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Allie ’12 presents: Mornings at Marlborough

By Allie ’12

Most students dread Mornings at Marlborough, those hours when prospective parents quietly peep into classes and observe students in the exhilarating throes of academia. Students complain about the pressure to look well prepared and the obligation to smile cheerfully at strangers, all while appearing adequately rested. It’s a lot to ask of us Violets on a Friday morning, but I gladly pick up this gauntlet. Mornings at Marl- borough are my raison d’être.

Nothing gives me more pleasure than producing a twinkle in a prospective couple’s eye, giving them a glimpse into just how literature-savvy and pretentious their daughter could be. I try to embody the glowing end result of six years of independence, eloquence, unwashed hair, carb addiction, sassiness, awkwardness, strange sleeping cycles and, above all, a deep desire to marry Colin Firth. I want every incoming 11-year- old girl to aspire to these qualities as soon as she steps on campus and sees me in my grunge, working on a chemistry lab and my second break- fast burrito with equal diligence.

However, most Mornings at Marlborough do no go as perfectly as both the Admissions Office and I dream they will. The day always fatefully coincides with an English class discussing a salacious poem or a science teacher handing back a terrible test. Some mornings, parents stiffly stand about, noticing that absolutely no one was able to do the homework problems in math or that the drama class is rolling around on the floor making animal noises. As soon as hopeful parents arrive at School, the likelihood of someone having a mental breakdown in the hallway goes up, and it seems girls just can’t hold on to their yogurt or oatmeal on the staircases.

I personally try to loudly recite a sonnet or bring up Freud whenever I see a pack of well-dressed, name- tag-laden adults heading my way. I laugh at my teacher’s jokes, nod at other girls’ comments and even try to bring up some interdisciplinary points of interest, such as: “This function’s shape really reminds me of the Silk Road… does anyone else see that?” Or perhaps “Cellular osmosis is a lot like John Donne’s ‘The Ecstasy,’ don’t you agree?” Usually, other girls give me dirty looks because they think I’m trying to look smarter than I am (which is always what I’m doing, so I don’t know why this particular situation irks them), and teachers give me a subtle nod of approval.

It is a heavy cross to bear: to single-handedly beguile all parents with my cherubic smiles and enthusiastic demeanor, but someone must do it. I shall be Hamlet, and hold a mirror up to nature, showing Marl- borough its own true image through my meretricious behavior on Fishbowl Fridays.