April 18, 2012

Finding Knox Flunk

If Flunk Day exists, then it is tomorrow. Some students and staff members, though, have gone to great lengths to figure out exactly when that “tomorrow” is.
Some have been successful. Alumnus Sam Martone ‘11 correctly predicted the date of Flunk Day last year, by means of “a process of elimination and a bit of luck,” Martone said. Although he had made predictions three of his four years at Knox, last year was the only one in which he was “dead on.”
Martone is currently living in Arizona, but he has not given up his guessing. “I assembled a secret heist team to operate as my eyes and ears on the front lines. They’re all people who are on campus, though none of them know who the others are,” Martone said. “There are 12 of them. They all have special skills, reflected in their code names: the Inside Man, the Master of Disguise, the Demolitions Expert. They’re helping me piece together what this year is looking like.”
Although Martone was initially deciding between the dates of April 25 and May 7, Facebook and The Wiki Fire have confirmed that his official prediction — abbreviated to OP — is April 25.
Others seem to be on board with this date. After examining the calendar, senior Cody Dailey has declared April 25 to be his Flunk prediction as well.
“Flunk Day is usually late April, early May,” Dailey said. “Comparing past years, the past two years have been kind of late and the past two years have been Mondays,” thus eliminating these options.
Although Dailey has made predictions in the past, his chosen dates have been early by one or two weeks. This year, instead of making predictions on a whim, as usual, “I tried to research [Flunk Day] more and look more into the different factors going in,” Dailey said. “Athletic events can totally be fake.”
As a further point of interest, “Girl Talk is in Peoria the night before, and he came to Flunk Day four or five years ago. I think that could be something,” Dailey said.
Many people turn to the cafeteria and its workers as sources of Flunk Day information.
However, Director of Dining Services Helmut Mayer claimed to “have absolutely no idea when it is.”
In his four years of employment at Knox, Mayer has attempted to predict the date of Flunk Day, and was correct his second year. When it comes to making predictions, “The less I think about it, the better,” Mayer said.
However, Mayer also noted that “at some point, I need to know because I need to buy the stuff for Flunk Day, and it takes some time to get it all together.”
Students have been paying special attention to the incoming shipment of Flunk Day food. Senior Vincent Rug’s prediction relies on this information, which has not yet been confirmed by his source, who works in the cafeteria. It is rumored on The Wiki Fire that the shipment was received on April 16.
Last year, Rug was informed of the date of Flunk Day two days prior to its occurrence, but he would not comment on the way in which he received this information. This year, Rug’s prediction is roughly April 24 or 25.
There is some speculation, though, that Flunk Day will occur after the presidential installation, which takes place on May 5. Mayer, who has not made a prediction for the date of Flunk Day this year, offered the second week of May as a good option in consideration of this.
Assistant Professor of Economics Jonathan Powers is also in accordance with this idea, predicting that Flunk Day will be May 9. Although Powers initially decided this date on a whim, further examination seems to support it. According to Powers, economic ideas of supply and demand can be applied to predicting Flunk Day. If many people on campus believe that Flunk Day will occur on a certain date, then the demand for that date increases. Demand is low, then, for Fridays and days with visiting speakers or other events.
Essentially, according to Powers, the campus collectively knows when Flunk Day is. “If you have a lot of people betting on one particular day, collectively, then, what the campus is saying is that that day has a much higher probability of being Flunk Day,” Powers said.
Ultimately, whether Flunk Day is April 25, May 9, or tomorrow, it is confirmed that this could be huge.

Chelsea Embree
Chelsea Embree is a senior majoring in creative writing and minoring in art history. She previously served as co-mosaic editor and as an arts and features reporter for TKS. During the summer of 2013, she served as a content intern at The St. Louis Beacon. Chelsea has studied under former Random House copy chief Sean Mills and taught writing as a teaching assistant for First-Year Preceptorial. An avid blogger, she has written extensively about youth in St. Louis and maintains a lively poetry and nonfiction blog on Tumblr. She is also the director of communications for Mortar Board and co-president of Terpsichore Dance Collective.


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