Saturday, May 12, 2007

This Is Your Brain On Education

I came home from rehearsal last night to find Brooke in front of my computer just staring. It was nearly 11 pm on a Friday night so I was fairly sure it was not the beginning of an all-nighter to finish some paper that "she forgot about." I bravely asked, "What are you doing?" In a most enthusiastic voice she responded, "The University of Chicago Scav Hunt is going on. They have posted pictures and I am looking at this year's list!"

What is the UC Scav Hunt you ask. It is the reason that Brooke is going to Chicago. (During our visit to campus they said in passing that the vegan team had won the hunt a few years previous. That was enough to sell her.) Seriously, the Scav Hunt is probably the most famous UC tradition - it has its own Wikipedia entry. This is not your average scavenger hunt. It is a list of about 300 things compiled by a group of people with some brilliant but very sick minds!

This year's list includes things such as the worst hair on campus, the most disgusting ice cream flavor on earth, proof of your (or some team member's) royal heritage, a prosthetic limb that goes beyond the call of duty, and "Carhenge". These are the easy things. No discipline or hobby is left untouched. This is true for those of us who are fiber artists. We are charged with hyperbolic crocheting and spinning a yarn. To view a complete copy of this year's list and the rules look here. I was hard -pressed to figure out where to begin the search for some of these things.

Doesn't this sound like fun! This is truly a way to fully engage the mind. Yes, it is a sick, twisted, bizarre, mind, but they need exercise too! I would love to have had an educational experience where this was part of the curriculum. How much is learned from such an adventure? OK, some of it may even be useful information! I admire an institution of higher learning that takes pride in such antics rather than trying to hide them.

This time next year, Brooke will be taking part in her first Scav Hunt. What a thing to have to look forward to. As for me, I get to look forward to paying her tuition! Oh well, hopefully it will be a good investment. Where else can I find someone who can get me a tooth fairy carved from a tooth or a chainsaw carving of a chainsaw? The stock market has nothing on the return I will get from my investment in this kid's education!