Scientists, being cool for once, discourage homework

Sanana Srestha/The Miscellany News
Sanana Srestha/The Miscellany News
Sanana Srestha/The Miscellany News

It may be time to burn those textbooks. Stu­dents across the world have always com­plained about how their workload is slowly killing them, but according to the latest find­ings, they’re not too far from the truth.

Recently, scientists from the National Insti­tutes of Health (NIH) have found that home­work assignments actually serve as vectors to disease and illness, similar to viruses and other pathogens.

During the research study, pathologist and NIH associate director Dr. Roger Pennsburgh, PhD, MD, and his team were tracking season­al patterns of sickness across the United States when something very peculiar caught their at­tention.

The team noticed a strong positive correla­tion between the rates of illness among high school and college students and the amount of homework assignments given out during the year.

“We thought it was strange. The further the school year progressed and the amount of homework increased, the more we saw stu­dents showing symptoms of the common cold, the norovirus and influenza. This couldn’t be just a coincidence,” stated Dr. Pennsburgh in a recent interview.

Excited that they had stumbled onto a rev­olutionary breakthrough, Pennsburgh and his team collected samples from classrooms of var­ious high schools and colleges and examined them using state-of-the-art equipment at the NICHD Microscopy and Imaging Core facility. They were utterly shocked at what they found.

“The samples we collected were composed of approximately 93 percent viral genomic material. These homework assignments, these ordinary sheets of paper that have questions written on them, are actually deadly biological vectors of pathological disease, much like a vi­rus,” exclaimed Dr. Carolyn Lowe, a co-author of the recent study and a member of Penns­burgh’s research team.

Upon this realization, the team immediately brought out the hazmat suits to properly pro­tect themselves.

“It felt like we were in the pages of The Hot Zone,” commented Pennsburgh. He explained how he had to use tongs to turn the pages of a particularly infectious chemistry assignment that featured multiple homework sheets sta­pled together.

This is shocking news for a nation so ob­sessed with assigning homework that schools wouldn’t hesitate to bury their students with it every day. Scientists are aghast at how society has been so lax about exposing children and teens to such dangerous levels of homework for such a long time.

“It explains everything: the poor health conditions, the endless fatigue, the tendency to make terrible life decisions…all of it makes sense. There were warning signs everywhere and we chose to ignore them. We owe our children an apology,” said Dr. Henry Crawford from the World Health Organization. Craw­ford’s own two daughters are currently ill from a serious respiratory infection caused by their calculus homework.

But many parents are wondering how this pathogenic substance works. In a recent inter­view, Eric Lander, the director of the Broad In­stitute of MIT and Harvard provided an expla­nation after his team of scientists studied the matter further.

“Homework contains microscopic home­work agents that are highly contagious. Once an agent enters the body of a student, it wreaks havoc on their brain and immune system as it multiplies. But unlike most viruses, homework agents lay dormant in the body even after most of the symptoms have passed. They stay hid­den until something triggers them to come out again. In that sense, homework is a lot like gen­ital herpes,” he said.

But what causes those homework agents to reemerge? Scientists suspect that the answer might be teaching certifications.

“The perfect opportunity for a homework agent to spread is when it’s traveling from a teacher to a student. Once inside a classroom, the host is suddenly overcome with an urge to give out an impractical amount of homework,” said Lander.

Further investigations have shown that al­most all teachers do indeed have an urge to give out a lot of homework.

“It’s not the low pay or lack of benefits or even the stressful work environment that’s making our teachers sick and miserable all the time—it’s the pathogenic homework agent wreaking havoc in their body that’s harming their well-being,” stated Pennsburgh.

But now that the problem has been revealed, what can we do about it? There have been ru­mors that there exists a rare handful of bizarre students who actually enjoy doing homework and rarely get sick during the workload-heavy school year.

Researchers are currently investigating for leads, but none have been found so far. But un­til a solution can be found, a state of emergency has been issued and the scientific community has released a list of precautions for everyone to follow.

“Homework is not to be assigned unless ab­solutely necessary. We must limit this contagion as best as we can. Furthermore, all teachers are obligated to head to the nearest healthcare fa­cility to be examined,” said Lander in a pub­lic announcement. “Most importantly, always make sure you wash your hands after doing homework. They’re highly contagious and we recommend at least one minute of hand-wash­ing under hot water.”

With all these changes taking place, one can hope that, in the future, schools will find a much healthier and more sanitary way to pro­mote learning and growth in their students.

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