Honors Program to Launch “Star Child Sequestration Program”

The Star Child Sequestration Program. Illustration by Brent Zundel

The Star Child Sequestration Program. Illustration by Brent Zundel

By Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
February 16, 2012

Note: This column originally appeared as part of the Exponent’s Sugarbeet page, a satirical biweekly feature that attempts to stimulate discussion of critical community issues.

In what many professors are calling a “brave and necessary” move, MSU’s University Honors Program has launched the “Star Child Sequestration Program.” The new initiative, comprised of three phases, will allow administrators to sequester gifted “Star Children” after identifying their unique abilities, said Honors Director Mary Leah.

The first phase is “Identification,” in which honors students self-identify using a number of criteria. These include an inflated sense of self-worth, the ability to relate literally every abstract concept to Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and thinking it’s appropriate to discuss the philosophical implications of Harry Potter, Star Wars or Lord of the Rings at 11 on Friday nights. Severe difficulties interacting with any member of campus who is unaffiliated with the Honors Program count as additional discretionary points.

Star Children may also be easily differentiated from members of lower intelligence castes by the actual star they wear on their foreheads to identify themselves, explained recent MSU graduate Matt Smith, who spent five years studying Star Children through his involvement in student government and MSU’s Engineers Without Borders chapter.

In the next step, termed “Quad-Wrangling,” the gifted students are caught by specially trained task force members. While most college students respond to offers of free beer and pizza, honors students will take the bait only if it consists of prizes like exclusive seminar classes — free of the burden of plebeian students — and fine wines.

According to sources close to the program, Quad-Wrangling has been so successful it has resulted in a much higher retention rate than the rest of campus. It has recently been expanded to include South Hedges.

From this point, the program moves into more experimental territory. In phase three, “Sequestration,” the Star Children’s arrogance is consolidated and captured by placing them in natural underground formations. Once there, they are prevented from releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, since all the gas expelled from endless allusions about how “my life is like the Odyssey” is contained in the chamber.

These underground formations are usually depleted oil and gas reservoirs and other geologic formations. MSU has committed to purchasing concrete caps rated to at least 2500 A.D. and has even begun investigating repurposing the underground steam tunnels to serve as sequestration facilities.

Honors students interviewed so far seem to have adapted well to life underground. After the initial screams of “I’m awesome” or “I’m unique,” along with the occasional whimpering of “Help!” abated, the Exponent interviewed Erik Doe, a sophomore in cell biology and neuroscience with a music minor.

“It’s not that bad,” Doe said. “In reality, it’s not too different from my life above ground, except that this depleted natural gas reservoir doesn’t look as much like an Ivory Tower as they told me.”

Brent is well aware that he is critical, cynical and not nearly as funny as he thinks he is. He’d like to add that he is a card-carrying member of the Honors Program and jests with all due affection.


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