The prestigious Commonwealth Honors College on our campus has found a new, innovative way to expand the school’s dining operations. By a chance event resulting from an unknown clumsy mycology student and simple laziness, an estimated 50 lbs of pink oyster mushrooms have been spawned from just one stack of rejected Honors College applications, of both transfer and current students.
While the stack itself has not lost any mass, the papers in the stack have been found to be completely blank after all mushrooms were removed. Researchers at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture suggest that the real substrate is in fact the freshly slaughtered aspirations of the hundreds of applicants, full of otherwise tough-to-digest emotional lignin.
“It’s a generally known fact that oysters will grow on just about anything that’s dead,” said Mike Tocky, Stockbridge mycology professor, “but in the past month we’ve discovered that rejected applications to the Honors College work particularly well, with a full mycelium colonization achieved in just 5 hours. We’ve replicated the process using blank paper, as well as successful applications, and it just doesn’t seem to take.”
The Stockbridge researchers theorize that each paper packs an extremely concentrated fragment of a given student’s self esteem, which, when extinguished, makes an excellent substrate for a saprophytic organism. Contamination with competing wild organisms like bacteria and other fungus is a non-issue. Inoculated papers need no pre-sterilization or pasteurization, and can even be left outdoors exposed to the elements, as only extremely competitive oyster mushrooms will even consider touching the profile of a student with below a 3.4 GPA.
Professor Tocky continued, “There are many factors at play here. For example, an application that mentions the College’s air conditioning is much less successful at propagation than one that depicts a misguided but sincere attempt to apply to a rigorous educational environment, in which the candidate would most likely fail. The best substrates are the densest ones...”
“We’ve already upped admissions standards for both the Honors College and the university at large, according to specifics laid out by dining halls. We’re investing in several growing rooms, and we’re even thinking about expanding the process in collaboration with the admissions committees of nearby Ivy League institutions. There’s an infinite well of potential with this project in a state full of colleges.” This reporter hasn’t applied for the Honors College, but would probably totally get in if he tried. This is The Purple Hermit signing off.