The Return of Stephen Markley

After author Stephen Markley left campus last month in a cloud of (suspicious smelling) smoke, many wondered if he would ever grace the hallowed halls of Western Reserve Academy, again. Yet, he returned just last week for another visit. This time, he shook up the campus even more.

Markley started off his official visit with a literal bang. He somehow rigged mini bombs to go off all around campus, releasing streamers that said “My book, Ohio, is great!” Others read “Is this being recorded?” and “I’m working on the screenplay!”

Markley then headed over to Morning Meeting, where he promoted his newest literary endeavor. “This one is literally just how to break the law,” Markley explained to a rapt audience of students, as well as a horrified group of teachers. “Also, it tells you how to grow mushrooms.” Colin North ’20 found the speech impressive: “Next time I want to grow my mushrooms and watch Republican presidential primary debates, I’ll consult the book.”

Next, the author made his way to the college counseling office. After a quick stop in the bathroom to admire his own reflection in the mirror (“Man, I’m handsome! And a great writer!”), he held court with the college counselors. Being such fans of Markley’s after the revelation that he used to write private (sorry, “independent”) school kids’ college essays for money, they decided to hang a portrait of him on the wall, instead of the ominous countdown to application deadlines. “It was the natural decision,” said Ms. Nataupsky. “Really, the guy’s such an inspiration. Did you know that he attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop?”

Mr. Markley concluded his visit by meeting with the Head of School, Ms. Buck. “What aspects of this school do you think we could improve on?” she reportedly asked him. “Well, they look dumb in Reserve Green, but I already said that,” Markley was heard saying. “I do have some ideas for how you could utilize your greenhouse space…”

All in all, Stephen Markley’s second visit was even more hailed than the first. The question now is simply when he will be invited back.

-Ellie Frato-Sweeney ’20

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