“Privyet?” Elena Wu-Yan ’15 whispered into her purple bumpy encased iPhone one cold afternoon in November. She glanced anxiously down the 150s hallway, hoping nobody would hear her.
“Privyet,” came the hushed reply. “Are you alone?”
Wu-Yan, ascertaining that she was, slipped into her native Russian. Dangnabbit, she thought. Those pesky Ukrainians! She stepped out into the rain and then into the shelter of her silver BMW, barking furiously at the person on the other end of the line. An obsequious-looking freshman stared at her from the beneath the school’s eaves, aghast. Wu-Yan didn’t care—freshmen keep their traps shut, she thought. Right? Little did she know how wrong that was.
One month later, Wu-Yan’s world—or at least, the façade she presented to her classmates—had been turned completely upside down. With the freshman’s witness and the well-known fact that Wu-Yan shares a birthday with Vladimir Putin, investigations to her true identity were launched. Two weeks after, reports confirmed what nobody suspected at all (well, but didn’t we all?): that Elena Wu-Yan is in fact … Vladimir Putin.
The popular Russian dictator was confirmed to be masquerading as a high school student this Tuesday, when both the AP Biology class and Interpol released findings about “Wu-Yan’s” true identity.
Emily Klockenbrink ’15, an AP Biology student, said that her class ran DNA tests on Wu-Yan when the freshman in the parking lot hinted to her about Wu-Yan’s identity.
“The results were shocking,” Klockenbrink said. “It seems that the Tower’s Editor-in-Chief is not who she says she is after all.
At the lab, Elena’s DNA was compared to the world-wide data bank of human genome sequences. There was a match, and it wasn’t to her own. Because of this whimsical biology lab, Elena’s true identity has been revealed to the world.
“It’s really rather shocking, when you think about it,” said Assistant Principal Jared Warren. “To think that we had such an important political player under our auspices—frankly, I feel giddy.”
“Peh,” Wu-Yan said in response to the allegations. “This Jared Warren, who even is he?”
Rumors have spread among students that Putin was staying in New Jersey to investigate the possibility of a long-distance gas line, linking Novosibirsk and Paramus.
“Naturally,” said Assistant Principal Lori Rotz. “He would choose to live in Princeton. We have Qdoba … and Panera. What more could you ask for?”
“You think I care?!” Wu-Yan retorted. “You don’t even have CHIPOTLE. Lmk when you do!”
In retrospect, many students say that the revelation does not come as a surprise. “I remember this one time when Elena came up to me excitedly in the hallway,” said Leah Yassky ’16. “She was like, ‘Guess what? I share a birthday with Vladimir Putin!’ It was so random, but I just brushed it off, thinking it was just Elena being weird.”
It has also been widely known that Putin has desperately been trying to learn the ways of relaxation and fitness. “I finally understand why Elena joined meditation group last year and frequently requests wellness breaks during Tower Production. It’s all part of her plan,” said Emma Leuchten ’15.
As for getting fit, Wu-Yan/Putin never fails to go all-in when Julie Bond ’15 leads group planks during Production following her cross-country/track practices. Ian Stewart ’16 once walked in on such a workout session. “I will never forget the look of burning concentration etched on Elena’s—well, I guess Putin’s—face. It was like ‘plank or die’ or something.”
Wu-Yan/Putin is to be returned to her mother country on January 1. “It’s a shame my true identity has been discovered … I have learned so much from these little editors,” Elena/Vladimir commented. But in the meantime, she’s enjoying her celebrity status.
“In Europe, I’m universally hated,” she said. “But here, I am Editor-in-Cookies!!!!”