Commentary: What the Last ASM of the Year SHOULD Have Been

By Mike O’Donnell ‘17


I love Andover. I really do. I remember my first time stepping on this campus for my tour and interview all those years ago. Four years later, and I’ve become a brighter and better person all around. But, I don’t think that the school really recognizes all of the change that I, and the rest of the graduating class have have made during our time here. We definitely did not receive that recognition during the last ASM of the year. So, here are my thoughts on what the school should have done for us, in recognition of all that we’ve been through during our time at Andover.


First, I think that all of the underclassmeat, uppers included, should have been forced to clap for a straight half hour as we enter the Chapel, and then be forced to bow to us as we take our seats. I mean, think about it. The vast majority of us have ventured into the underworld itself and made it out the other side in one piece, yet very few people realize this. This school is hard, and we should’ve been deified for making it through. We DESERVE the proper recognition while entering our final ASM.


Following this theme of recognition, the entire senior class should’ve been served a personalized steak dinner in the Chapel (with vegan options for those members of the graduating class who do not partake in the consumption of meat). And no, I’m not talking about red meat to be eaten raw. I’m talking about a fancy-ass dinner with sides featuring seasonal vegetables, potatoes roasted in our class roast page, and an assortment of Den snacks that somehow survived the 50% off sale. The school definitely had enough money for it, and we sure as fuck earned it after all of the shit that we’d been through. Also, it was the last Wednesday of our Andover careers; did you really want us to have to eat lunch in Commons with those PLEBEIANS?


Lastly, we deserved another thirty minute standing ovation as we left the Chapel at the end of ASM. In all of our glory, one round of applause was not enough for us. We required a second, half hour long session of praise. And while we’re at it, the school should’ve just given every senior seventh period free after the last ASM. I mean, we’d earned it, after all. And if we’d had seventh period free, we could have used the time to make Mr. Palfrey’s birthday party even better.


Still, thank you, Andover. Thank you for at least doing the bare minimum in senior recognition. We greatly appreciated it.



By Ethan Brown ‘17 and Leo Brother ‘18

Local Philosophy Class Discusses What You Should Do When The Mighty Mighty Blue Stomps All Over You

By Thomas Wiener ‘19

In the last 23 minutes of a brutal double period class of The Bible and its Contexts, new Blue Key Head Addy Rahl ‘18, made an unprecedented subject change. Looking to get an early start on memorizing blue key chants for orientation next September, Rahl pounced upon a gaping opportunity to connect her class’ discussion of circumcision and the Bell Tower to the pressing matters concerning the stompage (or stomparity, depending on your preferred lingo) of the Phillipian athletic coalition, commonly known by many as the “Mighty Mighty Blue.” Despite the six previous topic digressions that had already occurred that class, everyone in the class was taken completely by surprise by Addy’s bold move. The teacher and class had agreed “to stick to Christianity for the rest of the period”, assuring everyone that such a catastrophe would not plague the class again – or so they thought.

Eyewitness and Senior finally squeezing in his Philosophy/Religion requirement Creed A. Tivnayme expressed his shock at the conversational curve ball. “I didn’t necessarily mind the subject change, since I’m only here for the easy 6 in RelPhil,” said Tivnayme. “But, I thought the rest of my classmates, who probably are actually interested in the sacred texts of the first-century Canaanites, would be much more bothered by the discussion change.”

So what do you do after getting a good ol’ stomping? Rahl suggested the CCC should be involved. Tivnayme said to use it as an excuse to get personal time. One kid who needs to just stop talking went on a rant about something that sounded like he wanted commons to make a greater surplus of Korean tacos. So in case you hadn’t guessed already, no one got anything out of the conversation. Shocking!

Sadly, the debate eventually lost steam once the vegan with a leather jacket, taking his fifth RelPhil class to justify his moral superiority, argued the bigger problem was the school’s diet of red meat. Apparently he hadn’t taken the hint to shut up when his dorm voted to exile him to the Inn. Sad.
In other news, the Den is now selling fidget spinners for $35 a G.

Underachieving Upper Gets a 4 in Crossing the Street

By Max Vale ‘18

Andover students, past and present, know of the dangers of crossing Main Street to get to campus. It’s a carefully planned ritual that must be executed with precision, down to the very last detail. Though nearly all students recall receiving emails from faculty telling them to “get a 6 in crossing the street” (i.e using the rapid flashers, waving to cars, and taking out headphones/earbuds), local upper Carter Knowles has reportedly received a 4 in crossing the street, showing that he is only above average in this task. It is also worth noting that because his grade was above a 3, Knowles did not receive any midterm comments on how he could improve his street-crossing ability before final grades are released.

Janet Freeman ‘20 witnessed the event while going home with her parents. She recounted said event in an email sent to The Gorilla. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. [Knowles] didn’t do anything that we were instructed to do. He didn’t use the rapid flashers, didn’t wave at cars letting him cross, and kept his earbuds in while staring at his phone the whole time. It was awful. I almost spat out my Wild Sweet Orange tea after seeing what he’d done.”

Though Knowles made it across the street fine, many students and faculty believe his actions are irredeemable. New lower Shawn Grixley said, “From day one, we’re taught to exercise caution when crossing the street, especially at the Vista crosswalk. How could someone who goes to the best high school in the country be so awful at crossing the street?”

“He’s never gonna get into a good college with that kind of attitude,” Claire Johnson ‘17 lamented. “Colleges want to see that steady upward trend in all aspects of a student’s life, especially in crossing the street. A 4 this late in his Andover career is definitely going to ruin his chances at getting into Bunker Hill.” Johnson then returned to lawning with her friends in the warmish early May sun and laughed at Uppers as they walked by on the paths crying and holding lukewarm cups of commons coffee.

In other news, only 61% of students report feeling dead inside this spring, a 19% decrease from last year.

The Gorilla’s 2017 State of the Academy

Staff Report:

Earlier this year, The Gorilla sent an anonymous survey to over 1100 students asking an array of questions regarding identity, nasty personal habits, and meme preferences. A record high 0 students responded to the survey, marking a 38.5% increase over last year’s total. We’ve put together a set of graphics to visually demonstrate the data collected. Additional data is located at Here is the state of the academy.


Palfrey Leads Presentation on Sending Empathetic and Balanced Nudes

By Reeve Sobol ‘19


After spending a good 10 minutes promoting his new MySpace page, Head of School John Palfrey turned his captivating keynote presentation to a slide containing a dense, 8pt font comprehensive guide on how to take an empathetic and balanced nude. Students’ jaws dropped to the floor as they realized one by one that their Head of School, a married father of two, had revolutionized the way in which jocks temporarily disgust everyone on their Snapchat friends list.


“I mean I’m not saying I’ve sent nudes before,” commented Richard P. Ick ‘18, “but Palf might be onto something. When I send nudes I—I mean, theoretically, like this is from what I’ve heard or whatever,— but I usually just send a few out at around 2 or 3 am to see if anyone’s still up and wants to cruise. It might not be the worst idea to take a couple at conference, so as not to exclude people who are normally asleep when I send them.”


Palfrey’s guide not only addressed the timing of nudes to make them more empathetic and balanced, it also included step-by-step instructions in proper nude technique. He heavily emphasized the importance of consent, recommending that senders ask permission before doing it anyways. He then proclaimed, “Nudes without lighting are weak, and lighting without nudes is a boring senior spring elective”.


Palfrey went on to state that both sending and asking for unbalanced and apathetic nudes is a felony, but pretty much everyone is doing it anyways. For students who weren’t persuaded by the new method, he recommended using the makerspace to print 3d models of whatever it is that they wanted to share, or simply spending time with the intended recipients face-to-face ;).  He then dismissed the meeting via PowerPoint slide so he could get home quicker in order to get in his empathetic 27 hours of sleep for that night.
Be sure to look for a follow-up on this story, which is expected to be on the front page of this Sunday’s New York Times.

Commentary: Andover Sucks, So Why Would Anyone Want to Donate to it?

Written by Ann Swer ‘18

Over the past few days, many of Andover’s trustees have returned to their beloved campus. They shared memories of their time here and donated large sums of money to the academy. But, this place fucking sucks. So, my question is, why the fuck would anyone want to donate to this shithole?

I mean, come on! All of these people went through the soul-draining process of getting into prestigious universities and networking with classmates in order to get millions of dollars, only to donate it all to this place? These people obviously don’t remember the frequent crying sessions and hours spent sitting alone in Lower Left. That happens to everyone here, right?

I can’t believe that after escaping Andover and going to colleges and jobs that are vastly easier than this dump, these people decide to spend a weekend here and donate enough money to pay for future students’ tuition at this hellhole. What amazing thing did these alumni get out of Andover to want to give back? It had to have been the fucking Holy Grail, because Lord knows that’s the only thing that would get anyone to donate to this garbage fire of a school. I’m already an Upper and all I’ve gotten is a lack of empathy and an unbalanced lifestyle. These people are probably just nostalgic for a time when Commons had bagels everyday.

If I ever become a millionaire, I’m not giving one cent to this shithole. I probably won’t even become one, though, because this place’s prestigious and advanced classes have totalled my GPA. Now I’ll never get into Harvard, and then I’ll get a bad job and an ugly family before moving to Florida and dying of organ failure. Thanks a lot, Andover!


By Sebastian Bishop ‘17

Breathtaking! Local Forgotten Commons Plate Grows Wings

By Zach Abruzzese ‘19


In a beautiful display of defiance against careless den-goers, a local, forgotten Commons Plate has learned to grow wings. Though the cause of this evolution is unknown, most speculate that it is because no one was going spend literally one minute to take it to the conveyor belt upstairs.


Sources report that the plate began to fly around the Den at 7:49pm, shocking most of the present den-goers.  According to freshman Vee G. Anism ’20, the plate “just grew a pair of teriyaki chicken wings and skrrted out of there”. He continued, “It was covered in day-old barbeque sauce and half a veggie burger with some crispy, stale fries. It was so beautiful to see it learn to fly.” Anism then sprinted out of the Den after realizing realizing that he had 4 minutes to return to his Abbot dorm for sign-in.


However, before returning to its natural habitat upstairs, the forgotten Commons Plate then assumed the role as a vigilante and began to attack rule-breaking students on campus.


Upon closer examination of the scene, a Gorilla representative found that lower Smoak E. D. Abear had been the Commons plate’s first victim. Through her barbeque sauce covered hair and a few tears, she told the representative that she “was simply minding [her] own business and buying a cookie for [her] friend when the plate came over and just dumped everything on [her]”. Abear, it was later discovered, had at least five stolen granola bars on her person.


Reports have come in from across campus of said Commons plate’s activities. It disrupted a hookup in which the two participants were not constantly giving each other verbal consent by calling Sykes and telling them that these two participants were using an ineffective method of contraception and disease prevention. It was also seen beating every Abbot student who jaywalked across Main St. and Wheeler.


In other unrelated news, approximately 3/5 of the school now has unexplained bruises everywhere on their bodies.

Edgy Poetic Masterpiece Found Engraved in Bulfinch Desk

By Sebastian Bishop ’17

Students at a local English 200 class reported finding what can only be referred to as “the best thing since getting a gold star if you read this far” hiding inside their classroom. And no, it’s not the collection of Shakespeare’s greatest works on one of the bookshelves. It’s a cryptic and deep poem etched into a desk next to a penis drawing and BA ’17 (initials we can only assume belong to Bob Agorilla). The poem reads:


The windows are open in here.

A warm spring breeze flows through the rooms-

And yet I’ve never felt so cold.


I came here in search of freedom and knowledge-

But this safe haven has turned into my prison.

Alone in my cell-

My happiness and state of mind locked out-

Let them go, they deserve better than this.


They promised me freedom-

But how can I be free if I’ve been taught

To accept that life is pain?


I am dead inside.


Wow! They were right by calling this “the best thing since getting a gold star if you read this far”! This poem is filled with rich metaphors and tone. Scholars are baffled at the possible things the prison can represent. Is it America? Academic institutions? A large, and at times overwhelming, liberal bias? I guess we’ll never know. The prose this student uses goes above and beyond what is expected at such a young age. So much in fact, that it’s understandable why this student vandalized this desk instead of paying attention in class. Not even a department filled with PhDs can properly cultivate this young mind. This poem belongs with other treasures found on desks, such as the phrase “GET NEKKED” and that heart with the crossed out initials.

The Gorilla’s 10 Crucial Tips For Finishing Out The Year

By Leo Brother and Max Vale ’18.

So the gift of time has come back to bite you in the butt. Just when you thought you were in the clear, when you emptied the tank and dragged yourself across the finish line, you found yourself with 5 weeks left. And these aren’t any ordinary weeks. These weeks are the most antagonizing, draining, and traumatic parts of an incredible academic experience for which most kids would kill, so yeah, keep complaining about it. Anyways, here are 10 ways to deal with your first world problems.

1. Chase the elusive 7

Someone wise enough to write anonymous quotes for a living once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”. Based on that logic, The Gorilla advises you to aim for a rare, yet technically possible, 7.0 GPA. Because most departments consider a 6 to be 94-100%, anything above 100 is a 7, right? So get that extra credit, worst case scenario you bump that 2 up to a 3.

2. Fine tune your diet

Commons has tons of options for students who want to enhance their performance, but you, being the fat slob you are, probably went straight for the unhealthy options like chocolate milk and bagels. How dare you! Eating nutrient rich foods like quinoa, fish, and Merriam-Webster’s New Pocket Dictionary will give you the boost you need to crank through these next few weeks.

3. Sacrifice the first draft of your history paper to the demons that live in Pearson

Just open the door, throw it in, and run. You’ll know when They’ve received it.

4. Cheat on the SOTA

Everyone knows that you can’t sleep for an average of 10 hours per night and have a 6.0 GPA, but it’s funny to think about. Leave those responses on the SOTA and you and your peers will have a nice, hearty chuckle when you see it on there. But also, remember that it’s not anonymous. They’re watching you. Consider yourself warned.

5. Discover a new Study Space

Chances are, you do your work in some loud space where you can talk to friends whenever you don’t feel like doing that 50 page reading. We recommend trying a new place to do your work; someplace quiet and isolated like the sanctuary or tucked underneath the hedge surrounding the penis statue.

6. Get to know your teachers

When actual effort seems too difficult, it’s a good idea to get on your teachers’ good side. We’re not saying you should bribe your teachers (but hypothetically if we were, that would totally work), but it’s not a bad idea to get to know them a little better while giving them a favorable opinion of you. So meet them in Commons, get some coffee (or cash, whatever floats your boat), and boost those grades! Side note, you’ve got nothing to lose. Tell that teaching fellow how you really feel about them.

7. Wake up earlier

Sleep is for the weak! But seriously, giving yourself some extra time in the morning to pick out a nice outfit, get breakfast, and have a long cry in the shower is a great way to encourage positive habits for the rest of the day. Catch that sunrise, Andover! (Sunrise tomorrow is at 5:39 a.m. and will only get earlier)

8. Choose whether you want to engage with or serve the community

The second half of spring term is a great time to give back all the sleepless nights and mental breakdowns that the academy has given you. There is no feeling more rewarding than the satisfaction you’ll get from helping those around you, and being able to use it as an excuse not to do schoolwork.

9. Buy all of the food rations and lamp oil you can access

Supplies are running low. Only the strong will survive, so take as much as you can carry and run. Don’t let them catch you.

10. Try Something New

The spring term is the perfect time to try new things! Freshmen, what else are you doing with your time this spring? Why not use all of the time that would be going towards absolutely nothing and write for the Gorilla? Lowers, you might as well try something new before Upper Year starts. Why not write for the Gorilla? Uppers, you all have enough on your plate right now. But hey, you can try some new things to distract yourself from the horrors that are Upper Year (I hear that writing for the Gorilla is a great distraction). Seniors, you’ve all earned a break. But, if you want to live out your senior spring to its fullest potential, why not try something new, like writing for the Gorilla?