If I had a year left to live I would go to the Lancer Day Parade one more time. I would tell my teacher I was going to the bathroom and sneak out of school early. I would get a spot right in the front of the stage and I would watch as the football captains, who would have been waiting for this day for four years, guaranteed a rivalry victory. And I would join the seniors as they paraded down mission road not caring one bit that their voices were already dead from chanting when they still had several hours before the season’s inaugural football game.
I would walk down the hallway with this year’s freshmen as link crew members and teachers cheered them on while they walked through the complex hallways of Shawnee Mission East–these hallways that could absolutely be misconceived as terrifying labyrinths just trying to confuse any freshmen walking within them.
I would go to MORP dressed in my sister’s dance recital costumes that consist of fur vests, frilly tutus and, of course, some sort of animal print and I would sing and dance until my zebra striped legs couldn’t anymore. At 10:30 p.m., after the final song played, I would listen to Dr. Krawitz as he reminded every single student to have a safe night, and I would thank him as I walked out.
The day before winter break, I would skip class and patrol the hallways making sure I didn’t miss the Chamber Choir singing Christmas carols in the main staircase, providing students with the smallest vacation from the stress of finals.
After years of listening from classrooms across the hall, I would sneak into a Calculus BC class and sing the Calc Cheer along with Christian Wiles and all of his smartie-pants classmates before their big test.
I would work hard in weights class and I would try to sweat as much as Dylan Brett. I would do active core with Sherman and listen closely while he told me to drive safely on the weekends. Then I would go upstairs to the auxiliary gym and I would win more team games championships than Mitch Daniel ever could. I would make sure to go back to freshman year and take freshman P.E. to the next level with Rick Rhoades. I would dominate the skills, thrills and drills and then put my freshmen-filled team on my back as we drove our opponents into the ground.
I would eat 27 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the week leading up to the Rockhurst basketball game and then I would be the first one in line at 3 p.m. I would be in the front row of the student section and I would help out Sam Heneger and the rest of the “basketball heads” come up with the perfect theme. Then I would watch Vance Wentz take control of the court, dropping threes left and right. At halftime, I would go up to the top of the student section with all the energetic freshmen and really show them how to shake that thing.
I would hug Senora Detrixhe one more time and let her call me her “beautiful child”. I would thank Mrs. O’Grady in the office for knowing every single fact about Shawnee Mission East and for being the most helpful human being I’ve ever met. I would pull the fire alarm so I could see Yoda’s students do a weird dance one last time.
I would go to basketball practice and run a 10 in 60 with the team. I would sit out after the first rep and I would watch Coach Hair’s face fill red with intensity as he screamed his head off one last time and forced the basketball team to run.
I would do an SQ4R for chemistry class and instead of just looking at the highlighted words I would actually read the passage, unlike I did before (sorry, Mr. Appier). Then I would climb up to the fifth floor and spend hours and hours after school at a deadline with the Harbinger staff, working to uphold the high standards of Mr. Tate. I would write a better feature story than Chris Heady ever could and I would make sure I was the very last person to leave the J-Room.
I would pull myself out of bed and be at school before 6:02 am with the Chem IB students for Mole Day and I would be the first person to sign up to put my head on the block for the classic whack-a-mole game.
I would stop by the Radio/TV class and force them to let me be a guest on “Sports Picks with Will and Nick”.
I would go all the way back to fifth grade and play percussion. I would work hard and learn how to play my instrument just so I could be on the drumline and pound my drum, living up my senior night performance, sending the powder into the air. And I would love every second of it.
I know for sure what I would stop doing. I would stop worrying about my GPA or my ACT score. I wouldn’t care about my college plans. I would realize how lucky I am to be a Lancer and I would share my pride with others. I would also share my contempt for the Raiders. And every time it snowed I would be sure to pull aside some pimply freshman and convince him South got out of school for a snow day. Above all else, I would enjoy myself. Because then I would know that, if the world really did end, I had done everything I could to make the most of my last year as a Lancer.