Love at First Sight

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Issue 15, Volume 113

By Gabriella Hoefner 

Cover Image

Chemistry teacher Kenneth Kan completed his annual ritual of distributing flowers and candies to his homeroom students on February 14, 2023. This year, he was astounded to find an entire bouquet of roses waiting for the students, as opposed to the usual one or two. Damn, these freshmen must be really popular, Kan thought, but as he carried the bouquet down the hallway, arms growing tired from the sheer weight of it, doubts began to creep in. This can’t be real. There’s gotta be at least 30 roses here. There’s no way all of them got flowers. When he arrived at the classroom, there were still a few minutes left until homeroom began. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to take a little peek, he thought, unfolding the note attached to one of the flowers. 

“Dear Amy, Thank you for being the best Little Sib I could ask for. Though we’ve only interacted for a total of 40 seconds and you avoid eye contact every time you pass me in the halls, our time spent together was precious. Happy Valentine’s Day. —Your Big Sib, Kaleb”

Well, that explained a lot. But they couldn’t all be from Big Sibs, right? Right??? Maybe these two were just really close. He opened another letter.

“Happy Valentine’s Day. I forgot your name. They made us buy these for you. Bye. —Your Big Sib, Joan”

“I should’ve known it was too good to be true,” Kan lamented. 

As the students filed into the classroom, he plopped the flowers down on his desk and sighed. “Guys, this is just sad. Every single one of you received a rose.”

The students gasped excitedly.

“And every single one of them is from your Big Sibs.”

The students’ faces fell.

“I mean, I know this is a STEM school, but have none of you ever been in a relationship?”

One girl raised her hand. “I had a boyfriend in third grade, but he broke up with me because I preferred The Great Gatsby over Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

During those painful 12 minutes of homeroom, teachers throughout the school faced similar situations. “There were some students who didn’t even know Valentine’s Day was a holiday,” Assistant Principal of Safety, Security, and Physical Education Brian Moran recounted. “Their love lives are even more pathetic than mine, and that makes me sad. Some people don’t deserve a full head of hair.”

In the following weeks, teachers decided that they would help their students find romantic partners using subtle and well-tested matchmaking techniques. One anonymous sophomore shared their experience.

“I was in computer science, and my partner and I were working on a recursion lab when Mr. Holmes came up behind us and said, ‘Hey, the two of you are both coding, huh? Looks like you have a lot in common. Maybe you guys should hang out sometime. You know, just the two of you. With each other. Alone.’ He nudged me on the shoulder and gave me a big wink. I wanted to tell Holmes that I’m a lesbian, but he seemed so earnest that I just didn’t have the heart to do it. So I asked the guy out, right then and there. We’ve been dating for about two weeks now, and I’m still trying to figure out how to come out to him.”

Some teachers have tried initiating fake love letter exchanges between students, while others have opted for more direct methods. One teacher reportedly shoved two kids against each other while urging, “Come on now, kiss, you cowards. I double-dog dare you.” She may have been fired for the incident, but hey—it worked.

“I always used to be jealous of my friends who teach at LaGuardia when they told me crazy stories about the relationship drama at their school,” English teacher Lauren Stuzin commented. “But now, there are couples making out everywhere you go—I can hardly walk without tripping over them. It’s so fun. I mean, not the making out part—that’s kind of disgusting—but watching them get into fights is really fun.” 

Once a dull pit of lonely despair, Stuyvesant High School has now become a thriving home for young love. Students prioritizing something other than academics for the first time in their lives has caused grades to drop drastically, but teachers don’t even care because they’re too proud of their good deeds. However, it’s only a matter of time before the couples inevitably break up due their lack of actual chemistry—or until the unprecedented spike in romance causes a glitch in the matrix and we all die.