Spoofs

Life at the Top and the Bottom: Homeschooling Through High School

Rachel Clark : May 27, 2015 7:39 pm : Columns, Rachel, Spoofs

Homeschooling through high school means that you're on the top, on the bottom, don't have to ask to go to the bathroom, and can wear  cloaks if you feel like it.

Homeschooling through high school means that you’re on the top, on the bottom, don’t have to ask to go to the bathroom, and can wear cloaks if you feel like it.

 

Many people have questions and curiosities about life as a homeschooled high school student.

 

“Do your family’s students get a home economics credit for doing the dishes?”

“How do you teach integral calculus?”

“Where in heaven’s name did you get such a nice transmission electron microscope?”

“Is school violence a major issue—are there gangs or bullies?”

“Is that a pipe organ in your living room?” 

 

I am asked these questions and many more hundreds of times each year; usually I say “no comment” or refer the askers to my press secretary or my cat. However, at last I have taken the time to personally answer a few of them; do keep in mind, however, that no two homeschools are alike.

 

School Sports

My school football team has never lost a game. Consequently, we have never played a game, either, and none of us know how to play football. That’s beside the point—the point is that we are doing better than Lumberton High School.

 

School Music

This homeschool has a thriving music program. Currently there is a nose-flute virtuoso in middle school here; we had a banjo player until last year, when we banished him to an apartment and gifted his instrument with the ultimate banjo mute (a.k.a, the sledgehammer).

 

College Preparation

Two thirds of my school’s students have learned to like coffee by at least their sophomore years; the other third has not yet reached its—or, well, her—sophomore year.

 

School Lunches

There is no policy forbidding me from bringing, cooking, dissecting, or hunting my lunch. Usually the school lunches are quite good, unless the freshman home economics class is in charge for the week. (I failed the home economics class the first time around after catching the stove on fire.)

 

Science Experiments

My school has never had a lab safety issue or explosion, and the school’s decontamination shower has never been used. (Once some potassium permanganate stained the kitchen countertop, but it blended with the pattern anyway.) Personally, I have only eaten one science experiment; I’m still alive and maybe with superhuman powers to boot.

 

School Violence

My cat kills things, but usually just mice or Entergy workers. The facility is monitored 24/7 by sniper-archer-ninja freshmen sitting on the roof.

 

Socialization

Do not worry about it. I talked to a person once and despite that I think I’m still turning out alright.

 

Home Economics

Chores-for-grades is a simple system my homeschool has developed for making the most of the home economics experience. Target practice and science experiments are integrated to help with the first-time cake failures and carbonized animal tissues.

 

Field Trips

Personally, I am quite taken with the field just west of my house—lovely for geological expeditions. I found a baby armadillo there not too long ago.

 

Calculus? Quantum physics?

Two words: Khan Academy.

 

School Dress Code

Pajamas are acceptable, but chainmail, swim suits, lab coats, or sometimes jeans are also acceptable. The freshman prefers wearing cloaks and chainmail, but I—the junior or senior or whatever you would like to call me—am nocturnal, so it is of little consequence anyhow.

 

School Spirit

Like many high schools, my homeschool likes to show school spirit. My family mainly does this by having pep rallies around the dinner table and then watching DIVE videos* together.

 

Letter Jackets

I actually learned my alphabet long, long ago. I see no use in wearing letters at this stage of the game.

 

Competition

My sister once whacked me upside the head after I beat her at chess. Other than that, student rivalry has not been a significant factor in academics or trips to the emergency room.

 

 In conclusion,

hopefully this has answered a few of your most pressing questions. But again, remember—not all homeschools are all alike, and not many homeschools have such great football teams.

 

*For the uninitiated: DIVE is homeschool celebrity Dr. Shormann’s lifesaving curriculum. Best thing since the Pythagorean theorem.

 

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No Grounds for Arresting the Groundhog

Rachel Clark : February 11, 2015 9:58 pm : Columns, Homeschooled Timelord, Rachel, Spoofs

groundhog

“There are no grounds for arresting this groundhog.” says Phil’s lawyer.

Police in Merrimack, New Hampshire, have issued a warrant for Punxsutawney Phil, the celebrity groundhog given the annual task of either predicting an early spring or six more weeks of winter.

Police claim that “we have received several complaints from the public that this little varmint is held up in a hole, warm and toasty … He told several people that winter would last 6 more weeks, however he failed to disclose that it would consist of mountains of snow!”

In addition to this wild claim, they allege that Phil is “armed and dangerous.”

However, according to New Hampshire law, Phil has done nothing to deserve the warrant—it’s a “gross violation of free speech and personal liberty,” according to several legal experts.

“If Phil were the cause of this snow, we might have legal grounds to arrest him,” said policy analyst Rachel Clark, “However, Phil did not cause the snow, he only predicted it. This is a textbook example of the ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’ fallacy.”

Clark continued, “Predicting an event and publicly announcing it is a form of free speech that we need to protect. Weathermen and groundhogs don’t deserve arrest for wrongly predicting weather.”

Protesters are rising up in support of the groundhog, and many of them are saying that the entire ordeal is strictly unconstitutional. Punxsutawney Phil did not sign a legal contract, but did agree to the Groundhog Ceremony several days ago, his lawyer tells us.

“He was only told to look for his shadow, nothing more,” the groundhog’s spokesman explained.

The Groundhog controversy is expected to heavily influence the upcoming Merrimack elections, and state police are closely monitoring the volatile situation.

Co-written by Joshua Swearingen. 

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NASA announces radical step forward, is met with opposition

Rachel Clark : January 15, 2015 7:28 pm : Rachel, Spoofs

NASA press conference revealing the agency's official and controversial switch to Starfleet uniforms.

NASA press conference revealing the agency’s official and controversial switch to Starfleet uniforms.

JOHNSON SPACE CENTER – NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced Thursday afternoon that the agency is “moving forward” by officially switching to Star Trek’s Starfleet Next Generation uniforms.

 

Bolden says, “NASA has brought innovation, growth, and scientific advancement to the world—and beyond—for decades. I believe that this is one more important step to the future.”

 

Supporters cite NASA’s numerous achievements and inventions, including improvements in water filters and the moon landing, but opponents suspect that there has been an underground lobbying deal with a cosplay corporation.

 

Original Series Star Trek fans are frustrated by the decision, after many years of lobbying for their own cause; Doctor Who fans are perplexed and objected, pointing out the need for long, colorful scarves. Tea Party leaders who support NASA are calling the latter group “unpatriotic limeys.”

 

“Progress always meets its opponents,” President Obama said, affirming Bolden’s decision, “Flat-earthers are going to oppose every inch of forward progress that our administration makes, including this.”

 

Meanwhile, congressmen are splitting on the issue. Some are sticking to their promises of fiscal limitations and claiming that new uniforms on such a large scale are unnecessary, while others are whole-heartedly embracing the idea.

 

“I think it’ll meet with some stiff opposition, and it’s quite probable that some right-wing fringes in the House will oppose it because of the costs—which are quite minute really—and I’m catching wind of some heavy, heavy disagreements on the left. Reid claims that he’s a diehard fan of the Original Series and can’t stand Picard,” Political analyst and Star Trek fan Kirk LaForge explained, “But all in all, if no lawsuits are filed and no bills submitted, it could remain in place. As I hope it will.”

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Of Trolls and Belligerence: A Truthful Satire

Joshua Swearingen : January 6, 2015 6:16 pm : Homeschooled Timelord, Spoofs

The instrument of trolls. (Well, yeah, and other people too.)

The instrument of trolls. (Well, yeah, and other people too.)

If you’ve ever mustered the courage to venture into the “comments” section of a YouTube video, you surely know how truly treacherous it can be.

If you haven’t…well…I advise against it.  You see, the perusing of particularly putrid postings has many discomforting and somewhat horrifying side effects, including but not limited to: nausea, vomiting, depression, decreased brain cells, increased hemorrhoidal activity, and the complete loss of hope for humanity.

Though I’ve never quite set keyboard into this magical place of profanity and logical fallacies, I have observed, studied, and documented many of the creatures that inhabit it.

The documentation of a few of these creatures and their behavior is as follows and may be used as a guideline for combating those that dare conflict you.

The Troll.  I start with the troll as it is, sadly, the most common of all beasts.  It secretes sarcasm as a fish secretes slime.  It writhes in it.  It feeds on the attention it receives from its most likely uber-controversial comment.  Remember, when (not if) you stumble upon a troll, you must resist the immediate urge to unleash your wrath upon it.  Don’t feed the trolls.

The Grammar Nazi.  The Grammar Nazi lurks in only the darkest corners of the comments section, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting victims that have sealed their own fates by making simple grammatical and spelling errors.  I believe these to be a subspecies of trolls as they have similar preying tactics and feeding habits.  Most of these mongrels see themselves as if they were on a grammatical jihad to purge the world of those that butcher the English language.  Should one ever cross your path, the safest defense is to ignore it. However, if you can lure it into its own trap (which shouldn’t be entirely difficult as most are millennials that don’t know a preposition from a fuzzy lump of dog crud) this will catch it quite off guard.

The Anti-Patriot. These good-fer-nuthin’ varmints, as I affectionately call them, will tell you anything and everything that’s wrong with America (whether you asked for it or not).  No matter what the original content pertained to, these freedom-hating vermin will distort it to fit their ideology. I once spotted one trying to say that the entire state of Georgia was inhabited by overweight people.  This was because “Macon” (a town in Georgia) sounds a great deal like “bacon” and it figured that was a good enough case.  I promptly choked on my cheerios.  The best defense is just to throw out a few facts, it’ll often leave without another word.

The Potty-Mouth.  This is a particularly hostile animal who’s personality quite resembles a dimwitted mule.  You see, it rarely has a real (much less valid) argument, rather, it just flaunts its ability to make a lumberjack blush.  It uses excessive profanity and insults as an attempt get its otherwise dull or baseless point across.  Despite all of this, its kind consists almost entirely of boys between the ages of nine and thirteen, rendering them mostly harmless.  The easiest way to rid them of your presence, should you wish not to have an incredibly foul comment thread, is simply to block them.  They’re just not worth your time.

These were just four of the more common blood-boiling ignoramuses that reveal their stupidity whilst chattering about on a keyboard.  And this just barely scratches the surface of internet ignorance.

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President Obama Announces Plan for Jobs Growth

Rachel Clark : December 2, 2014 5:11 pm : Columns, Rachel, Spoofs

White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest Holds Daily Briefing

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest describes the President’s new jobs growth plan.

 

WASHINGTON – President Obama’s newest lame-duck project, the American Jobs and Reinvestment Act of 2014 (AJRA) offers up a bold new plan for United States jobs growth: nuking most populated areas of the country.

 

After the planned nuclear cataclysm, labor supply will be reduced sufficiently so that those seeking work won’t find it difficult to get.

 

“And on top of this, the destruction of most of U.S. civilization will leave a lot of jobs to be done—I think we’ll see a boom in housing, development, building sectors, possibly agriculture, and so much more,” said Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

 

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained: “The President will not be satisfied until every American who wants work can find a job. That’s why he is working to grow our economy, so middle class families feel confident in their futures and their children’s futures. Well, I mean, depends on if your kids survive … but you get the idea.”

 

Among other things, the first stage of the law’s enactment incentivizes finding a friend or family member and swapping a dollar bill back and forth for fifteen minutes every day to increase economic activity. The AJRA includes a provision that checks will be sent to eligible U.S. households, for the express purpose of being thrown into the wind—hopefully to reach some wind-energy farms and subsequently boost jobs growth.

 

After that, nuclear bombs will be placed in strategically significant cities throughout the nation and then set off; as a result, key American industries will receive a much-needed boost.

 

“New houses will need to be built, all agriculture will need to relocate, and manufacturers of all sorts will find plenty of demand,” continued Furman.

 

He went on to say that while opponents in Congress are calling this plan “radical” and “dangerous,” it is not much different from the government’s response to the financial crisis of  2008 and is extremely similar to President Roosevelt’s New Deal after the Great Depression.

 

“This is common-sense economic policy that has been tried many times before,” the President said, “It’s a natural extension of the policy we’ve been pursuing since 2008.”

 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) added, “The whole purpose of this legislation is to up spending, consumer confidence, and get the money flowing back into the economy. In the second stage, we’ll self-induce a nuclear apocalypse.”

 

“Increased economic activity is what it will take for Americans to get the jobs and wages that they need and deserve. American industry and small businesses shouldn’t be shutting down—they should be growing and expanding. My new plan will do something to help get business back on its feet again,” President Obama concluded.

 

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