Guest post by Mario Acevedo, author of University of Doom
The University of Doom, the super-secret center for Evil Genius Academia and Mad Science, is, as its name states, a university. Its faculty includes the most brilliant academics who have ever lived, people who consider Thomas Edison a tinkerer, Bill Gates a dabbler in computer technology. Schools like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Rensselaer Polytechnic are by comparison considered mere trade schools. At the UofDoom an Ivy League degree might get you a job as a help-desk minion.
Despite their egghead credentials, the faculty members are human and as such, many of them have families. Naturally, like most geniuses they feel extraordinarily gifted and so assume that their progeny must be equally special. To make sure their children receive the appropriately advanced education, the University of Doom established the Dr. Moreau Junior Academy for grades K-12. In keeping with the legacy of The Island of Dr. Moreau, the academy emphasizes the life sciences though students are encouraged to explore all facets of intellectual misadventures. The curriculum includes Ancient Egyptian Mummification and Reanimation, Extraterrestrial Chemistry, Teleportation Physics, and Freak of Nature Genetics.
Unlike in public education, students in the Dr. Moreau Junior Academy are expected to take risks. Not surprisingly, the school motto is “Oops, I didn’t expect that.” What’s the point of having fire trucks on standby if you never use them? Facing deadly peril at every turn keeps the senses sharp. For these kids, playing with explosives and pathogens starts in kindergarten. Semester science projects are way more advanced than growing bean sprouts or studying the reproduction cycle of crickets. Instead, typical middle-grade projects investigate how to create metal-eating Venus flytraps or testing how fast Hot Wheels cars could go in a supercollider.
The school petting zoo–though you wouldn’t want to pet what’s in this zoo–includes tarantulas as big as minivans. While these horrors are allowed to prowl the school grounds after dark (they keep the stray wooly octopi population in check), during class hours the tarantulas are corralled behind electrified razor-wire fences. Should they escape, the playground has several “safe zones” protected by land mines. Just in case things get too out of hand, the school custodians are issued flamethrowers. The junior academy abuts the Lake of Terror, and the most popular field trips include monster hunting with electro-harpoons.
Every graduating class from Dr. Moreau is expected to execute an outrageous stunt and the more outrageous, the better. One year, the statute of the academy’s mascot–Terry the Tortured Zombie–was launched into outer space and smashed against the moon. The blast at takeoff shattered half the windows on campus. Not to be outdone, the next year’s class astro-projected the school headmaster to Neptune. Robotic Meka-men serve as campus security, and every student takes it as a manner of pride to participate in some prank that bamboozles these hapless automatons with badges.
Since nothing encourages innovation like competition, every year the University of Doom hands out its most coveted prize, the Wile E. Coyote Super-Genius Award at several levels: faculty; post-graduate; under-graduate; and junior academy. One team of eighth graders won because of their school fundraiser, Engineering a National Recession for Fun and Profit.
Classes are never boring, and absenteeism is never a problem at the Dr. Moreau Junior Academy.
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