Freshman English’s Big Fat Greek Bloodbath


An incoming freshman learns how to grip her bow for maximum killing efficiency.

It has been elucidated in recent years that colleges are looking for something more than just rigorous education; they are in search of students prepared to risk their own physical well-being in the name of academic achievement. Which is why, to cultivate a fresh pool of college applicants to propagate the good name of New Trier, we the English department are bringing back level 5 freshman English. 

Be warned: this course is not for the faint of heart. Sorry slackers, 12 pages of third generation feminism on why Penelope should have said ‘bye, Felicia’ to her hairy husband just won’t cut it. With this new increase in intensity, college recruiters will easily be able to see your academic devotion and desperation for validation.

Unfortunately, funding is (as always) quite limited. As much as we’d love to see you branch out into other realms and get turned into various animals, live a boring life in a labor camp, and sword duel each other, our budget is allocated to the reenactment project of The Odyssey that will serve as your final exam. Because our goal is to provide an open and creative environment (although not necessarily safe), students will take the lead on planning their own reenactment scene. Given that nearly 98% of the student body are not cyclops, or immortal seductresses, you will be required to play the role of Odysseus. As for safety provisions, exhaustive modern research has proven helmets to be inconvenient and out of style, which is why we’ve taken the extra step of acquiring every student a patron goddess. Any additional modifications will be reviewed on a case by case basis depending on which scene you choose to reenact. Here are some suggestions to get you thinking:

  1. Complete the PACER test while hanging off the bottom of a sheep – a helmet is definitely way too clunky for this one
  2. Convince an unsuspecting patient to let Nobody perform eye surgery on them – a burning stake is not standard ophthalmologist equipment, so you’ll be given a few hours prep time to gather materials
  3. Shut down that out-of-control house party ancient Greece style – a bow will be provided by the school, extra credit opportunity if you dress in a beggar costume
  4. Get trapped on a beautiful island with absolutely zero problems. We promise you’ll love it, the last guest stayed for 7 years – good luck getting your teachers to sign that excursion form


Although there is no option to withdraw once your exam begins, the varsity fencing team will be on standby, ready to swoop in and save you if your life is in immediate danger. You can’t apply to college if you’re dead! Unfortunately there are no guarantees regarding minor injuries or amputations; that’s up to your patron goddess. But a lost limb will be the least of your worries should you fail: any student who scores below an 85% will have a stain on their transcript, lowering their highest possible GPA to a 5.32. Those failures will also be demoted to level 4 and forever be barred from taking any AP English courses for the rest of high school. No college would dare accept a student riddled with such ignominy.

As daunting as level 5 may appear, you really have no other options; anyone who wishes to attain but a modicum of relevance in the world will be taking level 5 English. We’re excited to work with you! In the meantime, sign up for Archery Club!