Students Sitting Alone in Commons “Feeling Great”

By Noble Ohakam ‘18

In recent years, the number of students sitting by themselves in Commons has increased from 3 to 5. Now, you’re more likely than ever to find the corners of upper right inhabited by a social outcast lamenting their life choices over a glass of chocolate milk and a half-hearted attempt to enjoy the videos on their Facebook feed.

Surprisingly, many of these students enjoy their time alone in the public eye. In order to understand this conundrum, The Gorilla went to interview two students who have been Commons loner mainstays since their freshman fall. Pal Less ’18, one of the students in question, commented,“I find sitting by myself to be quite relaxing. When I’m cranking out a paper due next period, I get into a zone where I don’t even acknowledge the three empty seats around me. There’s a bunch of ways to distract yourself from how lonely you are and get through sitting alone during a meal”. When asked how he feels about the looks of guilt that inevitably follow accidental eye contact, Less confidently retorted, “It does happen, but I take comfort in the fact that they don’t know who I am”.

Rel Avent ‘19, another loner and a somewhat-adequate acquaintance of Less, spoke with The Gorilla about her efforts to maximize solo-sitting. “Step Number 1 is to go to Commons 15 minutes before they close. I’m talking about Breakfast at 9, Dinner at 6:45, when the majority of the student body isn’t there”, Vent lectured. “That helps you transition to Step 2, having different places to sit. My go-to is to sit in Lower Right for Breakfast because most people don’t go there. For Lunch, I prefer Lower Left, the safe haven for people like me that are too afraid to sit alone in Lower Right. For Dinner, if I feel courageous, I go to a corner table”. Throughout this triumphant monologue, Vent spoke with a distinct air of calm and contemplation.

“Step 3 is to bring homework and do it as you eat. I usually do my reading there because an upright book is an effective barrier between me and the hundreds of eyes that maybe judging me ruthlessly”. Vent hopes that this publicity can give a voice to the voiceless at PA and help to start a dialogue about such a relevant, prevalent issue. Our reporter assumes this is what she said, but he had walked away before eye contact could be made, claiming, “if I started talking to her, then I would have to sit down and then it would be just the two of us while my friends sat across the room. I didn’t want it to be all weird”.


“How Dare They Force Me to Attend Class?” Outraged Students Respond to New Absence Policy

The Andover Community was shocked to learn that the school’s absence policy had been changed for the 2017-2018 school year, now only allowing students to miss two class periods before disciplinary action is taken. This decision came after the administration decided that four allotted absences per term was too many and students need to attend classes more. But that begs the question, what right does the administration have to force students to attend their classes?


Jerome Harold ‘20 is one student who has strong feelings about the new school policy. “I came to Andover to have more freedom and prepare me for life outside of high school,” he said in an interview with The Gorilla. “But I guess I was wrong. This school doesn’t let you be free. It still makes you go to class and learn, rather than give you the freedom to decide if that’s what you want to do. It’s such bullshit.”


Grace Davidson ‘19 also shared her views on the change. “This is an outrage! How dare they force me to attend class?” she said. “My family pays over forty thousand dollars a year to send me to this amazing institution where I can learn more than ever before and grow and develop as a person. With that kind of money comes a certain kind of privilege, the kind that allows me to pick and choose which classes I attend per day. I can’t believe this school would take that away from me.”


Even some faculty have expressed their outrage at the new policy change. In an interview with The Gorilla, Math instructor Jane Andrews stated, “I liked being able to cut my own classes and email my students saying that I wasn’t going to be there. Do you know how hard it is being a teacher at Andover? Students need extra help in case they don’t understand the material. I have tests and quizzes to grade. I have a dorm I need to take care of, and my two children are only in elementary school and aren’t old enough to take care of themselves”. While checking to see what the Blue Book said about teachers using the sleep room, she continued, “Sometimes I need to cut class so I can focus on myself and, in turn, make me a better teacher. But I can’t do that anymore with this new absence policy. Such bullshit.” Ms. Andrews then returned to grading tests and sipping a nice mug of Wild Sweet Orange tea while muttering “Should’ve taught at Choate” under her breath.


In other news, some day students are actually using their day student lockers, citing the ability to drop off unneeded items and make their backpacks lighter during the day. Further investigations have revealed that most day students refer to these lockers as “cars”.

The Gorilla’s Comprehensive Guide to Picking up Chicks


By Leo Brother ‘18

For those of you who are returning to Andover, welcome back, and to those of you who are new, let us at The Gorilla be the 23rd ones to say welcome. There are a lot of things you need to know about Andover, and we’re certain that you’ve heard all of the essential advice: always wear your Blue Card on a lanyard, establish dominance by cutting the stir-fry line, et cetera. But, the most important thing about Andover is something that no one will tell you in any orientation session, Q&A, or name game, and that is how vital hookup culture is to the PA social scene.

For all you gynosexuals out there (that’s people who are sexually attracted to women if you’re not up to date on your Empathy and Balance Terminology), the best thing you can do for your reputation is to pick up a really cute chick early on in the year. To help you do this, we’re proud to present The Gorilla’s Comprehensive Guide to Picking up Chicks

  1. Befriend a senior who is currently enrolled in the Animal Behavior biology elective.
  2. Ask if you can hold their chick. All of these seniors have been given a newly hatched baby chicken so that they can care for the chick and have it “imprint” on them. If the senior is friendly, they will let you hold their chick. If they don’t, return to step one.

That’s all there is to it. Yeah, it’s really that simple! Follow our simple two-step program and before you know it, you’ll be picking up chicks left and right. Be careful though, because if you pick up the wrong chick, it will hang over you for the rest of your Andover career. If your chosen chick doesn’t want to be picked up, just try sending a text that says “wanna leave?” This will work at least 75% of the time.

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.