be in their picture. Someone, anyone… I just want to be in one picture…

When they first told us there’d be a barbeque, for some reason I really pictured barbeque chicken. I don’t know why, but if anyone else was on the same page and didn’t see today’s festivities, I feel obligated to report that it was not chicken, but instead hotdogs and hamburgers. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. In fact, I’m not much of a chicken guy myself. I just thought it was my duty as a journalist who wants to be taken seriously to report the big surprises of the day.

Seniors had mixed reactions to the shirts. It makes sense that such a controversial topic would split the grade. Estelle Strangmark ’18 announced, “grey is not my color, and I will not be seen in this atrocity!” Jeremy Ben-Meir, in the area, replied, “saying grey is not your color is like saying Sons of Pitches superfan Mr. Ed Schmidt ’71 didn’t graduate high school in 1971. It may be true, but nobody cares.” (I was confronted today by Mr. Schmidt with this correction. If you see Mr. Schmidt in the halls, tell him he’s ‘looks not a day over 60.’)

As they departed the 101 entrance this afternoon, ignoring the river of tears streaming out of Mr. Momo’s office, the seniors felt a sense of pride previously foreign to them. For one day, they had lived. For one day, everyone knew where they were going to college.

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