Sophomore Sorrows

Note: You can also find this piece here on

Summary: Arthur and the gang are sophomores at Elwood City High. Watch as they go through the ups and downs that come with teenaged life. Rated K+/PG for some violence, some language, and some adult situations.


Binky looked around the room in shock. When he realized he was in an advanced classroom, he nearly fainted. He almost imploded when he saw Brain Powers at the front of the room, as well as every smart senior he’d ever had contact with, which wasn’t very many. The class, an advanced history course, only had ten people in it. Binky was the only sophomore; everyone else was considered a senior.

“Alright, I’ll call the roll. Barnes, Binky?” the teacher called. Binky nervously raised his hand. “It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Barnes. Binky is the only sophomore allowed in the course this year. His history scores last year made him eligible, as well as his other standardized scores. I hope your parents are very proud of you, Binky,” the teacher smiled.

Everyone stared in his direction, especially Brain. Binky knew he’d be bombarded by him later for being in the course, but now he had other issues. It was only his first course and he was already being reminded of how little his parents seemed to care anymore. Didn’t his mom see the AP next to his schedule? Binky looked down to see he was in Honors English too. How could she miss that?

“I’ll pair everyone off now for a small project we’ll be doing this week. Um…Binky and Brain? You two can take this table,” the teacher instructed, pointing to where they would sit before moving to the next pair. ‘So I’ll be bombarded now,’ Binky thought, moving with Brain to a small table by the window.

“Wow, Binky, I had no idea!” Brain gasped, clearly remembering those Ratburn days where Binky was stuck with his younger classmates. Brain was in the same shoes, they discovered later, but he was held back in the beginning, not fourth grade.

“Here’s your information packets. I expect a three-page paper in APA format on Friday, along with a presentation to go with the topic I give you. Ah, Binky and Brain,” the teacher smiled, handing them a thick packet of papers. “How does ancient China sound to you two?”

Brain smiled brightly, snatching the paper from his hand. Binky groaned internally. If he told his parents about the class, he’d have to mention his first project was about China, which would mean a forced homework session with Mei-Lin to hear about China. Again.

“Which part do you want to do?” Brain asked, looking through the packet carefully. “I have some posters at home that could help with the presentation.”

“I’ll write the paper then,” Binky said, his voice showing he wasn’t pleased. Brain didn’t even notice; he was too focused on the packet of information to really care what his classmate was feeling.

“I’d meet up after school to get in some work time,” the teacher warned, taking a seat at his desk. Brain immediately suggested they meet at his house. Binky was immediately grateful.

For the rest of the hour, the two worked through some key points they would need to make for their presentation and paper. When the bell rang, they had already agreed to meet after school at Brain’s house for an hour for some preliminary work. Binky just hoped he could actually go after school. He’d already been told about some chores before he left. Even an advanced class’s project wouldn’t be able to stop them; his dreams had been wrong yet again.


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