Tag Archives: education

The Lighter Side of the Moon Guide to College Essays

25 Jun

As school ends and summer begins, the cold shackles of academia are finally loosened as students are released into eight weeks of pure fun in the sun. Except for juniors. For the most industrious eleventh graders, summer means the time to start working on college essays in advance of application deadlines in the fall. As a service to you, the readers, I am happy to offer my advice on this process for the low, low price of absolutely free. Tips are always encouraged.

Picking a Topic

A great topic is the foundation for a great essay. Make sure to pick an experience that was of immense importance to you and is unique to your life. Did you suffer through a debilitating illness? Milk it. Have you endured a significant emotional trauma? That’s a goldmine. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have no such tragic experiences, I personally recommend writing about your own birth. You’d be hard pressed to find something that affected your life more than being born.


Everybody knows you have to kick off an essay with an exciting and inviting hook. You need to start your essay with something unique that gets your point across: Admit me. Consider using statistics like how many days you have been alive or the percentage of your soul you sold during this process. Some people have found success with the Merriam-Webster opener, in which you give the dictionary definition of important words like “admitted” or “college”. However, I would caution against using a quote from an important author or celebrity as it sends the message that you don’t have enough original ides of your own. Putting your own name on the quote is a really quick fix.

Writing the Essay 

Writing the college essay is actually quite simple once you sit down to do it. First, figure out what language you’re going to write in. If you write in something other than English, odds are nobody will be able to read it. But if your essay sucks, this may not be the worst thing. Next, write down some nouns. Almost every college essay has nouns in it and those in the know will tell you that an essay without nouns is very rarely successful. But, you won’t get by on just nouns alone. If you really want a standout piece of writing, toss in some adjectives. But don’t go overboard with the words. Many students often try to include verbs in their essays, but that’s a very risky move as verbs are one of the most challenging types of words. Sprinkle some punctuation throughout all of these other words, and you’ve got a great essay.


The font you choose is probably more important than whatever you write. Think about the best books ever written and their typefaces. Huckleberry Finn?  That’s Times New Roman. To Kill a Mockingbird? Times New Roman. The Bible?  Times New Roman probably. If that’s not a great tip, I don’t know what is.

Phrases to Avoid

There are some words and phrases that, no matter what, you shouldn’t use in your essay. Here’s some examples:

  • I’m not racist, but…
  • I don’t really believe in college.
  • I’m not a huge fan of diversity on campus
  • My haters are my motivators.
  • 😉
  • I hope your college has a white rights club.
  • Ask not what your college can teach me, but what I can teach you.
  • My best feature is my body.


I’ve suffered a lot in my life. My dog has canine diabetes. My dad is not very smart. I have mild night terrors. The moral of the story is this: Admit me. I remember my own birth very vividly. In many ways, birth is a lot like learning. It’s a long, dark road that leads to a bright end. Your mom is hopefully there to support you the whole way. There are well-educated people whose job it is to help you through the process. In fact, just by being born, I’ve already learned everything there is to know.

Here are some nouns that describe me: Excellence. Science. Skills.

Here are some adjectives: Superb. Academic. Skilled.

Here’s a verb and some punctuation: Succeed..,*//

If I could, I would make this essay in Times New Roman. I’m not racist, but it’s a great font.


Standardized Jest

9 Dec

(An SAT test writer and his wife are sleeping in their bed. It is 2:30 AM.)

HUSBAND (suddenly): Uh, that’s such a great question.
WIFE (sleepy): Wha-t?
HUSBAND  (frenzied): I just thought of the perfect question. After all these years, I’ve got it.
WIFE: Honey, come back to bed. You can write it down in the morning.
HUSBAND: You don’t understand. This is the question we’ve been dreaming of forever – it seems easy enough when you first look at it but it’s actually impossible. Oh, there’s gonna be so many tears!
WIFE: Honey, that’s cruel. Now go to sleep.
HUSBAND: When Beethoven woke up with a symphony in mind did his wife tell him to go to sleep? She might have, but he couldn’t hear her. And the same goes for Van Gogh – he didn’t have an ear or a wife.
WIFE: You write standardized test questions. Relax.
HUSBAND (mad but meek): You don’t understand. This is the question to triumph all questions. All you need is ninth grade math, but still nobody can finish it!
WIFE: Whatever, just finish up and come back to sleep.
HUSBAND (frenzied): Go back to sleep? I have to call the guys! This is going to keep so many kids out of college. The bosses offered a promotion to whoever could increase the number of sobbing fits and this is just what the doctor ordered.
WIFE: Don’t you ever feel bad about all the stress these kids go through?
HUSBAND (defensive): I like to think we’re testing their academic aptitude and college readiness.
WIFE: Do you really want to make these kids upset? Think back to when you were this age.
HUSBAND (distressed): But, this is my crowning achievement. I did it.
WIFE: But you’ll know you didn’t make some adolescent girl cry on a Saturday morning. Now go to sleep.

(The man lays down and waits for his wife to sleep. He quietly stands up, writes down the question, and basks in its sadistic glow. The warm hug of power has finally overpowered him. Owning the moment, he stands up and declares “Man is the cruelest animal” as he manically cackles himself to sleep.)



No Child Left Engaged

9 Mar

Around March of every year, innocent school children are subjected to the cruel and unusual punishment that is standardized testing. Unfortunately, the schools that frequently perform the best on these exams have curricula dedicated to preparing their students. Here’s an example of what not to do:

1. Write a concise persuasive letter about whether your school should teach about drug addiction in health class.

Dear Skool Fat Catz,

50 Reasons why School sucks:

1. Homework
2. Classes
3. teachers with a stik up there Butts! Ha!
4. School sucks
5. school sucks
6. school sucks
7. school sucks!
8. school sucks so much
9. school sucks eggs
10. i hate school
11. this school smells
12. my teacher smells
13. it sucks
14-50. Our school’s administrators are so preoccupied with meeting an arbitrary blanket federal standard that they turn the educational focus away from the genuine academic talents and interests of the students in favor of mind-numbingly formulaic standardization.

The school should not be teaching about drugs cuz everyone does them already. Instead the school should spned its $ on tests that arent so dumb. Whoever made this test should be in our school, cuz their clearly on drugs!!!!!!!! Ha! Hypokrit schoolteachers! This school sucks!

I drew a butt on my scantron sheet. Eat my shorts

This school sucks so much.

– Larry “King of Drugs” Johnson

Schooooooooool’s Out for Summer

20 Aug

Summer is a period of relaxation for students all over the globe, but many teachers take it upon themselves to provide their students with a refresher to stop students from forgetting their learning while they enjoy their break. Oftentimes, this is just cleverly-disguised busy work.

Hello students,

I trust you’re enjoying your summer vacation. However, don’t let the late mornings and calm afternoons fool you into thinking you have time off. As students, every waking moment of your life is actually dominated by work; we just give you summer to keep morale up. So, I have prepared a light workload for you:

1. Choose 3 of the 5 books listed on that sheet you were given on the last day of school. Since all of you lost it, I have prepared some extras and left them at the front office. Good luck getting them: the staff likes to enjoy their summer as well! I know you are choosing these books based on their length, so I’ve kept them all equal at a slender 1000 pages.

2. Write an essay of 10,000 words about our key subject for next year: dreams. If the topic were more specific, your reading would be much more relevant. (Important: This will be my first and lasting impression of you. If you do exceptionally poorly or exceptionally well, every other assignment you do will be judged against it.)

So, finish your sandcastles and roll up your beach towels, because this is only the start. See you in the fall!

 – Mrs. Brushthistle 

But MOM, Everyone Else Has One!

8 Dec

In President Obama’s most recent State of the Union Address, he described how US students are falling behind the rest of the world in math and science. While those subjects are all well and good, what about Language Arts? In all seriousness, being able to write is one of the most important skills our nation’s students need to learn, but how can we test writing ability? Do we look at standardized tests? Having taken many of these tests, this information can’t be reliable. How many times in your adult life have you had to write a short story about an elephant that escaped from a zoo and ended up at your house? Sounds like a resounding zero. (If you said yes, I’ll buy your memoir.) Instead, as a nation, we should look at the letters kids write to their parents or  Santa, asking for presents. If these letters are persuasive, that’s all that matters. If our kids are good enough, maybe they’ll be able to write letters asking for presents as adults! My fellow Americans, say goodbye to your fears of receiving socks and sweaters, we’re engineering a new generation of writers! The kind that can write letters and get whatever they want!

The new judge of our children's writing ability.

Retired teachers would no longer have to sit in boring, sun-less rooms with nothing but a pile of essays about the same thing. Instead, they could hide inside mailboxes at Macy’s, peel open letters, and grade our American youth to victory. Besides, the South Korean government currently raids tutoring centers because they made it illegal to study after 10 o’clock. The kids will be so stressed, they’ll never bring themselves to write anything more than they have to. Join me, and help propel America to educational success!

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