Today I Am A Freshman
Written by William Raynor and Myles Wilder
Marcia starts high school but tries too hard to become popular. Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
TOM, Greg’s friend
KIM, head of Booster’s club
(The episode begins with the boys sleeping and then the alarm clock goes off. Greg turns it off and wakes up the other guys.)
Greg: Okay, you guys, up and atom. (They take their time getting up) Come on, it’s the first day of school.
Bobby: Yeah, we’re gonna be locked up for the rest of the year.
(Peter gives him a sneering look.)
Greg: Ah, look on the brightside, only 111 more days till Christmas vacation.
(Someone throws a pillow at him. We next see Jan brushing her teeth and Cindy waiting her turn.)
Jan: I’ll be finished in a minute, Cindy.
Cindy: Don’t rush.
Jan: You don’t want to be late on the first day of school, do you?
Cindy: Speak for yourself.
(She yawns and we next see Carol and Alice in the kitchen with Bobby and Cindy coming down to collect their lunch and leave for school.)
Bobby: Bye, Mom. Bye, Alice.
Carol: Bye, kids. Well, Alice, the old production line hasn’t lost its zip.
Alice: Well, one more to go and we’re zipped up.
(Carol notices one lunch bag left over.)
Carol: I better go see what’s keeping Marcia.
(She goes up to the girls’ room to see Marcia, who is still in bed.)
Marcia: I just don’t feel too well, Mom.
Carol (feeling her forehead): Well, you don’t seem to have a fever. Does it hurt anyplace?
Marcia: Kind of all over, and I’ve got a funny feeling in my stomach.
Carol: What a shame. Your first day of high school too. I think I better call the doctor.
Marcia (suddenly afraid): I’ll be all right. I’ll feel better tomorrow, I’m sure.
Carol: I’m not taking any chances.
Marcia: Please, Mom. I don’t need a doctor.
Carol: Marcia, I know how much you’re looking forward to high school, but if you’re sick, you need a doctor. Now just relax, I’ll be back in a minute.
(Marcia sits up on her bed and looks in her mirror.)
Marcia: Now how am I gonna convince the doctor that I’m sick.
(The scene fades.)
(The next scene has Carol and Alice down in the kitchen awaiting results.)
Carol: The doctor should be down any minute, Alice.
Alice: Oh, I’m sure it’s nothing at all, Mrs. Brady.
Carol: I wonder if Marcia could’ve eaten something that didn’t agree with her. No offense, Alice.
Alice: No offense. Besides, she ate exactly the same as we all did last night. Except she skipped dessert. If anyone should have an upset stomach, it should be Bobby. He not only ate his dessert but he ate hers as well. Come to think of it, he also ate mine.
(Dr. Howard comes down the stairs.)
Dr. Howard: Mrs. Brady.
Carol: Yes, doctor. How is she?
Dr. Howard: Mrs. Brady, there’s not a thing wrong with Marcia. Physically, that is.
Carol: What about her upset stomach?
Dr. Howard: I say they’re nerves. She seems worried and upset about something. Did anything unusual happen lately?
Carol; No, not that I can think of. (Pause) Doctor, can the first day in a new school cause this kind of reaction?
Dr. Howard: Oh, indeed it could. This time of year, we have quite an epidemic of new school itis.
Carol: Then that must be what it is?
Dr. Howard: Well, there’s no doubt about it, then, there’s your problem.
Alice: Well, at least that gets my pot roast off the hook.
(They all laugh.)
Dr. Howard: I’m sure you know the prescription for new school itis, Mrs. Brady.
Carol: Yes, I think I do, doctor. First thing in the morning, have Marcia take a good, vigorous walk straight to her first class.
(We next see Marcia in her room, having a talk with Carol and Mike.)
Marcia: Tomorrow? I don’t think I can. It’s not just my stomach, my throat feels kinda scratchy.
Mike: Marcia, the doctor said there’s no reason why you can’t go to school tomorrow.
Carol: Honey, there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Marcia: Afraid? Who’s afraid? (They look at her) I am.
Carol: What is it, honey?
Marcia (getting up): It’s this.
(She shows them her trophies.)
Mike: What? Your awards from junior high?
Marcia: Marcia Brady, debating team, editor of the Fillmore flyer, senior class president.
Carol: Well, honey, that just proves that you were a very popular girl.
Marcia: Were is right. All my best years are behind me.
Mike (laughing): Oh, come on, Marcia. You’re gonna go to high school, not the home for the aged.
Marcia: Besides, all my friends are going to Tower High and I have to go to Westdale. It’s because of this dumb street we live on.
Mike: That’s it. That’s what I thought.
Carol: Oh, honey, you’ll make friends in no time.
Marcia: I’ll be nobody. Marcia Brady, Miss Anonymous.
Mike: Marcia, there’s an old saying. You can’t take a step forward with both feet still on the ground.
Carol: And it’ll be a lot easier to take that first step than you think.
Marcia: I’ll try, but I’ll bet my foot lands right in my mouth.
(Peter is outside putting something on the patio. He is preparing to build a volcano. Greg comes by.)
Peter: Come over here. Guess what I’m doing.
Greg (looking over his equipment): You’re Dr. Frankenstein, and you’re building a monster.
Peter: No, I joined the science club at school, and I’m building a volcano. And when I’m finished, I can make it erupt. And when it erupts, smoke is gonna come out, and real mountain lava is gonna ooze out all over the place.
Greg: Good luck. (He starts to go inside) A word of advice, any of that gets on the patio, Alice will kill you.
(Jan comes by.)
Peter: Guess what I’m doing.
Peter: You’re building a chicken coop?
Peter: No. I’m building a volcano, and when it’s finished, I can make it erupt. And smoke’s gonna come out, and lava’s gonna ooze all over the place.
Jan: You get any of that on the patio, Alice will kill you.
(Bobby and Cindy come by.)
Cindy: Hey, what are you doing?
Peter: Ah, you wouldn’t be interested.
Bobby’ How do you know?
Peter: Because nobody else around here is.
Cindy: Maybe we are.
Peter: I joined the science club at school, and I’m building a volcano. And when I’m finished, I can make it erupt. And when it erupts, smoke will come out. And lava is gonna ooze out all over the place.
Bobby: Boy, that sounds real neat.
Peter (disbelieving): It does?
Cindy: Yeah, can we help you?
Peter: Sure? (They get very excited) But I gotta warn you, if you get any of that on the patio, Alice will kill you.
(That evening, Mike has a talk with Greg. He comes into Mike’s den.)
Greg: Mom said you wanted to talk to me.
Mike: Oh, yeah, Greg. Listen, I want to talk to you about Marcia.
Greg: She’s not real sick, is she?
Mike: No, no, she’s not sick at all. She’s just so uptight about high school, she’s come down with some imaginary symptoms.
Greg: What’s she uptight about? She was a big wheel in junior high.
Mike: Well, you see, that’s the problem. She’s afraid she’ll develop a flat tire.
Greg: But she shouldn’t have any problems, she’s a cool chick.
Mike: Well, I agree. But she is worried.
Greg: You know something, Dad. Now that I think about it, I was a little uptight when I started there, too. All my friends went to a different school.
Mike: Well, that’s the same with her so you should know how she feels.
Greg: Exactly. I had butterflies in my stomach I thought were woodpeckers.
Mike: Greg, you know, I think you could help her if you introduce her around a little bit, sort of, break the ice for her. Because once she gets started, she’ll be all right.
Greg: Okay, Dad.
Mike: Good man.
Greg: In fact, football practice starts tomorrow. That’ll be a good chance to introduce her to some of the guys.
Mike: Hey, now that’s a good idea.
(Cut to the next morning, when Greg and Marcia are at the breakfast table, with Marcia still eating.)
Greg: Marcia, could you hurry it up? I’d like to meet some of the guys before first period.
Marcia: Do you mind if I finish my breakfast?
Greg: Not it doesn’t turn into your lunch.
Carol: Marcia, you had better drink up, it’s getting late.
Greg: Yeah, come on, let’s make tracks.
Marcia: Oh, wait a minute, I forgot something. I’ll be down in a minute.
(She gets up and goes upstairs.)
Greg (upset): Mom.
Greg: She’s just stalling.
Carol: All right, honey, be patient with her. She’ll make it.
Greg: Okay, but if you want me to introduce her around, I better do it before I graduate next year.
Carol (teasing): Oh, it’s not that bad.
(Marcia is upstairs looking in the mirror, trying to make herself look more mature.)
Marcia (to herself): No, that’s definitely junior high. (She tries wearing her hair back) That’s not be very sophisticated either. You look like an immature child.
Greg (calling): Marcia, how about it?
Marcia (calling back): Just a minute! (to herself) Well, if you can’t look sophisticated, maybe you can act sophisticated.
Greg (calling again): Marcia!
Marcia: I’m coming. I’m coming Gregory.
(The next scene shows their school. Greg and Marcia are outside walking around.)
Greg: Well, how do you like Westdale High?
Marcia: It’s not much bigger than junior high. (the bell rings) Is that the bell for first period?
Greg: Relax, it’s just the warning bell.
(Two of his friends walk by.)
Tom: Hi, Greg.
Greg: Hi. Oh, hey guys, could you come here for a minute? (They come over) Listen, I’d like you to meet my sister, Marcia. (to Marcia) This is Tom Peterson and Dick Corcier.
(They say hi.)
Marcia: I’m delighted to meet you boys.
Greg: Marcia’s just starting here this term.
Marcia: It’s so beneficial to be away from those children in junior high, and to be with people of my own mature growth.
Tom: Yeah. We hope you like it here at Westdale.
Marcia: I’m positive that will be the case. I’m looking forward to the intellectual stimulation. Well, see you boys, bye.
(She walks away and Greg looks embarrassed.)
Tom: What’s with your sister?
Greg: I’m not sure that was my sister.
(Later that day, Mike comes home from work while Peter is working on his volcano.)
Peter: Hi, Dad.
Mike: Hi, Pete. Hey, how’s your volcano coming?
Peter: Great. Right now, it’s in what us scientists call the counterous stage.
Mike: Counterous stage? It looks more like its in chicken wire period to me.
(Marcia unhappily walks by.)
Mike: Hi, honey, how did school go?
(She walks by without answering.)
Peter: Gee, what’s with her?
Mike: I don’t know.
Peter: When I’m finished, I’m gonna make it erupt.
Mike: Later, Peter, I think we have another eruption around here.
(He goes to follow Marcia, while Peter repeats his claim of lava and smoke oozing out. Mike catches up with Marcia, who is about to to up the stairs.)
Mike: Marcia. I want to talk to you. What happened at school today?
Marcia: Nothing Dad. Zero. It started out terrible and got worse.
(She goes upstairs and Greg comes in through the front door.)
Greg (angry): What?
Mike: What happened to Marcia in school today?
Greg: She acted like a jerk, that’s what happened. She made a jerk out of me.
(He repeats her quote about being away from junior high.)
Mike: Wait a minute, I don’t understand.
(Greg then repeats what she said about the intellectual stimulation, and then fumes.)
Greg: I wish you hadn’t asked me to introduce her around.
(Marcia overhears this.)
Marcia: So that’s why you did it! Even my own father knew I wouldn’t be popular! I hate high school! I hate it! I hate it!
(She runs into her room as the scene fades.)
(In the next scene, Marcia is in the bathroom. Mike and Carol knock.)
Carol: Can we come in for a minute?
Marcia: The door’s open.
(They come inside.)
Mike: Honey, I’m sorry, I was only trying to be helpful when I asked Greg to introduce you to the kids at school.
Carol: You yourself said you didn’t know anybody.
Mike: It never entered our minds that you wouldn’t find friends or wouldn’t be popular.
Marcia (tearfully): I guess I’m uptight about it. I’m sorry. I just thought everybody thought I’d be a washout.
Carol: No way. Not if you just be yourself.
Marcia: I was trying to be mature and sophisticated. Oh, boy, You know what I actually said to Greg’s friends? (Carol shakes her head no) I’m looking forward to the intellectual stimulation. When I think about it, I get sick.
Mike: Well, honey, try not to think about it.
Carol: Oh, Marcia, you’ll have lots of friends in school before you know it.
Mike: Sure, especially if you get involved in school activities.
Carol: Yeah, join a club. You know, something that you’re really interested in.
Marcia: That’s a good idea.
Carol: You really said I’m looking forward to the intellectual stimulation?
(Marcia nodded and then they all laughed about it.)
(Later on, Peter is still working on his volcano with Bobby and Cindy assisting.)
Peter: More mud.
Bobby: More mud.
Cindy: Mud coming up.
(They provide more mud with their grossly dirty hands and they also got it on their clothes.
Peter: That may be a little too much. Come on, I want it.
Cindy: Boy, science is great.
(Greg comes by.)
Greg- Pete, how are you gonna get your volcano to work?
Peter: I got it all figured out.
Peter: I got it all figured out!
Peter: I told you I got it all figured out!
Greg (teasing): I see, you don’t have it all figured out.
Bobby: Sure he’s got it all figured out.
Greg: How do you know?
Bobby: He told me.
Peter: Yeah, you just wait and see. Little puffs of smoke are gonna come out, and lava’s gonna ooze out and run down by the sides. It’s gonna be sensational.
Greg: Let me know when you get it all figured out.
(He walks away and Alice comes by.)
Peter: More mud.
Bobby: More mud.
Cindy: Mud coming up.
Alice: Are you covering the volcano with mud or is the volcano covering you?
Bobby: We’ve been working hard, Alice.
Alice: Well, it’s about 2 hours till dinner but if you start cleaning up right now, you might possibly make it by dessert. Inside. Go.
(They start to go inside to clean themselves.)
Alice (to herself): If they get any more dirt on the patio, I’m gonna kill ’em.
(Meanwhile, Greg is repairing something on the swing set and Marcia comes out.)
Marcia: Can I talk to you for a minute?
Greg: What about?
(She sits down on a swing.)
Marcia: I just wanted to say I was sorry if I made you feel embarrassed. I know you were only trying to help.
Greg: That’s okay, but from now on, be yourself, okay.
Marcia: I really acted like a jerk in front of your friends.
Greg: Yeah, you did. But don’t worry about it. Sometimes they act kind of jerky too.
Marcia: I guess I’ll feel more at home after I get to know some of the kids.
Marcia: And you know what, I may get involved in some of the school activities. Maybe join a club.
Greg: There’s plenty of them. Just look at that bulletin board. First week of school, all the clubs have their notices up.
(Next, we see the bulletin board at the school with somebody signing up for one. Marcia and another girl notice them.)
Marcia: Ceramics, that one sounds like fun.
Kim: Well, hardly anyone joins that one. Scuba’s one of the most popular ones. Karate’s very popular, too. Well, see ya.
(She walks away and Marcia signs up for a bunch of clubs. We next see her coming out of the bathroom and she startled Alice, who is making a bed in Marcia’s room.)
Alice: Hi. Listen, when are you kids gonna start talking over… (She turns around and screams, then falls. Marcia laughs.)
Marcia: It’s me, Alice.
Alice (laughing): For a minute, I thought it was the creature from the black lagoon.
(Marcia laughs some more.)
Marcia: They loaned me the outfit from the scuba club . I’m just seeing if it fits.
(Jan comes in.)
Jan (laughing): My sister, the frog lady.
Marcia: It’s hard to walk in these.
Jan: You’re not supposed to walk in them, you’re supposed to swim in them.
Alice: Well, that’s gonna be hard to do in the bedroom.
Jan: What did you join the scuba club for?
Marcia: I hate the idea of going under water, but scuba is one of the most popular clubs in school.
Alice: Maybe so, but they wouldn’t get me in one of those suits, even if they promised me mouth to mouth resuscitation with Cary Grant.
(In the next scene, Mike comes home from work and notices a dart board. Then his briefcase gets hit with a dart. Marcia runs up.)
Mike: Don’t tell me, it’s the William Tell club. Right?
Marcia: How did you guess?
Mike: I just took a shot in the dark.
(Next, we see Marcia practicing some karate moves. Carol watches as she’s knitting.)
Carol: Watch it. Woo, it must be very noisy with that whole club ha-ing at the same time.
Marcia: I feel pretty silly doing it too.
Carol: Well, as long as you enjoy it.
Marcia: I’m not sure I do, but it’s a very popular club.
(She continues making karate moves and the sound. Greg comes in and laughs.)
Greg: Well, get a load of you.
Marcia: What’s so funny?
Greg: I guess you just don’t make the karate scene.
(He starts making fun of her moves by poorly imitating them.)
Marcia: Thanks a lot, Greg.
(She shakes his hand and then gives him a kick and then knocks him down. They are all surprised at how well she did.)
Marcia: It really worked.
(They all laugh. Later on. Mike and Carol head into the family room.)
Mike (looking in the paper): There’s a great special on TV tonight.
Carol: Yeah, I read about it. I wonder what channel it’s on.
(They notice Marcia hanging upside down in the family room )
Carol: Honey, what in the world are you doing?
Marcia: I’m practicing for the yoga club.
Carol: Don’t overdo it.
Marcia: Hey, can I have a meeting here tomorrow?
Mike: We’ll see the whole club standing on its head.
Marcia: It’s not a meeting of the yoga club. It’s just the judging committee of the Westdale boosters. They’re really something special.
Carol: Another club, Marcia?
Marcia: The boosters are the most popular club, and they only take in 3 freshmen a year and I’ll know tomorrow if they accept me.
Carol: Honey, aren’t you spreading yourself a little thin?
Mike: Scuba, archery, ceramics, yoga, karate and now the Westdale Buster’s?
Marcia: The boosters.
Mike: The boosters?
Marcia: You left out stamp collecting and drama.
(She gets up.)
Mike: You look a little shorter.
Marcia: I’m only doing what you said. Getting involved with the kids at school.
Mike: Yeah, we did say that.
Marcia: Well, thanks about the club meeting tomorrow.
Carol: The only thing left is the boys swimming team.
Mike: Huh, don’t give her any ideas.
(Next, Peter is working on his volcano more with Bobby, Cindy and Jan helping.)
Peter: Okay, stand back you guys and see what I’m doing. (They stand back)
Okay, when I connect these two little wires…
Bobby: Little puffs of smoke will come out.
Cindy: And lava will ooze out
Jan: All over the side of the volcano.
Cindy: You told us 100 times.
Bobby: Now do it with the volcano and not your mouth.
Peter: Okay, and now you’re ready.
Cindy: Yes, we’re ready.
Peter: Okay 1,2, you’re sure you’re ready.
(They all say they’re ready.)
Bobby: Come on, let’s go.
Peter: Okay, 3.
(He uses the battery to make it erupt. The other kids look on with eagerness but nothing happens, to Peter’s surprise.)
Bobby (sarcastically): Great volcano, Peter.
Bobby: See you later.
Jan: See you later.
Peter: Hey maybe there’s just something wrong with the batteries. Wait till I get new batteries, it’ll work like crazy.
(The next day, Marcia invites the boosters club over for the meeting. They are all in the family room and Marcia leads them outside.)
Marcia: Oh, I thought it be nice to have the meeting out on the patio.
(They all come outside and Kim, the head booster, notices the volcano.)
Kim: What’s that?
Marcia: My brother’s volcano.
Kim: Couldn’t we get rid of it for the meeting? It looks so… dirty.
Marcia: Well, he’s kinda still working on it, and I’d hate to have him move it.
Kim: Well, I guess it’s all right. Gather around, boosters.
Marcia: Yeah, everyone take a seat.
(They all sit and the meeting begins.)
Kim: Marcia, we discussed your application, voted on it, and, I’m happy to say, decided to accept you as a member of the boosters.
(The rest applaud.)
Marcia: Wow, I don’t know what to say, except, that I’m honored.
Kim: You should be. We’re a very special group, and we only associate with certain kinds of kids.
Marcia: Certain kinds of kids?
Kim: You know, kids that are our equals. We can only date boys who are lettermen on teams, or in the top 10 in their class. And then when you….
(Peter comes by with new batteries to test his volcano with.)
Marcia: Peter, we’re having a meeting.
Peter: That’s okay. I just want to see if this new battery works.
Kim: As I was saying, we have a certain image to present. So, you’ll have to check with us on what you wear.
Marcia: What I wear?
Peter: Hey, everybody, come over here and watch this.
(Surprisingly, the girls go over to Peter and his volcano.)
Peter: Okay, here she goes. (He uses the new batteries and as he previously predicted, smoke came out) It works, it works! And now, watch the lava ooze out!
Kim: Do we have to be interrupted by that childish toy?
(The lava oozes out and splashes all over Marcia and the girls.)
Kim (disgusted): You stupid kid!
Marcia: If you want to see something stupid, you should see your face.
(Carol and Alice come out.)
Carol: What in the world happened?
Peter: My volcano worked!
(Alice makes a scientific remark and Marcia continues to laugh.)
Peter: I guess I need a smaller battery.
Alice: I’ll get some towels, Mrs. Brady.
(She and Peter leave as Marcia continues her laughter, much to the chagrin of the other girls.)
Kim: If you think this is funny, I’m not too sure you’re the type for the boosters.
Marcia: I’m sure I’m not the type because I do think this is funny.
Kim: Come on, boosters, let’s go.
Carol (coming on): Oh girls, we’re getting you some towels.
Kim: No thank you, Mrs. Brady.
(They all leave.)
Marcia: You know, Mom, you and Dad were right about me overdoing it. I was trying anything and everything just to be popular.
Carol: Well dear, you were trying for instant popularity. Like we said, just be yourself and you’ll be popular. Dirty, but popular.
Marcia: I’m giving up all my clubs except for the one I really like.
Carol: Ceramics? (Marcia nods) Hmm, they use clay, don’t they?
(She and Marcia go inside for Marcia to get cleaned up as the scene fades.)
(The final scene has Alice coming outside. She decides to try out Peter’s volcano. It erupts all over her)
Alice: Peter was right, it really does work.