Stuy Terrors

It’s all just a dream, right?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Having lost yet another sports game in true Stuy athletic fashion and after passing out on her desk when she came home, junior Procras Tinato walked to Stuyvesant High School in a groggy state. As she walked through the bridge entrance, she tried to remember her plans. After all, who’s used a planner since freshman year? She had tried texting her class group chats about it, but she hadn’t gotten any responses other than some kid trying to play 8-Ball.

Thinking she was finally free from the clutches of stress, she didn’t expect Spectator Humor editor Victor Kuang to walk up to her and grab her collar.

“Okay, Procras, I’ve had enough. Where’s the damn article?”

Tinato was confused. “W-what article?”

“The article you promised to do THREE ISSUES ago that you NEVER [expletive] STARTED ON!”

“Oh, that one? I’m working on it right now. It’ll be done soon.”

This was a lie. Tinato hadn’t even started writing it yet.

“You have until 11:59 p.m. tonight to finish this thing, or I’m yeeting you out of Spec. Got it?”

“Sure. I’ll send it to you tonight.” With that, she went to her first period Precalculus class. She staggered into the room, expecting to fall asleep on her desk, only to find “AIM: REALLY BIG TEST ON EVERYTHING WE DID THIS YEAR.” written in all caps on the blackboard. This couldn’t be true. Her heart pounded out of her chest as the anxiety and the cup of coffee she had drunk earlier kicked in. She sat down and asked freshman Kah Ringe, “This is a joke, right? Our teacher is just fricking with us, right?”

Ringe looked at Tinato with confusion.

“What are you talking about? He’s told us about this test every day for, like, the past two weeks. Have you not paid attention? He said it was gonna be 120 percent of our grade.”

“Of course I didn’t pay attention!” Tinato said. “It’s like, literally 8:00 a.m. You think I have the capacity to do anything but sleep?”

“Ok, junior,” Ringe said.

As soon as she saw the test, Tinato realized that she couldn’t do any of the problems. She didn’t know how to find permutations, or how to factor quadratic equations, how to prove Lipschitz continuity, or how to find one plus one. Tinato just stared at the paper for a good 40 minutes until the warning bell rang, and she rushed to fill in as many questions as possible, doing her best to guess the correct answer. As the teacher collected her test, he tried to hide his disgust, but failed once he saw her answer of “lentils???” for a trigonometry problem and promptly threw up.

Yep. She definitely failed that; there was no question about it. But at least she got the test over with and could just chill for the rest of the day (she thought) as she walked into AP U.S. History. Oh, how wrong she was.

Written on the board was “FINAL PROJECT DUE 2DAY.” Everyone else in the class had intricate poster boards on their desks, and they were talking about important aspects of American history. Tinato realized that she had to turn in something; she didn’t want to fail yet another thing today. She grabbed an untouched piece of looseleaf from her notebook and drew something very quickly in green Sharpie as the teacher looked at her, hand outstretched. Finally, she gave in a paper with what seemed to be two skyscrapers but looked more like two male genitals surrounded by a heart and writing that said, “They Loved Each Other To Death. Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams, But The Heart Can.”

The teacher gave a very similar reaction to the one her math teacher gave and immediately wrote an “F” on the paper and gave it back to Tinato, not wanting to touch the paper for another second.

Similar incidents occurred throughout her day, as she created a last-minute project for health (“SODA: IS IT ACTUALLY WATER?”) and wrote the map song from “Dora the Explorer” on her Spanish quiz.

As the last bell of the day rang throughout Stuy, Tinato realized that she had failed all her projects and tests, and therefore had failed as a human being. She couldn’t take it anymore. She couldn’t do math, she didn’t know history, she couldn’t even pass health! What good was she for? With that, she threw herself into the Hudson River, and just as she hit the water, she woke up with a piece of drool-covered paper on her face.

It was all just a dream.

Relieved, she blew the paper off her face and instinctively grabbed her phone and looked through her Messenger notifications, hoping to see a couple of reacts or comments on her recent meme. Instead, she found a barrage of horrifying news awaiting her.

“hey procras can you flipping contribute to the group project for health”


“Hey Procras we have a quiz in Bravo today rite?”

So many projects. So many tests. Not enough time.

Tinato rolled over and buried her face into her pillow, hoping that the asphyxiation would cause her to wake up from her nightmare once more.

Unfortunately for Procas Tinato, this time the terrors were real.

It looked like tonight was gonna be another evening with Ben and Jerry’s.