Like many parents with children of a certain age, Kent State PR honcho Eric Mansfield has been spending lots of time searching for scholarship money that might be available for his son, a senior at Firestone.
While prowling the Akron Public Schools website, Mansfield discovered a possibility that’s a bit off the beaten path.
Seems a $1,000 college scholarship will be awarded to the person who writes the best 250-word essay about … zombies.
It’s called the “Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship.” The assignment:
“Imagine that your high school or college has been overrun with zombies. Your math professor, the cafeteria ladies and even your best friend have all joined the walking dead.
“Use your brain to flesh out a plan to avoid the zombies, including where you would hide and the top five things you would bring with you to stay alive.”
Quips Mansfield, “With my luck, my son, Josh, will write the best essay but the world will end before anyone can read it.”
He might be right. The essay deadline is Dec. 31 — 10 days after the end of the Maya calendar.
The Ides of March? No big deal.
What we really need to fear is the Itis of December.
Cool word, itis. It was added to my vocabulary just the other day by a black friend, who says it is popular in his circles.
“Itis” is a really quick way to reveal and lament that you have consumed a huge amount of food at one meal, be it a Thanksgiving, Christmas or Kwanzaa feast or just an unanticipated gorging.
The symptoms, of course, are universal. As soon as you stand up, you regret your actions. You want nothing more than to lay down on the floor, moan for a while and then fall asleep.
Hours might pass before you feel strong enough to do anything the least bit constructive.
So before you head back for thirds this holiday season, remember: Beware the itis.
Bath resident Jennifer Bishop got a hearty chuckle out of the contrast between two headlines in the same edition of the Beacon Journal.
So did I, once she pointed them out.
“Although I don’t have children of my own,” Bishop wrote, “I enjoy reading John Rosemond’s parenting column. He always gives a strong dose of wisdom mixed with good ol’ common sense.
“[This particular column] was headlined, ‘Teaching self-esteem can lead to problems.’
“He argued that high self-esteem can lead to bullying, fear of failure and depression. Made sense to me.”
But then she encountered this headline on the front of the Community section:
“Horses build kids’ self-esteem.”
Who knew horses were evil?
Clean it up
A young college student sent me this email:
“Dear Mr. Dyer,
“My name is Geore [sic] … and I am a freshman at Kent State University. As part of a project in my Intro to Mass Communication class, I have to interview a journalist whom I admire. Since I am a big fan of your column, I wonder if you might tell me a little bit about being a columnist?
“What is an average day for you like? … Who are some other well-known columnists, or columnists that you admire? Any information that you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
“George [Last Name Withheld Because the Columnist He Admires Is Such a Nice Guy].”
Or is it George? I couldn’t tell because you spelled it both ways.
I often start my day by reading emails from people who CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO PROOFREAD THEM!
That is very frustrating, so I generally leave the office immediately after checking my email, walk to the nearest bar and drink heavily for the rest of the morning.
Then I have lunch, which cuts into my buzz, so I have to resume drinking again for a couple of more hours.
Late in the day, I return to the office, where I copy emails from readers and paste them into vapid, disjointed columns that will wind up in recycle bins within 24 hours.
Just kidding, Geore. I only drink until noon.
While I admire a number of columnists of widely varying persuasions, in this case I would be horribly remiss in not singling out Geore Will.
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.