When high school senior Ferris Bueller famously decided to take a day off from school in the 1986 film bearing his name, little did he know that his quest not to “miss something” would resonate for the St. Ed’s Class of 2020 that finds itself unexpectedly missing out on more than they would like.
Anonymous sources in the past have told us of something called “Senior Ditch Day,” but we have been unable to verify its existence first hand. Recognizing as unacceptable something so blatantly contrary to acceptable norms, the movie was seen as a proper form in which students could live the experience vicariously.
Expanding on that, senior Aidan Taylor describes an evening designed to do something, anything, to take everyone away from this trance.
“The school was able to put together a drive-in movie night in Fort Pierce,” Taylor told us. “It was an opportunity for us to be around each other once more, and to also take a quick stroll down memory lane.
“To start out the night, they had the seniors swing by the school to grab our yearbooks and some other gifts. We were greeted by most of the administration. From there we went down to Fort Pierce and had a movie night.
“The food trucks were obviously a big hit. A slideshow for the seniors was an opportunity to remember some of the fun we’ve had from kindergarten all the way through high school. From there we got to watch the all-time classic, ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’
“It was a night that we all really enjoyed, but equally as important, I think it was something that we all kind of needed. After talking to my friends while waiting for food, I went back to the car to watch the movie with my family. It was a neat way for us to spend some time together outside of the house.”
Aidan Taylor started at St. Ed’s in pre-K and will graduate as Student Body President. He was a cross country, basketball and baseball athlete throughout every year of high school. One sport clearly stood out.
“Baseball is something I’ve done pretty much my entire life,” he said. “I played T-ball and was kind of raised on the little league field. I was kind of upset because this was going to be my last real season as a baseball player. The fact that it ended so abruptly for me and the other two seniors, Michael Mangieri and Casey Richey, was sad. The three of us have gotten very close. We were looking forward to spending some time with the other guys, getting out on the field, and playing baseball.”
After five straight wins, the Pirates were 7-2 when the season was canceled. For the time being, however, events like the movie night can be a remarkably therapeutic substitute.
“Talking to a lot of the seniors, it’s hard for us to stay motivated,” Taylor explained. “We are so close to being done, but we also have some things left to do. Learning this new (online education) system is difficult. But we are all just doing the work and trying to keep everything in perspective. It could be a lot worse. We have friends in New York City who are going through some stuff that a lot of other people are going through.”
Northwestern University is the next destination for Taylor. His main focus in college will be math and computer science, although history tops the list of favorites. He does “a lot of running” now and plans to find a way to continue that in college. As for baseball, he says “I’m just not at that level” to play in the Big Ten. That movie night revealed a way to partially compensate for not playing.
One of the absolute must-do stops for Ferris Bueller on his day off was Wrigley Field, home of the 2016 World Champion Chicago Cubs. He caught a foul ball crucial to the storyline, and as a baseball fan, Taylor will surely be convinced, cajoled or simply decide of his own accord to retrace Ferris and make the pilgrimage. It’s not a matter of if, but when.
“Seniors were given a couple of options to choose from and Ferris Bueller was the obvious choice,” he said. “His want for adventure and a bit a fun just before college is something we can all relate to. I do love that a majority of the movie is Ferris and the gang making their way through the Chicago area, which will be home for me for the next four years.
“It’s such a weird time we’re in right now. This was one of a number of things the school has already done to keep our spirits high as we finish high school. The school has really taken care of us.”