Last week, Orcas Island High School’s student body was shocked when Principal Kyle Freeman announced that two new people would be joining the school’s faculty. In the announcement, sent through a school-wide email, Freeman wrote: “As a school, we are constantly trying to adapt our teaching methods in order to provide the best education possible in the new online learning format. Recently, in the spirit of our evolving educational practices, we decided to add two new part-time staff members to OIHS’ faculty. It is with my great pleasure to announce that OIHS will be graced with the presence of Oprah Winfrey and Benjamin Hammond Haggerty (better known by his stage name Macklemore) this coming semester. Ms. Winfrey will be floating through morning advisory classes providing advice and inspiration to our student body and Mr. M, as he has chosen to be called, will be assisting our music teachers in providing a more well-rounded musical education.” The email, which most students initially believed to be a bad joke or the creation of a witty student hacker, went on to state that Ms. Winfrey and Mr. M would be working for the school on a volunteer basis in an effort to give back to the community that they very occasionally call home. The email also stated that the pair would often have to skip classes in order to fulfill their obligations as worldwide celebrities. In the conclusion of his email, Freeman wrote: “As educators we know that this is an abrupt change and may lead to many questions, and as a staff we are here to answer those questions. Except for the question of how we managed to get Ms. Winfrey and Mr. M to join our staff, the answer to that is top secret.”
After Freeman’s email received 20 plus reply all responses stating some variation of “Mr. Freeman I believe you have been hacked,” Freeman was forced to call an all-school assembly in the middle of the day on a Sunday in order to assure students that no, he had not been hacked and yes, students should expect to see Oprah in their advisory classes Monday morning. However, this assembly did not calm students skepticisms. In an impromptu Viking Voice poll conducted right after the assembly, it was found that 96% of students would not believe Freeman until they saw Oprah or Macklemore on their Google Meet screens. After the assembly, one anonymous student confided in The Viking Voice, and said “My parents were considering suing the school over the emotional toll that Freeman’s lying had caused students, but they decided against it, because they figured that the Supreme Court had enough to deal with right now and would probably not have the time to take on another landmark case.”
Freeman though, students quickly discovered, was telling the truth, and when senior Landon Carter logged onto his morning advisory class he was not only greeted with the presence of Vicki Clancy, his advisor, but also TV host, philanthropist, and cultural icon, Oprah Winfrey picturesquely sitting in an armchair inside of her wood-paneled Orcas home. Carter, who was the first to join the call, was also the first to leave as he quickly fainted in his chair. Carter was not alone in this reaction. 57 students have fainted due to the shock of seeing a celebrity in the last week, forcing the school’s administration to declare fainting the most imminent health crisis that OIHS students face, a title previously held by the coronavirus. Due to all the fainting, Oprah has spent most of her time in advisory classrooms reading from her most recent book “The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose” and reminding students that having a direction helps them not only stay focused but also conscious.
For those students who have managed to stay conscious, switching into band has been the move. Band teacher Darren Dix has wistfully decided that the record number of students in his class has nothing to do with the fact that rap icon Macklemore (or Mr. M) drops in on his classes, but instead is because of a renewed excitement for learning a new instrument. However, tubist Grace Gustafson has observed that recently band has become much less focused on going over at-home playing assignments and much more focused on, well, Mr. M and his music. “Mr. M never turns his mic off. He kind of just raps the whole time and we just listen. He did teach me how to do “Can’t Hold Us” on the tuba though, so I can’t complain,” Gustafson said.
Oprah and Macklemore have only been at OIHS for a week, and due to scheduling constraints, it is unclear how long they will remain on OIHS’ faculty. The senior class is hoping the pair will return to deliver a speech at their graduation, the prospects of which are looking good. Senior Molly Troxel appears to have been bonding with one of her new teachers. “It’s been a pretty crazy week” said Troxel, ‘I mean, I complimented Ms. Winfrey on her purple cardigan in class and because of that she had me on “Super Soul Sunday.” I am literally going to have a Zoom call with Michelle Obama on Tuesday! And Ms. Winfrey said we are on a first-name basis, so I can call her Oprah now!’”
Note: This story is part of The Viking Voice Satire Section, and is intended for entertainment purposes only. In other words, as much as we would like them to be, Oprah and Macklemore are not actually members of the OIHS staff.