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The Scholar - Episode 1 Summary

'Tomorrow Is Another Stupid Test' By Cygnus X1
Original Airdate: June 6, 2005

Note: Due to budget cuts, the following summary is only available on a 1971 Bell and Howell flimstrip machine, and the soundtrack is on an LP with sound effects telling you when to advance the frames. If you do not have these devices, I’m sure AnotherKim or Molaholic will be happy to dust off one of theirs and lend it to you.

Pompous Voiceover Guy: This is the story of ten bright high school seniors from across the United States. Only one thing stands between them and college: the money. They are all competing for the chance of winning a Full-Ride™ scholarship to the Institution of Higher Learning of their choice. They represent the best—
(skip) represent the best—
(skip) represent the best—
(skip) represent the best—

(needle repositioned) Um, this is Cygnus. I won’t be needing you anymore.

PVG: Whaaat?! I have a contract here (as soon as I can find it)! And I’m union!

Cyg: Union, schmunion. You haven’t had a gig since 1958, and you know it. And? I can get a hundred more like you in a heartbeat. Buh bye.

PVG: You’ll be hearing from my lawyer!

Cyg: Once you figure out how to get off vinyl. Now then, I’ll provide the sounds you need for this strip. (turntable turned off and returned to the kind soul who lent it to you)

Actually, these are 10 DAWs who are starting nice and early to embrace their DAWdom in the guise of being the brains of their schools. Now let’s meet our would-be valedictorians, shall we?

Disclaimer. I was ragged on as much as any “geeky kid” in school, and hey, what these kids have done/are doing academically is great. But. They volunteered to be on a reality show. That makes them fair game in my book. So there.

Amari is a 4.0 student from St. Charles, MO and the Chief Marshal of the National Honor Society at her school. Does that mean she gets to wear a sidearm? Cool! She studies Latin and takes a boatload of Advanced Placement courses. So did I. See, Amari, one day, you’ll be like me, writing summaries about reality shows for some Internet board.

Max is a 4.0 student from Oakland, CA who is “an admitted ladies’ man.” He especially charms them when he tells them about his 5 on the AP Ebonics test. Max also apparently takes classes at the local community college to supplement his course work. Must help in preparation for that Circle K position after graduation.

Gerald is a 3.9142857 student (oops – guess he’ll be starting in Row 2) from Commerce, TX (between Dallas and Texarkana). How to entice people to move to Commerce: on the town website, you can see who has open warrants on them. First one is actually named Gerald, but unless ours is age 50, he’s okay. He’s had to overcome racism in his success as a student. And, according to ABC, Gerald enjoys activities that “feed his mind and speak to his soul.” As long as he goes nowhere near the Neverland Ranch, that’s cool.

Scot is a 44-year-old home-schooled, self-taught student from New Freedom, PA. I’ve been to New Freedom. Half exurban sprawl from Maryland refugees, half Hooterville sans the charm. He works four jobs over 80 hours a week supporting his family. And has probably never eaten, which explains the lost “t.” Scot aspires to becoming an investment banker or a Beatnik poet. Does this mean he didn’t already help Kerouac write “On The Road”?

Milana is a Russian immigrant at the Bronx High School of Science in New York. She learned early the physics of throwing batteries from the bleachers and interfering with fly ball outs. She carries a 98.31 GPA (is that a typo? Maybe she only got a 95 from the Russian teacher, hyuk hyuk). Wanting to join ImmuneGirl in the medical field, Milana spends much of her free time doing stem cell research. And instigating LOOOONG threads on SBOT.

Melissa is from Tarzana, CA and needed two titanium rods to be inserted next to her spine to help with her scoliosis. And cheese off TSA workers all across the country. She carries a 4.2 GPA (bumping Max off the front row) and produces rock concerts. And double-dipping with Hit Me Baby One More Time. Melissa is the daughter of a Bahamanian father and an Austrian/Jewish mother. They enjoy playing cricket in the snow from right to left.

Jeremy is a Vietnamese immigrant from Westminster, Why Do So Many Reality TV Contestants Come From CA who carries a 4.6 GPA (where can I get some of that grade inflation?) and is a member of the Academic Decathlon Team. Hmmm. For me, that would have been the 100-Meter Dash From Bullies, High Jump Over The Chicken-Wire Fence, Get Your Butt Unstuck From Your Locker . . . you get the idea. Jeremy wants to work hard to bring honor to his parents’ sacrifice in coming here. Or else Sly and Chuck will break into his house, drag him out of bed, and take him back. (Back in the 80s, my friends and I used to have what we called the “ACC Conference” regarding action movies, in which “ACC” stood for Arnie, Chuck, and Clint. And “Chuck” could be Norris or Bronson. But I digress.)

Elizabeth (left) is from Buhl, somewhere near Twin Falls, now where the heck is Twin Falls, ID. Another 4.0 student, she, according to ABC, is a “wholesome teen who is exhausted.” Oh, sorry. Make that “has exhausted her high school math curriculum.” That’s probably code for “she’s ADD and her teachers want nothing more to do with her.” Elizabeth is now studying discreet {sic} math in a separate program. She’s applied to Harvard and doesn’t want Larry Summers to know she knows anything about math or science. Finally, she’s “hungry for life in the big city.” And she hasn’t been the same since “Sex and the City” was cancelled.

Davis wants one day to be President, but “his strong personality can sometimes be his demise.” He’s already written up his Enemies List. A Memphis 4.6 GPA student (so help me, if someone has a 5.0, I’m quitting this summary and going back to junior high for a do-over), Davis is editor-in chief of the school paper (which no one reads) and president of the Junior Statesman Club (which no one attends). He’d be better off heading up the Apathy Club, which never meets. He’s an active member of his local political community, meaning that he got Elvis to vote several times in the last election since he couldn’t.

Alyssa likes to drum. A “beautiful” girl hailing from Yuba City (say it with me), CA, Alyssa considers drumming part of her Native American heritage. And a way cool method of impressing guys, or making them feel REALLY insecure. She’s “bound for the moon” as an aspiring aerospace engineer, so she must be dating some descendant of Ralph Kramden. And she has a GPA of . . . 4.67. That’ll be really great in a few years when guys try the pickup line, “Hey, babe, what was your GPA?”

These 10 hormonal teens will be prostituting themselves before three Really Important Big College Admissions Officials, a.k.a. the Scholarship Committee: Grace Jones’ mom, Morgan Freeman, and Cal Ripken.

And Your Host is some loser named Rob Nelson, who apparently had his own show when I was fast asleep.

Now, on to this week’s frenetic and hastily produced Bunim-Murray episode, after only 1,400 words of setup! (Remember when you had to write a 500-word essay and it seemed interminable?)

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