The Horror of January 1st

In a quiet and peaceful little house on a quiet and peaceful little street in a quiet and peaceful little neighborhood being occupied by not-so-quiet and not-so-peaceful not-so-little protesters, Sally woke up.  As Sally arose, she noticed the bright sun gushing in through her window’s half-open blinds.  In short, aside from the chants and riots outside, it was a quiet and peaceful little picturesque scene.  [Cue Violin.]

Sally tilted her head. [Narration] That’s odd, she thought, I don’t remember hiring a violin player to play eerie music. It must be one of the protesters outside having a recital, or something. [Cue animated clouds.]

That’s odd, Sally thought. The last time the bright morning turned to a dark and stormy night was when…that’s never happened before. It must be one of the protesters outside playing with even more chemicals. [Cue knocking.]

That’s odd, Sally thought. I thought my parents had gone to run errands and that I was home alone. It must be one of the protesters asking for a tuner for their violin.  [Cue ax.]

That’s odd, Sally thought. That’s not a very nice way to ask for a tuner, chopping down the door with a bloody, rusty ax.

So, Sally, doing what any sane actor starring in a horror film would do, opened the door.  Amid much screaming, blood, violence, screaming, violence, blood, violent screaming, someone screaming “Bloody-!,” bloody violence, and violently screaming blood cells [etc., cut out to preserve the PG ration of this blog and because I just ate dinner] the camera zooms out (all the way through the window) to reveal that the sun is once again shining and the scene is quiet and peaceful outside the house.  The violin music has stopped.

When the police arrive later, they notice that on the wall, written in blood, of course (because no good horror-film villain ever bothers with pens), is “January 1st was here.”

For those of you who are still here, and have not just left me to run around the house turning on all the lights, locking all the doors and windows, and grabbing a baseball bat from the garage, let me tell you-wait, is that a noise behind you? No, sorry, that was a mean thing to do (and we all know that that always stops us teens from pulling pranks…). I was going to tell you: this horror story (which I’m hesitantly referring to from now on as “Violence, Blood, Screams, etc. on Jan 1″ in case anyone from Hollywood wants to buy the rights) is actually a very accurate rendition for what you should be experiencing today.

If you’re an adult, then you’re thinking, “Wait, what? It’s the first day of the New Year.  It’s a weekend. What’s the issue with that?” Ohhh-hohhh.  Typical out-of-touch adult, I see, used to the year-round pattern of work and weekends as opposed to a nine-month period of extreme amounts of work.

The issue, as I’m sure you know, is that school starts in two days.  TWO DAYS.  That means a few things.

First, any homework that you had over winter break has to get done at some point, probably late tomorrow night.  It’s time to throw procrastination mode into overdrive.

Secondly, that means tomorrow morning is the last day you will be allowed to sleep past sunrise.  It’s time to go back to spending less time sleeping than you spend wondering if there will be a rapture tomorrow. (Which is why I’d recommend becoming a teen radio preacher as a part-time job, as you might get a bit of sleep).

Thirdly, there’s no end in sight. Your next major break from school is going to be in the spring, which is three or four months away.  The only reason you survived all the way to Winter Break is because of artificial substances like gum, caffeine, and sugar.  And to afford enough of that for the next three months, you might have to sell one of your holiday gifts (I hear people like to buy My Little Pony: Genetic Experiment Kits on Craigslist).  We all know that if you just ask for the best possible present, sugary caffeinated gum, most relatives interpret that as a plea for clothes.

But even during days like January 1st, when everything looks bleak, it’s important to stay positive: you don’t really have to start your enormous 40%-of-final-grade semester project on the history of the automatic toilet as it pertains to cultural diversity until tomorrow.  And if you decide to do an interpretive dance for your project, you probably don’t even have to start it until the wee hours of the morning of January 3rd.

3 Magnificent Ways to Get More Done on the Weekend

getting stuff done on the weekendThe weekend.  That word has immense power over any teenager.  For example, you can threaten to assign even more homework over the weekend.  You can threaten to force a teen to do chores over the weekend.  You can even threaten to play the word “weekend” against a teen in scrabble, netting you (without any bonus tiles) at least 65 points.

What makes this word so powerful is that the weekend is like a two-day sunburst of freedom amongst a 9 month ordeal of torturous backbreaking work.  Thus, teens try to avoid working on the weekend even more than they try to avoid work during the week.  Sadly, however, teens haven’t yet figured out that they can’t both procrastinate on the weekend, and say that they’ll do the work over the week, and then spend all week saying that they’ll do it over the weekend.

So, then, it may be an unavoidable fact of life that you will have to work on weekends.  However, I’ve devised a schedule that should allow you to get all your work done and have plenty of spare time:

Friday night: homework

Saturday: homework & chores

Sunday: homework & chores

See? It’s brilliant!

Seriously, though, there are strategies for making your weekend more enjoyable, and I’ve come up with a secret that I think could make your life easier.  I’m not going to tell you what it is, though, because then it wouldn’t be a secret, so instead here are three things you can do to free up more time over the weekend.


This is flaunted in the business world as a key to freeing up valuable time.  There’s no good reason why you can’t extend this technique to your homework and chores, aside from the minor inconveniences of this being immoral, dangerous, plagiarism/cheating, and possibly nausea.  Ask your doctor if outsourcing is right for you.

Really, though, in today’s interconnected society, outsourcing is so easy that even babies (yes, even the ones who aren’t advanced enough to trade stocks on e-trade) frequently outsource their main tasks, namely eating, sleeping, crying, and defecating (usually all at once).

You have the obvious resources, like Fiverr, where thousands of people are willing to do just about anything with “guaranteed results”, even if these results are jail time for you. Then you’ve got your more personal social media, such as Facebook, where you have 5,783 friends whom you’ve never actually said more than two words to.  Simply ask one of your good buddies who friended you at some point last year (or was it this year) and whose name is…Jim-no, John, his name is John-to write a 5-page paper on the meaning of the word “is” as intended by the author in “Something Wicked this Way Comes.”

Coffee Time Machine

On the weekend, the fact that you are not in class allows you to drink coffee whenever you want.  If you can start drinking coffee as soon as you get home on Friday, then, assuming you don’t need to sleep Friday or Saturday night, you can intake enough consecutive caffeine so that time appears to slow.

What’s really happening, of course, is that you are simply going faster, which still allows you to get more work done.  Of course, you may need to avoid this method for writing homework, because your hand will shake so much that your written responses will look like a seismograph during a major earthquake (and the fact that you probably spilled coffee all over your papers just adds to this impression).

Also, I should probably warn you that you will experience a major crash Sunday night/Monday morning, to the point where you should pad your floors and sharp corners and call the attendance office and let them know that you “won’tcometoschoolforthreeweeks” because you have a rare disease and must travel to doctors in Miami where you will be abducted by Aliens and then dropped at your house next-next-next Monday.

Self Hypnosis

While this doesn’t avoid the work, it can make the work more enjoyable.  Just imagine that you aren’t actually doing homework, but rather are doing something enjoyable.  Honestly, I’ve no idea how this works, but it sounds great on paper: you have fun, the work gets done.

I suppose that you could pretend that your math problems are really evil villains, and every time you complete one the villain is killed.  But that won’t work for one obvious reason: any teen faced with 40 math problems or 40 villains would take the villains in a heartbeat.

While these three methods will greatly improve (improve meaning change for better or worse, here) your weekends, there is still my secret method.  But I’m not planning on telling you anytime soon, although I will give you this hint: it involves a blender.  

Students Become Fungi as Finals Begin


MushroomBy: Gnott Mie-Reellnaim

Readers: I have written this as I assume it would appear in the NYT.  Apparently, the NYT doesn’t focus on these serious issues, instead spending time on more lighthearted issues.  For instance, yesterday’s online front-page headline was something like, “Fleeing Romney takes refuge on Turkey Syria border as FDA reveals new sunscreen regulations.”

A shocking new report has been published, telling how thousands of students will settle in to hard metal desks and be evaluated on their ability to bubble in circles this week.

The report comes from the trustworthy and exceedingly perfect, an expert on the topic.

Apparently, this week marks the end of school, or the start of finals.  Finals stands for Finally I’m Nearly Almost Leaving School, as school is almost over.  “I can practically taste the lemonade by the pool,” quoted one student, before the chains attached to his legs dragged him away.

Another student recalls the finals of last year: “They were very long, but we did well, as a school, I think.  That year, we only lost about 19 people.” As detailed in the shocking report, the students of America are forced to achieve a passing grade on the exams to move to the next grade (in numerical order ascending, except for kindergarten, where, instead of moving up to vegetablegarten, students go to first grade).

A few parents were “outraged” by the report.  One stated, in a call to the publisher, “I am OUTRAGED that my child actually has to receive a 70% or higher to move on.  I mean, not even the pros bat that average.  Tackle him! I ask that-somebody better guard that guy, guard that guy, c’mon now-the study be modifi-GOALLLL!-ed.” It is assumed that this parent was watching curling at the time, or maybe a Russian ballet, but the quote was included to give a fair and balanced analysis, and because we are paid by the inch.

Also, it could have given us an excuse to put in a picture of a Russian ballerina, which, like most pictures near newspaper articles (excluding the ones where the author drew a self-portrait using a pen that only works if you smack it against the paper and make a dot), would be extremely relevant.

According to the report, common tasks for finals include in-class essays, questions-and-answer type quizzes, math, and open-heart surgery with a mechanical pencil.  Sometimes, there is the unconventional true/false question.

Not many people at a nearby high school we ‘checked out’ (to give this article credibility) have any opinion on finals.  In fact, when asked why he looked like a train wreck that had been genetically modified, one student replied, “I…no sleepy last night.  My brain…oatmeal…didn’t breakfast…studying.”  This profound statement gives much insight to the findings of the report.

Now that you’ve read this far, we feel it is fair to actually tell you what the report says.  It states that, “The average health and function of a high school student deteriorates…until, after all of the finals are over, the student….will be not much more than a mushroom, the kind that look edible but aren’t actually so.”

Since us, at the news desk, didn’t quite understand what this conclusion meant, we e-mailed the report publisher.  In particular, we were stuck on words such as ‘student.’  After being assured that we would not reveal our source, the author of the report (who can be found, for those curious, at gave us the definition of student.

According to him, “student” is a non-gender-specific term used to refer to an unpaid laborer who has not yet learned time-management skills.  Also, our news staff went the extra mile to go the full nine yards with the story (although, for those math whizzes, we’ll tell you that yes, we understand a mile is actually only seven yards) and learned that a “mushroom” is a type of fungus similar to a newborn child, in that they both look innocent but aren’t actually so.

In fact, in a heroic act of superb investigative reporting, the vice-news-editor gave his life by eating a poisonous yet unassuming ‘mush-room’.

Regardless of our intelligence levels, though, we can rest assured that we are smarter than the author of the report, who trusted us not to reveal his location (  With that, we wish the “mushrooms” of America good luck in the next couple days of finals.

Readers: Summer is fast approaching (2 days, or less if I move to Australia) and I want to know if you have any opinion on what I should post over the summer.  Short stories? Regular posts, only about summer instead of school? Fake news articles, like this one? Personal narratives? An increase in illustrated posts (I’ll have more time)? An announcement that I am running for the 2012 Republican Nomination? Comment or e-mail me and let me know.

The Real Reason People Cry at Graduation

Graduation. I’m only a freshman, but this word already brings tears to my eyes. These are not tears of joy and bittersweet happiness, readers. These are tears driven by pain, boredom, and overall unpleasantness.

If you’re a senior, then I’m sure you strongly disagree with me at this point. That’s entirely fine; everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, even when one doesn’t agree with me. This is what makes America special, the fact that those who disagree with me are allowed to be wrong.

Enough about society, though, let’s focus on graduation (a cornerstone of society). You see, graduation can be fun, but it rarely is. High School graduation is a long, arduous process where people make the mistake of giving a microphone to those who like to hear themselves talk, because they are the only ones who will fill a good half-hour. Rather than explain graduation as I did pep assemblies, I’m just going to hit some highlights and offer some brilliantly intelligent insight.

The Big 15

At our school, 15 students receive special honors. 5 students who received an exact 4.0, 5 students who had less than a 4.0 but took many A.P. classes, and 5 students who had 4.0’s and took numerous A.P. classes. Usually, these students leave college and immediately become lawyers, CEOs, or politicians.

I don’t mind any of that, though, because those people have a four-year head start. If I choose to go into any of those job markets, it will have been long enough for those people to be disgraced, fired, forced to resign, corrupted, or jailed.

The worst parts are the excuses. Parents of these students get incredibly annoyed at these teens because they always got very little sleep, so the students pay the faculty to make their excuses.

For example, “Adam Lee finished high school with a 198.0 weighted GPA. When not studying, he spent his time coaching peewee baseball for physically disabled children, single-handedly rebuilding small African countries, and donating blood and various organs to those who have a greater need. Also, Adam is proud to have finished his small start-up company, which some of you may be familiar with, called Google. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Mr. Lee flies out to the gulf of Mexico every other night to mop up the oil spill using his old T-shirts.”

However, that’s for only fifteen students, so it only takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on how many people in the audience give up all hope of amounting to anything by comparison and throw themselves to their deaths over the side of the bleachers.

The Scholarships

These can apply to all students, and, sadly, they usually do. This means that every single student who won anything in their life must come to the stage and be honored for their success.

While some scholarships can be worthy of admiration and honor, such as the extremely descriptive “Class of ’43 Scholarship,” most are fairly laughable. I kid you not when I say that one of our ‘speakers’ introduced the ‘OMEGA’ scholarship as being, “A 1,000 dollar grant to a student who exemplifies the normal expectations. The nominees must have between a 3.0-4.0 GPA, participate in a few after school activities, and have the national average of 1.89 siblings.”

If you are from the class of ’43 (1643, not 1943), you might find the most annoying type of scholarships incredibly creative. These are the ‘acronym’ scholarships, with semi-descriptive names. For example, the LEADERSHIP scholarship. This would be a scholarship awarded to someone who was Lethargic, Empathetic, Apathetic, Distant, Energetic, Rotund, Super, Hind-sighted, Interesting, and Perfect. As you can see, the things the acronym stands for are unimportant and often contradictory, but as long as the acronym is a buzzword it doesn’t matter.

Therefore, taking these into consideration, I propose the BEST-EVER scholarship. Those nominated would have to be people who constantly exceed expectations by breathing, thinking, and metabolizing, and the scholarship name stands for a person who is Borderline sociopathic, Exceptional, Semi-intelligent, Thick-headed, Exceptional, Very thick-headed, Exceptional, and Really very thick-headed. This scholarship would probably go to a future famous athlete, like the next O.J Simpson.

The Music

Pomp and Circumstance. Enough said. Moving on.

The Speeches

For college graduations, the speakers are usually entertaining enough to keep the audience from pulling out their smart phones to entertain themselves. At most high school graduations (or, at least at mine, but remember what I said at the beginning? Feel free to disagree), the speakers bore the audience to the point where even the smart phones die of boredom. Since showing is better than telling (a picture is worth 1,000 words), I’ll give you a sample speech.

Mr. Speaker: “Thank you, thank you, you’re too kind. I believe that the real honor should go to our graduates, who have undertaken a great commitment, overcome a difficult challenge, and deserve our congratulations. This is a milestone, a successful transition in the journey of life.

“I remember my graduation. The excitement, the joy, and the fire department. But that’s another story. Today, the focus is the graduates, who are decked out in blue-semi-navy garments with square hats that fit almost too snugly. It is a special night, tonight. I am privileged to be speaking to…”

I don’t remember how the rest goes, because at that point I faked an upset stomach and asked to be excused to the bathroom. Eventually, my peers caught on, and, well, let’s just say they really ought to make those bathrooms bigger. By the time we came out, it looked like we were actually sick; we walked out sweating from being tightly packed together.

All things considered, I think it is entirely reasonable that graduation brings tears to one’s eyes. Thus, I’ve added it to my list. As of now, the things that make me cry most often are smoke, onions, popular music, pet fish that have died, and graduations.