Archives for posts with tag: education

Below, my sister, Sad Robots, continues her ongoing fitness rant (first seen here and then later here) by getting my readers primed and ready for the impending zombie apocalypse.  

Zombie Training

I’ve found that getting in shape is a lot more fun when I focus on being prepared for the impending zombie apocalypse. Personally, every time I get into one of my health “schemes,” it dies out because I get bored with the same old same old. Training for the zombie apocalypse keeps things interesting and ensures that I try new things from week to week. My friends and I have thus done the following so that when (not if) the zombie apocalypse happens, we will not only survive, but we will be the new leaders of the free world.

General health and fitness

We have to get the basics down before going into full-training mode. We’ve been getting into lifting and improving our nutrition in order to maximize fat loss, not necessarily weight loss. Our aim is not to be thin, but to be badass.


Navigating difficult terrain quickly, quietly, and with massive weight on our backs is a high priority in the zombie apocalypse. What is particularly helpful is the beautiful, varied, and vast Metroparks in the area. There are some great trails around here that have fairly difficult terrain, which maximizes utility. Eventually, we’d like to go on a weekend backpacking trip on the recently opened 22 mile backpacking trail, which has convenient campsites that you can easily obtain a permit for.

Note: I have yet to pee in the woods. I don’t think I really need to train this skill pre-apocalypse. I’ll deal with it when I need to.

Edible plants

We took an edible plants class at Aullwood recently. It was a Saturday morning (to the rest of the world: afternoon) so I kind of rolled out of bed and went, not giving a crap what I looked like because I assumed the class would be filled with elderly people who are tired of tending to their lawns so they want to learn how they should best eat their weeds.

I was not wrong.

However! The instructor was, well, “wowza” is the only adequate word to describe his appearance. The first hour of the class was a lecture and I would recount some of the information I learned, but it was very, very difficult to concentrate. The gist of it is that he recommended some books, warned against specific poisonous plants, blah blah, I really wasn’t paying attention.

Then we went outside to gather some plants, where the instructor promptly started grabbing random things and eating them. He called this activity “foraging.” He pointed out some plants for us to try and although most of them tasted like what you would imagine them tasting like (grass), some of them were actually really unique, delicious flavors. He also taught us which families were across the board edible and which you could eat the roots of, etc. and so on.

He frequently pointed out the best way to prepare most of the plants, and the answer was usually, “You could make a salad.” And then one of the elderly weed-eaters would point out, “Or you could make tea out of it.” It got kind of tedious.

The last stretch of the journey was actually cooking a meal with what we “foraged” plus what the instructor had partially already prepared. Our meal consisted of dandelion fritters and, erm, fried onion type things I guess. It tasted exactly like you would imagine such things would taste.

In all, it was a fun class, not really worth the money we paid for it, but we gathered some excellent resources and unique perspectives for surviving the zombie apocalypse.


We went to our first archery class a couple weeks ago at The Tackle Shack in Troy and it was a blast. The class is every Saturday morning from 10 – 11am and it’s a $10 flat fee. They also provide all of the equipment. There are people of all ages (and by that I mean there are a lot of young’ns but they were all very well behaved at the class I attended) and skill levels so it’s really not intimidating to go. My favorite part of the class was this conversation:

Instructor: So are you guys here because of the Hunger Games?

Friend: No. I’ve never seen it.

Me: [Looks down, shuffles feet because it’s secretly part of the reason.]

Friend: We’re here because we’re preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

Instructor: [Totally serious] Ohh, I completely understand. I hear that’s gonna happen sooner or later. Well, I have some friends who got into blacksmithing to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. Maybe you guys would be into learning how to wield a sword too?

All of us: YES.

Story writing

Although I am not often bored, one particularly slow day at work, I decided to text a few random friends the question, “You’re watching the news and see that a zombie infestation has begun in New York. It hasn’t spread elsewhere yet. What do you do?”

From there, I roleplayed my friends via text through their own zombie apocalypse. What I found was that the longer and more detailed their stories became, the more I was able to cohesively arrange their plotlines so that they were eventually all part of the same story. It was a really cool experiment and I’d be interested in making it into a series of short stories. You know, if anyone would be interested in reading them. [Looks down, shuffles feet again.]

What’s next

We plan to go on that backpacking trip, shoot some guns (I prefer bows… silence is preferable in the zombie apocalypse), get fully caught up on the pop culture lore of zombies (there really isn’t much to do there; as I’m sure you can tell, we’re kind of zombie experts), take more classes that we find available with the various organizations that focus on survival skills, and continue getting in better shape.

Since I’ve gathered decent participation among my friends, I was wondering who else would be interested in joining our little zombie apocalypse training camp. Members wouldn’t necessarily have to do things with us (especially if you’re not in the area), but maybe we could keep in contact with each other and our activities somehow. I also wouldn’t mind designing and making some badges (they’d actually be 1.25” pinback buttons because that’s the machine I have) as long as the shipping/supply cost was covered. They’d probably be about $3 a pop, which includes shipping.

So basically, my question is, if I turned this little hobby into a little club, would you guys join? Would you like badges for accomplishments? What have you already done to train for the zombie apocalypse?

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.

Horace Mann, the first president of Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH

I recently spent some time in Yellow Springs shopping, eating, and enjoying the town – that same day I read an article in the Dayton City Paper about Antioch College and Antioch University Midwest and it finally cleared the air about the different schools with the same name

Rick Scott, governor of Florida, stated recently that tax dollars should not be used to fund liberal arts programs – specifically anthropology.  He feels that tax money should only be used to fund programs where jobs are plentiful, asking “is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists?”  This from a father whose daughter studied anthropology – you can’t help but to think he’s talking directly to her in a passive aggressive rant.

I agree with Mr. Scott on the point that there are not many jobs in anthropology at the moment.  I graduated in 2009 with a (largely useless) anthropology degree and I’ve had my issues with finding a job.  However, I don’t feel that getting rid of liberal arts programs and schools is the answer.  I agree with Paul Stoller who aptly describes this in his article “The Limited Good of Rick Scott’s Anthropology”:

“If we eliminate the liberal arts and humanities from public university curricula, we will produce a generation of uncritical technocrats who will have lost their sense of wonder, their feeling of intellectual passion and their capacity to dream about life beyond the boundaries of the limited good.  In such a passionless and unimaginative space, we will lose our capacity to think, grow and reconfigure a rapidly changing world.”

Please read Mr. Stoller’s full article here.  And thanks to my sister for sending it my way!