Saturday– At a time when even the always outspoken Brenton Jaffe ’21 was silent, one brave student made it their mission to stay awake for the entire hour-long All School Chapel service. This ambitious goal had never before been completed, but Junior Danny Brown ’19 was determined to change that. Previously, the record was held by Mia Russo ’18, who made it through more than two-thirds of Mr. Allman’s Thanksgiving Chapel address before joining the rest of the school in sleep.
When asked what he had never seen before, Mr. Brown remarked, “The Kia Motors sponsored T-shirt cannons were definitely a pleasant surprise.” T-shirt cannons? “Yeah, they brought out the Booster Squad to shoot T-shirts that read ‘All School, All Cool’ on the front and ‘Kia Motors Cares’ on the back to whoever danced the most. Chaplain Lesshouse and some lower schoolers were really the only participants, and Lesshouse’ moves just blew those first graders out of the water, so he got at least seventy-five percent of the shirts.”
Mr. Brown also cleared up the long running controversy: did the orchestra perform five times or did I just fall asleep and wake up in the middle of the same performance multiple times? “Chorus only actually sang once. But they walked up to and down from their carefully arranged positions on stage multiple times throughout the service just to keep things interesting.” Speaking of keeping things interesting, the Junior resorted to some unique tactics of his own. “It was less exciting than I originally expected, so to amuse myself, I spent a good amount of time waving at parents in the balcony who were gesturing towards the lower school pews, trying to get the attention of their children.”
Personally, this was my final All School Chapel. Over thirteen years, I’ve attended fifty-one of these events, spending approximately sixty-five hours of my life sitting in a pew thinking about what I’d do if a lion escaped from the Central Park zoo and made its way into the main sanctuary of the Rodeph Shalom Synagogue. (Step #1 is to take a second and asess where the nearest exit is and if enough people are in between you and the lion to sacrifice their lives while you escape. Step #2 is to asess the moral implications of letting others be eaten while you run through a utiliatarian, deontological, and virtuistic lense.) Instead of spending that time sitting passively in Chapel, I could have moved West, met a girl, bought a small vegetable farm where we could settle down, start a family, and lived a simple, peaceful life.
When asked to opine on that, Danny Brown had little to say. “I don’t see how that’s relevant to this article, Will.” But what Mr. Brown didn’t realize was that I am good at coming up with headlines but run out of ideas for the actual article very quickly, and then rely on anecdotes and world building to fill out a page. “While now that you’ve confessed that, are you still going to do it here?” an inquisitive Danny inquired. “No,” I replied.