By Caroline Barry
“Don’t worry, no one’s ever died from the JRP,” junior year English teachers tease nervous students every year. Today, many people are unaware that, in fact, WHS has a haunting history. One dark and stormy afternoon some 24 years ago, one student actually died from the JRP.
Casper Schwarz was a cheerful and diligent student before the JRP was assigned. However, the daunting task mysteriously changed him. Uncharacteristically, he procrastinated until just before its due date. Rushing to write the entire research paper in one hellish week, Casper Schwarz toiled day and night. Little did he know, he would end up suffering a slow and painful death.
It began with partial blindness from hours spent staring at computer screens. Next he noticed aches and pains, some signs of lead poisoning from anxiously chewing on his pencils. He would break out in horrible hives from stress, and soon he had permanently disfigured posture from sitting in front of a computer for 143 hours straight.
Chillingly, his demise did not result from the hundreds of papercuts he suffered while organizing his source notecards. Nor was his primary-source-analysis sleep deprivation fatal. It was a caffeine overdose that triggered a fatal heart attack, sadly in the school’s front hallway on the day his paper was due.
Anonymous sources say his ghost still haunts the building to this very day. If you listen closely, you can hear him moan warnings from within the library shelves. “You will fail,” he frighteningly cautions juniors each year, “don’t even try!” The hollow sound of his phantom fingers clacking keyboard keys echoes from empty computer labs. Eerie winds blow through closed windows, scattering drafts every which way.
Now, the spirit of Casper Schwarz has been reported to mess with students’ papers: works cited pages suddenly de-alphabetized, NoodleBib progress lost and body paragraphs reorganized. He is ruthless and will continue to torment students for eternity.
The JRP is unavoidable, so students must learn from Casper Schwarz’s spooky tale. Beware his tricks and don’t slack off, or you could be the next one to succumb to the JRP.