What If…? (Morro Bay High School Edition)

Mr. Gade as Shakespeare - original artwork by Leona Moylan

On the heels of Marvel’s smash television hits WandaVisionThe Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) decided to go in a different direction. Said direction was its newest show, What If, which has had a new episode premiere on streaming platform Disney+ every Wednesday for nine weeks. The show is Marvel’s first animated endeavor, and is about alternate Marvel universes in which commonly known MCU events do not happen, and other scenarios play out instead. For example, Episode 1 follows what would happen if Peggy Carter took the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers, and became Captain Carter.

But what if instead of the MCU, an episode of What If concerned Morro Bay High? The Spyglass sat down and contemplated some of the best “What If” scenarios for MBHS, and with the help of both students and teachers, this is what they came up with.

What If… Mrs. Dowell Was The PE Coach?

If Mrs. Dowell coached physical education, things would certainly be interesting. There’d be a lot of Jazzercise, for one thing. Dowell says that such a hypothetical is easy to imagine. She says that, provided that there were no rules, she “would have students roller skate, skateboard and dance.” It’s hilarious to imagine the students. With any other coach, they would be running around the track, sweating profusely, wishing they could be doing anything else. But with Mrs. Dowell, instead they’d be roller skating around the gym, listening to 80s disco. She says that it would be “like an 80s dance party, complete with leg warmers and side ponytails. Imagine Elle Woods’ enthusiasm. That would be my style.” Such a style would be a sight to see. It’s too bad that Dowell is likely to continue teaching English for many years to come. Speaking of English…

What If… Mr. Gade Taught English?

Mr. Gade is such a science teacher, that a scenario in which he taught English is hard to imagine. Most students agree that it wouldn’t go well. MBHS sophomore Krupa Patel says that “the SBAC wouldn’t go well,” while fellow sophomore Annie Wieck comments that “we would either fail, or we would learn a lot of curse words.” Since Gade teaches applied chemistry, MBHS freshman Eli Waldman was befuddled on the matter, asking “how would you teach applied English?” That’s a “What If…?” for another time, Eli, but Gade is confident that he would teach his new subject well. He crafted a meticulous and intelligent response to the question asked of him, responding that “if I tot inglish kids wood lern so much abowt how to rite and stuf!” His wisdom astounds us all. He adds that he would “never let the truth get in the way of a good story,” encouraging his students “to use unconventional, even self-manufactured words while writing.” One thing is for sure – a lot would happen if Mr. Gade switched subjects – unlike the hypothetical swap of two teachers on campus…

What If… Mrs. Van Dam and Mrs. Van Zee Switched?

Most seem to agree that Mrs. Van Dam and Mrs. Van Zee are similar enough that not much would change. MBHS junior Gwen Muff was adamant that they were incredibly similar. Last year, in distance learning, she says that her older sister “had Mrs. Van Zee the same time that I had Mrs. Van Dam.” Because their rooms were adjacent to one another, they learned that the two teachers had many similarities. “My house was super loud because the both of them were super passionate about what they were teaching… they have very similar teaching styles.” Because of this, she’s rather certain that “not a lot would change because they [are] very similar.” This is in stark opposition to the world of change that would occur if the next hypothetical occured…

What If… Mr. Furbee Couldn’t Draw a Perfect Circle?

Precalculus teacher Mr. Furbee is very well-known among upperclassmen and staff for his ability to draw a perfect circle. Such a feat is monumentally impressive. But what would happen if he was no longer able to do this? Geometry teacher Mr. Turner is certain that whatever would happen would not be good. “Students would be devastated,” he says. “The sun would no longer shine.” His circle-drawing skills make up so much of Mr. Furbee’s persona that, according to Turner, “the essence of the math department” would be reduced to nothing and “the geometry gods would forget what they have taught us.” Essentially, chaos with a healthy dash of the apocalypse. This is an extremely dark topic, so especially disturbed readers should be glad that the next scenario is a more humorous one.

What If… There Was A Teacher Hunger Games?

For those who don’t know, “The Hunger Games” is a book by Suzanne Collins about a group of children who are instructed to battle to the death, the last one standing being crowned the winner. This hypothetical asks what would happen if the teachers were to have their own Hunger Games… who would win? Who would lose? The results were inconclusive, seeing as every person interviewed gave a different answer. However, the answers are still interesting to look at. Mrs. Van Zee was a definite frontrunner, with many of her students saying that she would win with mere force of will. Gade was brought up many times as someone who could use science to his advantage. One freshman said that band teacher Mr. Belyea would win by “deafening them all!” Mr. Mammarella was someone who many said would not win – MBHS freshman Mia Bennett describes him as “way too nice to kill anyone.” However, junior Rae Ruane gave perhaps the most convincing answer to this question. She thinks science teacher Mrs. Gilbert would win, because of her resourcefulness. Ruane cites Gilbert’s “knowledge of both physics… and sports med” as evidence that she could easily win, reasoning that those subjects “could be helpful when creating projectile weapons [and] identify[ing] and heal[ing] injuries.”

It’s fun to imagine a world where something was different. Unfortunately, these are all just hypotheticals. It’s almost certain that none of them – except perhaps the Furbee one when he’s a centenarian – will ever play out. But it’s still fun to ask… what if?

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Editor for Culture | Writer for the MB Spyglass

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