A satirical look at fake news from Baylor’s campus

Teacher initiates controversial "Enhanced Testing" techniques

    Baylor juniors have erupted in protest over a new testing method initiated by math teacher Augustus Scrimm. Scrimm has recently begun to lower the temperature in his classroom during tests, and he frequently mists his students with cold water to induce mild hypothermia.

    To justify his actions, Scrimm insisted that "if (algebra students) can remember 'first, outer, inner, last' while shivering uncontrollably, they will never forget it."

    Several juniors complained recently when Scrimm distributed a test and then spent the entire period banging a gong and flashing the lights in the classroom.

    "I googled 'gong and flashing lights,' and the Internet said he cannot do that," said Todd Stevens, who recently took a fifty minute test that he says changed him forever.
    Scrimm's "enhanced testing" techniques have come to the attention of the administration, but the Study Skills department has justified Scrimm's methods. "Look, you never know what you will have to deal with during the SAT," said the study skills director. "If you can reduce fractions with Metallica playing at full blast, you won't get distracted by a guy with a persistent cough."

    Scrimm produced his own statistics to support his methods: "mildly hypothermic students rarely miscalculate exponents, and my D period class nailed quadratic equations when I turned on a strobe light. They are impervious to distraction."

    Should these methods produce better test scores in the junior class, many believe that other departments will initiate "enhanced testing." Already, several teachers have requested that the book store carry air horns and strobe lights on a regular basis.

Sonic reports record losses due to Baylor rule change

    The fast food giant Sonic will close multiple locations and lay off several workers after a damning rule change in the Baylor B Book. Since Baylor students can no longer leave during the Activities period, Sonic's key demographic has abandoned the chain.

    "We used to hire help just for the Activities period," said local manager Tony Andrews. "We covered all of our expenses on Tuesday from 2:30-3:30. Thursday, 2:45-3:30 was our cash cow...our jackpot."

    Now that Baylor students must remain on campus, the Red Bank Sonic fears for its financial future. Meanwhile, Baylor students are also displeased.

    "It was never a good idea to drink 44 ounces of cherry limeade before cross country practice, but I liked it," said Laura Finkle.

    "I used to get an Ocean Water and tots every Thursday," said Brett Stringer. "Sure, I'd feel terrible running sprints, but man.. that Ocean Water is awesome with the tots."

    As Sonic executives deliver dire warnings to investors, the manager of the Red Bank location remains optimistic. "We can rent a van and drive over to campus. We can mix Ocean Water in a bucket and take it over...

    Sonic's marketing director issued a statement late on Thursday. "You can delay thirst and hunger, but you cannot erase it. We'll shift our happy hour later to catch the post-practice crowd," he beamed. "Also, we're planning to break into the breakfast market. Burritos. Breakfast conies. Just wait."

    In the meantime, Baylor has put limeade in the dining hall drink machines to stave off scurvy and ameliorate the trauma of the rule change.

Issue 6

Crew Team Practices Setting a Pick

Anyone watching crew practice from Riverfront or the Library would have seen a rather unusual site out on the river on Wednesday afternoon. The crew team, which normally cuts parallel lines up and down the gorge, began to cut strange figure eights instead. Some witnesses panicked when they saw two boats slip within inches of one another, but the maneuvers were both intentional and innovative.

"We're learning how to set a pick," said coach Steve Fluhr.

In the realm of athletics, the pick is a common and basic move. When an offensive player obstructs the progress of a defensive player, he/she frees up a teammate to get open, catch a pass, score a basket, or in this case, win a race. While the pick exists legally or illegally in nearly every sport, it remains unprecedented in the world of rowing. Until now.

"We're sitting on something big here," Fluhr said. "If we can set this up and make it work, we will use our fastest boat to get out in front, then we set the pick, and the younger kids get the victory."

When asked if the move would result in disqualification, Fluhr grew pensive. "It might be illegal in a couple years, but right now?...No, I doubt it. It's never happened before, so they will probably have to adopt some rules next year."

"It's great," said one senior. "I always liked contact sports growing up, and this gives me that same feel. I can't wait to slam into a boat in a big race in front of a bunch of people."

"We're not slamming into anyone," Fluhr quickly replied.


"No, you gradually work into the path and slow the pace. There's no contact."

"But RJ told me..."

"RJ's not out on the water right now, is he?"


Fluhr left the interview on important business. The senior noted that since word spread of the new maneuver, students have turned out in droves to join the team, some wearing football helmets, shoulder pads, and lifejackets.

Issue #5

New Bird on Campus!!

During a recent trip to the Amazon to study epiphytes, the Super Couple, Dawn and Sean Richards, discovered a new species of condor that is both fascinating and terrifying.

"We spent a lot of time in the trees," recounts Richards. "One afternoon, a shadow passed over us, and we heard the sound of enormous wings flapping. We saw a predatory bird the size of a sophomore's truck glide over the top of the canopy. As soon as we saw it, we knew we had to catch it."

 After identifying a healthy population of the birds in a remote section of the jungle, Dr. Richards convinced Dr. Richards that it would be okay to take a sample back to the lab. Dr. Richards rigged an elaborate net system while the other Dr. Richards flushed the bird from a cliff face. The operation succeeded, and after a lengthy stay in quarantine, the newly named Falco Horribilus now makes its home on the Baylor campus.

While the newest species to Baylor has excited the scientific community, some students have noticed an unfortunate change in the Daily Schedule. Instead of the usual seven minutes between classes, students must now move from one class to the next in under four minutes.

"It's really a safety measure," said one administrator. "You don't want to linger in the quad during this thing's prime hunting hours."

One student expressed his disdain for the new changes. "How am I supposed to walk from Roddy to Academic in four minutes?"

"Oh, you won't be walking," came the response. "Trust me. Survival instincts will kick in."

While many teachers welcomed the extra teaching time, some expressed concerns about the safety of students.

"What if that demon from the sky grabs one of my students?" asked one teacher.

"Can that thing pick up a Prius?" asked another.

In an email to the faculty, Perry Key addressed these and other concerns: "With any new system, there is bound to be some attrition. Ultimately, we will emerge a faster, wiser, and more cohesive community. We will have to really pull together and watch out for one another."

In the frenetic exuberance of the giant falcon's arrival, some suggested that the F. Horribilus become the new mascot of the school, but the coaches resisted this notion. 

"Are you telling me that we would bring this thing into a gym with five hundred people? And we're supposed to play a game?" asked one coach.

No matter the controversy, we at the Guard Shack welcome our avian terror from above, and we will do what we can to make it feel at home. Now, anyone going to lunch? We should probably run in a pack.

Issue #4

Student Develops High-Level Resistance to SHSHSHSH

     After several observations, Baylor faculty members have identified a high-level resistance to Shshshshshsh in a Baylor junior. This junior, whose name cannot be released, exhibits no altered behavior when exposed to high doses of Shshshshsh, Please be Quiet, and Stop Talking.

     During a recent history course, the student described what he/she ate for lunch for thirty minutes, even after several doses of Please Pay Attention and This Is Important.

     Some teachers fear that this condition may be contagious. “Can you imagine?” asked one math teacher. “If you can’t draw a funny picture on the smart board to cure the symptoms, you are in big trouble. The whole class will be reliving Prom.”

     On Thursday, an email appeared in all faculty inboxes. The messages asked faculty members to support a quarantine of all students showing a resistance to Shshshshshshsh. While the source of the email was obviously fraudlent (there is no Hush McSilence on staff at Baylor), it called for “affected students to sit in a booth with a closed circuit TV showing the class. The booth can have buttons that act as a raised hand.” As of printing, no faculty has signed the signture.

    All the same, the fear of an outbreak on campus remains palpable. Langage teachers have begun to teach silence commands in a second language with the hope of using a new language to sneak past the resistance. Science teachers have designed experiments that involve pyrotechnics. They believe that real danger might promote silence and attention. The English Department has called for tables to place at the center of nonseuquitor conversations so that the constant talk can be called class discussion.

   The Baylor junior remains in serious condition, having just been expelled from a movie theater for providing unwanted commentary on the latest Harry Potter trailer.

Student Leaves Answer Blank as a Sign of Protest

           Wallace Mathis actualized his existential destiny on Thursday morning when he refused to answer the fourth equation on the Unit 5 test. The quadratic equation, which was the topic of the Cpd class on the Tuesday before the test, provoked a vocal response from most students, but only Mathis made no marks in the white space below as a sign of his resistance.

    “I have had students leave questions blank,” said the math teacher. “But I have never received a Manifesto on the back page that explains why.”

    In the four minutes it would have taken to complete the problem, Mathis scrawled a declaration on the final page that established a religion (Antiquadraticism) and firmly refused to answer the question on the basis of religious beliefs and practices. “If we continue to fixate on quadratic equations,” the manifesto read, “we will never realize our true destiny as antiquadratic beings.”

    “He’s taking Philosophy right now,” said his dorm parent. “The other day, he said he would not make his bed because the action represented an attachment to impermanence. I’m glad he likes the class, but…”

    The math teacher found herself in an interesting dilemma. “Do I count off? Can we do that?”

    As the administrative deliberation continues, Mathis continues to add to the Wikipedia article he pinned on the philosophy of “Antiquadraticism.”

Issue #3

Baylor Admin Approves Chain Mail for Dress Code

           At the recent Visioning Event, many students, parents, and faculty weighed in on their vision for Baylor in 2015. While many ideas made waves, one modification to the dress code became an official rule the very next day. Baylor will now allow school-sanctioned chain mail to protect students from barbaric invaders.

           Several students who attended the event recently learned about the military conquests of Vikings and barbarians in the Baylor classroom. After a spirited discussion in the Dining Hall, these six students realized Baylor’s unfortunate vulnerability to Viking raids from the river and massacres at the hands Barbarians coming over the Cumberland Plateau.

           “We need, like, weapons,” said one junior. “These guys we saw on the video came in with, like, huge shields and swords. And what do we have? Backpacks? This is serious.”

           One student refused to attend classes in Academic Hall. “The river is right there,” she said. “I don’t want to be halfway through an in-class essay when the Vikings kick down the door.”

           The administration quickly negotiated with Educational Metalsmiths to create a chainmail design that would both adhere to the dresscode and protect students in a protracted, medieval combat situation.

           Several chainmail cuts will be available. Boys may wear a one- or two-piece mail suit with or without a hood. “If you have class in Academic,” noted one student, “I would definitely get the hood. Vikings, dude. They’re crazy.”

           Girls may wear a hooded or non-hooded upper body mail. Skirts of mail seemed pointless, so only pants will be allowed.

           “This is so metal,” said Barret Maury, trying on the hooded variety.

           Due to the weight of the mail, the time between classes will be extended during the raiding season, which will coincide with the spring thaw and certain elements of augury. Students should check the daily announcements to determine the appropriate time to wear their chainmail.

Issue #2

Lackadaisical Student Accidentally Makes It to Class On Time

    Students in Greg Maynard's History Class glimpsed a rare sight on Wednesday afternoon when junior Todd Stringer entered the classroom well before the class began.

   "We were just sitting there, talking about the homework," said a female witness. "Todd pushed open the door, and he looked confused like usual, but I think it was because he's never seen the empty classroom."

   The few students who witnessed Stringer's entrance also noticed Maynard's reaction.

   "Maynard jumped out of his seat and spilled some coffee. He must've thought that he was late starting class," said one student.

   In the first semester, Todd Stringer logged 14 MR's for arriving to Maynard's class, and he was off to a similar start this semester. Halfway through January, Maynard began to dial up the MR so that Todd could push "Enter" as he came in the classroom. When Stringer showed up several minutes early on Wednesday, speculation ran wild as to how this event could have occurred.

   "I definitely saw him face down on a bench in the Student Center right after lunch," reported one of Stringer's classmates. "His phone was sitting in a bag of Dorritos several feet away, so there's no way he could hear an alarm."

    "He doesn't even know how to set an alarm on that phone," another added.

    When asked, Miss Kitty pointed out that she saw him jump up out of a sleep "as if he'd been shocked or something." He quickly wiped the drool from his cheek and ran up toward the Dining Hall. Gary Klein witnessed Stringer dash toward line three. "He always forgets that we have tacos on Thursday," Klein noted. "He's always hustling in here to grab one before we close."

    According to witnesses, Stringer became distraught at the lack of adequate guacamole for his signature "Holy Guacamole" taco, and he left.

Shortly after, Stringer entered Greg Maynard's classroom a full five minutes early. "No shirt stains or anything," Maynard noted. "I mean, his hair was, you know, but...wow. Never expected that."

"Random," a classmate said. "And sooo awkward."

Baylor to Host Off-Road Truck Race in 2013

Officials from the Off-Road Truck Racing Association (ORTRA) announced recently that they will include the Baylor Campus as a racing venue in the 2013 season.

"We are very excited to announce that we will have an exciting new race by the Tennessee River," ORTRA president Butch Stevens said. "This new track will give us the thrills that ORTRA fans have come to expect, but we'll also have the beautiful setting of a boarding school on the edge of a placid river gorge."

Officials were excited about the rare opportunities that the Baylor campus would afford: a ramp across the inlet, a hill climb on Mercer Reynolds, and a firework-rigged Start/Finish line in the center of Rike Field.

When asked about this exciting opportunity, Headmaster Scott Wilson replied, "A what?"

ORTRA officials looked forward to making the private school into a major new venue that would help launch ORTRA into the international media spotlight.

"Europe has some great courses. Baja is legendary. The Paris to Dakar brings the world spotlight to Northern Africa," said one official. "We hope Baylor will be that great course for the USA. When we lay mud on the roads here, it will be world class."

In order to ready campus for the momentous occasion, ORTRA plans to truck in hundreds of tons of gravel to pour into Baylor Lake, hoping to make the area into a "sippy hole," a soft-mud structure common to swamp-buggy racing. "Baylor could, with a few more adjustments, become a multi-use venue after 2013," Butch Stevens noted.

"This is really the first I've heard of this," Headmaster Wilson said. "Who is ORTRA?"

Officials plan to include several classic Baylor landmarks in the course. Trucks will roar through Lupton Circle, and fans expect some spectacular crashes in the narrow archway at the base of the Tower. Many impromptu bleachers will hang from windows in Lupton Hall, offering fans a close view of the action. The Quad will include a sinuous course marked by water-filled barrels that trucks will careen between before looping around to the steps by the Chapel.

"Did anyone ever ask for any approval on this? We can't..." Wilson sighed. "Who is behind this?"

When reporters informed Wilson that the ORTRA was the brainchild of a Capstone Project created by Butch Stevens, Randy Wilder, and Chuck Rogers, he shook his head.

"Ah, Butch," he said wistfully. "We'll have to tell him to pick something else. We can't drive trucks through Lupton Circle." Wilson stared off in the distance, then gripped an imaginary steering wheel. "But can you imagine? Flooring it off the stairs by the Chapel?"

As of printing, Cox, Wilder, and Rogers have converted their real-life idea into the creation of a video game that they plan to use as their Capstone Project. "Twisted Steel and Mud: Baylor School" should be released sometime in the summer of 2011.

Issue #1

February 2011


 Students and faculty are looking forward to a rare event on campus next week. According to the schedule, classes will begin at 8:45 on Monday morning and follow a normal schedule until Friday at 3:15PM. Such an event has not occurred since early November 2010, and the prospect of five consecutive days of school has drawn mixed emotions.

"We're excited," said Shaw Wilson, Head of the Upper School. "We designed this machine, and we are anxious to see how it goes." Wilson added that counselors will be stationed in the Quad to guide students through the schedule and address any anxiety that the regular schedule might induce. "We understand that it might be hard for the first couple of days," Wilson said.

The regularly scheduled Extra Help session will begin each day at 8am and last for 45 minutes. Afterward, classes will adhere to a schedule that appears on a small card in the Dean's Office.

"These things are really neat," said one faculty member, describing the cards. "They tell you where you need to be and when the students will arrive." Previously, the cards were primarily used to balance wobbling chairs and unstable tables. Some students, mistaking them for carnival tickets, tried to redeem them in the Grill, but Miss Kitty quickly shooed them away, noting that "those things aren't worth the paper they're printed on."

On Monday, Chapel will convene at 9:57 with a speaker who has not required a special time frame outside of Monday morning. On Tuesday, students will have an hour-long Activities period to sleep face down on benches in the Student Center or drive to Sonic. On Wednesday, students will meet with their adviser groups for thirty minutes. "That's what I am excited about," Jimmy Caldwell said. "I wasn't planning on coming to school on Wednesday because of an English quiz, but if we're having pizza in advisor, I'm there."

On Thursday, students will attend Colloquium, though the card in the Dean's Office does not say whether Thursday is set aside for Wellness, Academic Counseling, Leadership Baylor, College Counseling, Course Signup Meetings, Academic Council, or Capstone Projects.

Friday, classes will end at the regularly scheduled time of 3:15, when catatonic and frightened students will be free to get in their cars and leave campus.


David Harris was describing the political structure of the Roman Senate on Wednesday when a student asked a familiar question.

"How long have you had your beard?"

Harris sighed and offered his familiar answer. "Longer than you've been alive."

Another student raised her hand, "When are you going to shave it?"

Across campus, several bearded History teachers find themselves answering multiple queries about when they grew a beard, when and why they would shave it, and what they look like without the beard. 

"Happens to me all the time," said Bob Olson, the bearded chair of the History Department. "The other day it was kind of spooky. I was explaining the source of the term 'non sequitor' when a student blurted it out. At first I thought he might have planned it that way, but this wasn't that kind of student."

While no studies have linked bearded teachers to classroom distraction, the examples of beard-related tangents seems to be on the rise.

Tim Williams explained to his Eastern Religions students that Sikhs do not cut their hair. "Is that what you are?" a student asked. When Williams pointed to his short-cropped hair, the student responded, "No, I mean, you've got the beard."

It appears that beard-related queries are not unique to the History Department. While studying Othello, a student asked Tim Laramore if his beard was some malady he caught in India, and Chris Watkins has had to get the class back on track on several occasions after students ask him to shave racing stripes for upcoming sporting events. "You just have to roll with it," Watkins said. "You try to make it part of the discussion. Get to the source of the curiosity and see what comes out."

In an effort to isolate these tangents, some bearded faculty members have suggested offering an elective course entitled, "This Beard and Why I Have It." The class would be taught each week by a different faculty member who could furnish pictures of themselves without the beard to quell curiosity. While the bearded faculty members bristle at the added weight of the class, they agree that it would make their other classes smoother. It might encourage others to shave.

"I would not learn a thing in that class," one student said. "I would just stare at the beard the entire time."

The Guard Shack