M: A Measured, Meticulous Message of Much Merit


M: As habitual readers of the Shield know well, our staff typically does not cover anything that happens within the walls of McQuaid Jesuit. (That can be reported with greater care and accuracy by our brother publication, the Lance.) We couldn’t ignore a recent missive, however—slipped unobtrusively under the door of Room 259 on some rosy-fingered afternoon—that implied something very, very untoward indeed.

THE M IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS,” it said, in 48-point Old Standard TT, a font typically encountered only by those reading early 20th-century grammar textbooks.

At first, the Shield staff racked their brains: what was this little piece of paper asking? There’s certainly many Ms at McQuaid Jesuit, not least in the name of the school itself. Our top experts—Messrs. Blanchi, Buyer, Daughton and Stone, all of the Class of 2019 and stalwart Shield members—spent hours in profound analysis before finding a satisfactory answer.

The note asked merely one thing: what does the M in “STEM Center” stand for?

Immediately, the Morales deputized all four of these valiant muckrakers to find the truth. They were given strict instructions:

  • trust no one;
  • commit everything to your brain;
  • leave no evidence;
  • submit your receipts for reimbursement promptly; and, most of all,
  • do not reveal the investigation to anyone.

Their hard work has culminated in this piece. We cannot stand by while the truth remains buried. The Shielmay not be about McQuaid Jesuit, but it is by McQuaid Jesuit, and for McQuaid Jesuit. Thus, we sharthe fruits of painstaking journalistic labor with you, our community. Give us a chance to move your minds. Allow these four writers to show you what they discovered. Perhaps, it is nothing. But maybe—just maybe—there’s something altogether more sinister going on.

Without further ado, the pieces. Return when you’ve read them all.

Paolo Blanchi’s sojourn (read more).

In an attempt to usher in a new era of data-driven journalism at the Shield, Mr. Blanchi went directly to the source, investigating the classes currently taught in the STEM Center and interviewing two different sources for their thoughts on what the staff soon came to call “the Deception.”

Ben Buyer’s quest (read more).

Mr. Buyer’s predilection for the classics served him well, as he looked into an aspect most of his comrades on staff would have entirely disregarded: the Latin connection.

Adam Daughton’s inquiry (read more).

A man who covers all the bases, Mr. Daughton set out to establish all the possible answers for our mysterious correspondent. It may have led him down some unexpected, and rather shady, paths.

Thomas Stone’s mission (read more).

More than anyone else on staff, Mr. Stone was deeply affected by the discovery of the note. He pledged he would not rest until we discovered the truth, and nothing less.

As you can see, our attempts to investigate this note had some . . . deleterious effects . . . on the staff’s mental and emotional stability. It’s only to be expected. We were unprepared for the demands of an investigative piece, unaccustomed to working together closely, and unwilling to trust anyone outside our own organization. Perhaps we should have reached out to the Lance. Perhaps we should’ve made our appeal directly to the McQuaid Jesuit community.

Instead, I saw the best minds of my publication destroyed by madness. One by one, as they dove further and deeper in search of answers to this mystery, they found an abyss far more capricious and multifaceted than any of us could have predicted. And always after they had reached out to this extremely mysterious source with the rhyming names, this bearded short man who, in all four of their tales, was only too happy to hand over crucial information . . . and only too happy to disappear afterwards.

We may never know what the note meant, if there even was a note. We can only hope that one day, what we have given you here may spur further efforts.

Signing off for the Shield, this is the Morales.