If Patrick Devereux ’15 had a soundtrack, it would be comprised of such princes of southern rap as Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka, OJ da Juiceman and Lil Wayne. For this particular day in the life, track no. 1 would be “Shawt Bus Shawty,” a Youtube sensation that parodies Devereux’s composers.
“I eat the red crayon ‘cause the red one tastes the best,” says an animated caricature of Gucci Mane. “And I cheat off Lil Darryl every time I take the test.”
“I’ve seen this video a lot,” comments Devereux as he becomes the 34,622,675th viewer of the Youtube video through a fit of laugher. “But I’ve never noticed that. He crossed out his own name and wrote Lil Darryl. Cause he cheated off him.”
It’s a scene that hits closer to home for Devereux than for most other students, particularly on the caricatured depiction of high school in the ghetto front.
A day in the life of Devereux begins with abiding to the gendered bathrooms of Hepburn hall, respectfully schlepping with his shower caddy through two sets of doors to the men’s room. Track no.2: “Girl you stank (take a bath),” Soulja Boy.
“Soulja Boy sold this song in a record,” explained Devereux. “It references Doo Doo Head, a character from another Soulja Boy song called ‘Doo Doo Head.’ How did he make money off this?”
Devereux attends Chinese class, a quiet scene quite unlike the high schools of “Shawt Bus Shawty” and Devereux’s alma mater Warwick High School, of Newport News, Va.
“Imagine if you have 30 kids in your class who are just rowdy, loud, talk back to you, don’t listen to anything you say and interrupt you and so it’s impossible for you to talk and the only thing you as a teacher can do is go get security or the principal, but they [the students] don’t care about being suspended,” said Devereux. “It’s not a punishment. What do you do as a teacher? I can see why the teachers just didn’t do anything.”
Devereux’s average day did not include homework.
“The teachers knew that if they assign homework, no one’s going to do it anyway,” he said.
Devereux claims he beat the system.
“I did zero work in high school and got all A’s and ended up at Middlebury,” he said.
But maybe Devereux was just operating on a different system. Track no. 3: “Duffle Bag Boy,” Playaz Circle featuring Lil Wayne:
“If I don’t do nutthin I’mma ball / I’m counting all day like the clock on the wall.”
While many of Devereux’s peers growing up literally lived out Playaz Circle’s narrative, Devereux took a different path.
“I did Quiz Bowl in high school,” said Devereux. He gets his sticky, spongey, hungry brain from his mom.
“Me and my mom always used to watch “Jeopardy” together everyday,” he said. “We’d answer all the questions and probably get 85 percent of the questions between us. Pop culture was always our worst. Anything academic was our best. Literature, geography, natural science. My dad killed pop culture. But that was the only thing he would ever get.”
Thursday night trivia at Crossroads serves as an extension of Quiz Bowl. His team, fielded by several other former Quiz Bowl kids, often wins.
Devereux’s other team is his the rugby team. Before that, there was also his high school swim team; a team within a league that mingled some of the nation’s top swimming recruits with your barely water-safe amateurs in swim trunks.
After rugby practice, Devereux dines at Proctor. It’s a starkly different scene from the Newport News day-in-the-life Devereux, despite the common aspect of free food.
“Some people came to school just because they got free lunch,” said Devereux of Warwick High School.
He fills up his glass from the juicer and is reminded both of his favorite Gucci Mane song, track no. 4 “Lemonade,” Gucci Mane and Community Day at his swim club back home.
“The swim club I belonged to cost $300 for yearly membership,” he said. “That’s probably not that much but my neighborhood’s really poor and most people couldn’t afford that. The city paid our pool $6,000 to have a day where, every Wednesday, anyone could come. There’d be, like, 250 people there. It’s so hot and humid. Everyone would show up. There were huge barbeques; everyone orders pizza. The local Pizza Hut and Domino’s, they would just come by with 80 pizzas already made and sell them at the door.”
Track no. 5: “Yellow Claw,” Krokobil feat. Sjaak and Mr. Polska. Devereux doesn’t believe in studying for tests. Instead, he prepares for his upcoming German test by decoding the similarly-rooted Dutch lyrics of “Yellow Claw.”
“‘Jouw bil is een krokodil,’ that’s basically saying your ass is a crocodile.”