Archive | June, 2013

New Technique Saves Thousands on College Tuition

29 Jun

With the rising cost of college tuition, it is becoming harder and harder for families to send their kids away for a higher-level education. For that reason, more and more parents are turning towards a homeschool college education. Here is a selection of programming required by the Georgia Organization of Teaching Or Schooling Correctly at Home with On-topic, Open Learning (G.O.T.O.S.C.H.O.O.L.).

Late-Night Intellectual Conversations

Such discussions with peers are absolutely essential components of the college experience. To simulate this experience at home, stay up late with your child between one and three times a month. Fill the room with odorous smoke, and then ask big questions through the haze. What is our country doing overseas? Do we even get to decide what we do in life? What if our whole universe is just one atom in one cell in the big toe of some giant human in another world? Mind. Blown. (And you didn’t even have to poison your child’s religious upbringing by sending him/her to an accredited school.)

Social Interaction

Some say the most important thing one learns at college is how to interact with others. To meet this requirement, purchase a keg of a non-alcoholic beverage once a month. Stand around it and talk about the college experience, taking care to put yourself in their shoes. A sample conversation might go as follows:

PARENT: Woah, college rules, right?
CHILD: I have never had a real friend.
PARENT: Check it out, someone brought a beach ball! College rules!
CHILD: Every night I pray for the courage to run away.

Note: The board initially required an alcoholic beverage to be imbibed, until Georgian homeschoolers protested against requiring families to purchase and use “Satan Juice”.

Health and Nutrition

Sleep-away college offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for kids to teach themselves about their body and their needs. To accurately recreate such self-discovery, lock your child in a room with nothing but a crate of PopTarts for one week. This activity can also be counted toward the biology requirement, as it teaches students the importance and value of fiber.

Note: Families can determine sexual health lessons on their own. We’re not going to touch that one.

Scene From a Party

15 Jun

(A gaggle of past-their-prime women are mingling at a cocktail party. Waiters hustle and bustle between them serving hors d’oeuvres. Nobody is having as much fun as they look like they are.)

WAITRESS: Could I interest you in a cheese tortellini with lemon aioli?
PARTY GUEST 1: What’s in the tortellini?
PARTY GUEST 1: I know, but is that a soft cheese, like a ricotta?
WAITRESS (earnestly): Honestly, I’m not sure as to its hardness, but I could go get a Mohs scale number from the chef if you want me to.
PARTY GUEST 1: It’s just that soft cheeses upset my stomach, you know?
WAITRESS: You should probably pass on these then. (motions to walk away)
PARTY GUEST 1: Yeah, there was a time last year where I was spending hours a day in the bathroom, basically just splitting my time between thinking about what was wreaking such havoc on my digestive system and dozing off, actually, out of exhaustion. I actually had to have a phone installed next to my toilet because it was always a gamble as to whether I’d be able to get up and answer the call.
WAITRESS: (stunned silence. Motions to leave again.)
PARTY GUEST 1: So, I’m wondering day in and day out, what is doing this to my body? And then one day, I’m like “You know what I never eat but is known to cause digestive problems in some? Soft cheese!” Turns out, all I had was a humongous tapeworm in my intestines, but I still don’t eat soft cheese anymore just to be picky. (gives WAITRESS an awkward wink and touches the side of her arm in a friendly way. WAITRESS immediately recoils and jogs away.)

WAITRESS: Soft cheese tortellini with lemon aioli?
PARTY GUEST 2: Yeah, I’ll have one. Just because this is my dinner though.
WAITER: Ok. (handing her a soft cheese tortellini.)
PARTY GUEST 2: I normally don’t eat at these things, it’s just that this is my dinner for tonight.
WAITRESS: Well, enjoy!
PARTY GUEST 2: I had time to make dinner for the kids, but I didn’t get an opportunity to eat anything myself. The invitation said there’d be food here, so I figured I’d be fine. I just didn’t expect food like this.
WAITRESS: Is there something else I can go get for you instead?
PARTY GUEST 2: No, I’m on this diet where I really only eat pickles and maple syrup, not in that order, of course (laughs), and I sort of assumed that they would have those.
WAITRESS: I’m sorry, I don’t think we have those things here.
PARTY GUEST 2: It’s not a huge deal, I guess. Are these at least gluten-free?
WAITRESS (unsure but guessing): Yes.
PARTY GUEST 2: And was the cheese slaughtered humanely?
WAITRESS(confused): Excuse me?
PARTY GUEST 2: Like, did they put the cheese in the tortellini humanely? Was it in pain?
WAITER (lying further): No, the cheese was treated very well.
PARTY GUEST 2: And how many calories are in this?
WAITRESS (ensnaring himself further in a web of lies): 82 per tortellini.
PARTY GUEST 2: That’s excluding the aioli, I assume.
WAITRESS (looking at the point of no return in her rear view mirror): Yeah, aioli included.
PARTY GUEST 2: You know what, I’ll actually skip these. I’m not even that hungry. But since they’re so low-calorie, they’re great for my diabetic friend. Cathy! Come here!
(CATHY comes over, takes a cheese tortellini. WAITER is too spineless and weak to reveal her mistruths to prevent a possible medical consequence and seeks refuge in the bathroom. She overhears PARTY GUEST 1 having a bad reaction to the soft cheese.)

A, Bee, C

3 Jun

NARRATOR: You’re watching BeeTV, the first and thankfully only spelling bee channel. On today’s episode of  “Could You Use It in a Sentence?”, we’ll catch up with some of Scripps’s most memorable champions, and get a look at their life after the Bee.

NARRATOR: Of course you remember Bhagirathy Balasubramanium, the 2004 winner who famously won with the correct spelling of lûztüęrgēńšpìel, a tenor glockenspiel commonly played in polka and reggae styles. Bhagirathy made headlines the following day for showing such a deep lack of emotion while receiving his trophy that many viewers had to turn off their TVs out of discomfort.

BHAGIRATHY: After the Bee, my life was basically in shambles. I had spent fourteen years preparing for that day, and then in the blink of an eye, nobody cared if I could tell them the etymology of words like autochthonous or chiaroscurist. By the time I was fifteen, things were really quite out of hand.

NARRATOR: Spiraling from a word withdrawal, Bhagirathy went on a two-week dictionary binge, doing things to a Merriam-Webster that he has still not come to terms with.

BHAGIRATHY: I was finally wrested from that dark place when my father found me lying in the street in my underwear, asking passersby for the definition of sadness. That’s the lowest it ever got.

NARRATOR: After that, Bhagirathy cashed in his Scripps scholarship and went off to college. It was there that he realized it was impossible for him to completely escape his background as a speller.

BHAGIRATHY: One day, as we neared graduation, I realized I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I took one of those tests that suggests careers for you based on your personality and skills. The only thing I could really think of to write down was “memorization”. So, it said I could be a fast food chef, you know, because you have to remember all the steps and how to put together all the menu options, or a museum docent, but you can’t legally do that job without an AARP card. So I was back to square one.

NARRATOR: Desperate to put his skills as a speller to good use in mainstream society, Bhagirathy found work in a local zoo, proofreading informational signs for correct spelling of Latin species names.

BHAGIRATHY: It turns out zoos don’t really make new signs all that often, so I had to find another way to augment my pay. That’s how I started cleaning out the animal cages.

NARRATOR: Today, Bhagirathy is almost as famous as when he won the Scripps, after he starred in the viral video “Zookeeper Gets Head Stuck in Elephant Butt.” He is well-known and beloved at the zoo, affectionately coined “the guy who shovels animal crap,” by his colleagues. These days, zoo guests know they can ask Bhagirathy to spell any requests, but nobody does because he smells like sh*t.

(commercial break)

NARRATOR: Hi, and welcome back to “Could You Use It in a Sentence?” right here on BeeTV. For our next entry in the Where Are They Now File, we’ll head over to Seattle, Washington to talk with WordWyzard, the first spelling bee contestant to change his name to cultivate a brand around himself. Bee enthusiasts will remember him better as Clyde Boondock, who took home the hardware in 1988 by correctly spelling flaumpoosh, an Aboriginal word used to describe the onomatopoeia of a belly flop.

WORDWYZARD: After the bee, my mom said I needed to come up with a stylized name to create a brand of myself. Up to that point, I had really just concerned myself with spelling things, and I let my mom take care of all the other parts of bee life. I was always fine with Clyde, but WordWyzard sold a lot more t-shirts. It also had a word spelled wrong in it, but like I said – it really moved merchandise.

NARRATOR: After graduating from Washington State as the only person to ever receive a diploma from the university with only one word in the name section, Clyde WordWyzard went to work at Microsoft, helping them develop the spell-check software for word processing.

WORDWYZARD: I made critical breakthroughs there, removing a lot of words and phrases that aren’t actually real, such as “Oedipus complex” and “motherliness.” Another thing I did was help implement the squiggly green line for grammar errors. So when your computer tells you to correct an already accurate sentence, you can blame whoever made me memorize words instead of sending me to elementary school.

NARRATOR: Unfortunately, a butting of heads at Microsoft in the mid-1990’s left WordWyzard without work and without direction.

WORDWYZARD: So one day, we’re all sitting in the office working on the spell-check code, and Bill Gates walks over to our part of the office. I’d never even seen the guy before, and suddenly he starts talking to me, so I’m stressing out a little bit. He starts telling us about how he keeps seeing red squigglies under words he uses often, like his name, so we should make it so that people can add words to the dictionary. And I’m like, “But your name’s already a word. Gates is in the dictionary. Plural of gate.” But he keeps saying how it’s something we can fix easily and tells us to get on it and walks away.

NARRATOR: It was in response to this request that WordWyzard would cost himself his job at Microsoft.

WORDWYZARD: Right after that happened, I sort of lost my cool. I was just like, “If I’d been able to add words to the dictionary my whole life do you think I’d be as sad as I am today?” So I yell this to Bill, but he pretends not to hear me and keeps on walking. Classic Bill, right? Anyway, I said enough unsavory things and kicked enough computers that I’m no longer allowed to be within one mile of Microsoft headquarters.

NARRATOR: After losing his job, WordWyzard moved back in with his mother. He keeps busy by running the WordWyzard Foundation for Misnamed Youth. You can make a tax-deductible donation at

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