Former Counselor Mr. Hallway Takes One Last Big Fall

One of the most beloved school locations of Allderdice students are the Chambers of Guidance. You’ll find the chambers tucked away by what seems to be a perpetually locked door on the first floor. You’re considered to be quite lucky if you ever walk by and find the usually bolted shut door propped open. Now you may think to yourself that if the door is open, your long journey to the Chambers of Guidance is now hardship free. However, you have yet to meet your worst fate. You trench through the elongated hallways and breathtaking stairways, past the vault-like door only to find your district assigned sidekick has their lair padlocked and dimmed just enough for you to be blind to what lies inside. You may not knock and you certainly can’t leave a message, so you must then turn around and continue on your journey back home to the precious plastic desk which your behind is occupying during the period. 

Within the Chambers of Guidance lies a diverse group of sidekicks. Your assigned sidekick’s mission is to aid you through your school battles whether it be the War of Schedule Changes or the Battle of College Applications. It’s thought that your sidekick stays by your side for all four years of the highschool journey. However, this was not the case with one of the most famous sidekicks, Mr. Hallway. 

Mr. Hallway was everyone’s favorite sidekick. His fighting style consisted of teddy bear-like kindness, only to blindside you with his creative battle tactics. One of his signature moves was drafting you for a schedule hole or wrong class and then never responding to your battle cries of change. Legend has it that he only ever receives and responds to mail by pigeon service. Only the bravest of students dared ever to enter his lair as it was usually found empty. 

Last year when the Coronavirus pandemic hit, all schools were banished to the realm of online learning in the far away depths of their computers. The sidekicks followed them including Mr. Hallway. Mr. Hallway acquired the new battle tactic of teleporting to online status of “out of office”. Occasionally, he’d use a magical virtual eye only to peek at messages and then leave them up for self response interpretation. As the late summer turned to mid fall, seniors began approaching their last and final battle of their highschool career: College Applications. A huge duty of a sidekick is to support their soldier during the battle and provide them with weaponry such as transcripts and recommendation letters as they go head to head with various universities. 

Tragedy struck late October when seniors received shocking news. All students were messaged an extremely detailed and personalized letter stating that Mr. Hallway could no longer aid them in battle once October had come to an end. A panic began to spread among students, amidst an already present pandemic. As students frantically searched for a reason as to why Mr. Hallway suddenly was taken from them, word had spread that the Pittsburgh Positive Schools District had whisked away Mr. Hallway due to unforeseen reasons. Students were handed crescent-like slivers of hope as a lengthy, detailed, hand written letter was crafted to announce the replacement of Mr. Hallway. Now you may begin to ponder who that may be, but dare you ask for more information and less ye shall receive. 

Alas, from the steep, never-ending front entrance stairs arose a hero. Plucked from retirement and shoved in mid-battle came Ms. Paris. The courageous warrior swiftly assembled her assistance for combat. She began spewing recommendation letters left and right. On top of everything, she was also tasked with picking up the ashes of broken, hole-riddled schedules. A strange sensation overcame students when their messages began being answered within a matter of minutes — the long forgotten feeling of helpful guidance. Jumping from Teams call to call, she made sure no student was ever left behind. With every student encounter she made sure to not only remember their name but to solve their problems. As she restored the students’ virtual hope for the school year, it seemed as if the heavens had parted ways in the sky and light began to shine down on all computer screens.