New CSU course prepares students to survive against all odds

Societal collapse CAN happen to you! Do you know what to do?

CSU’s trial run of a new survival prepping course has been a WILD success! Societal Collapse 101, which is still in session, is being taught by formerly homeless war veteran Sgt. Hawkeye Pepper, whom students have affectionately nicknamed “Sgt. Prepper.” Students in his class have learned how to identify wild edibles, make weapons out of anything, find or make shelter anywhere, engage in hand-to-hand combat, and even have some fun in the event of societal collapse.

“I never knew all the uses for human pee,” said Xavier LaMarsh, a sophomore finance major. “It’s nutritious for you and your crops.” LaMarsh uses his own urine to fertilize the amaranth and corn he now grows in his backyard. He admits that the idea of drinking his own urine makes him squeamish but says that it may save his life one hot Georgia summer when his water has been shut off and warlords have seized control of local lakes.

Not all students have had good experiences in the course. CSU’s counseling center has become overburdened by Societal Collapse 101 students who feel overwhelmed by what they’ve learned. “I feel like I’m in a crisis,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous. “I used to feel like bad things only happened to other people. I didn’t think about death. Now, I look at my dog, and I just don’t think I could eat him if I had no food left.” She summarized all that she had learned about the acceleration of climate change. “My god,” she continued, “what if all of my studying is for nothing?!”

Classes have taken place in the woods, in crime-ridden urban areas, in sewers, and in weather of all sorts in order to give students well-rounded preparation for an uncertain future. Over the summer, students enrolled in the spring course have the option to go on a field trip to the Australian outback.

Sgt. Pepper was inspired to teach his course after a life of hardship, having endured military combat, homelessness, and dangerous encounters in the wild. “People ask me why I got an eye patch and a stump leg,” he said. “I used to live in the woods. I went to pick some berries. [I] didn’t know a mama bear was eating from the other side, and she got real mad. I fought her bare-handed and got away, but not before she took my eye and my leg.” Wanting to prevent what happened to him from happening to others, Sgt. Pepper sometimes puts on a homemade bear suit and simulates bear attacks on his unsuspecting students.

Societal Collapse 101 isn’t exclusively about survival. “What’s the point in surviving if you ain’t living?” asked Sgt. Pepper, who also teaches his students how to enjoy life in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. He and his students sometimes break out into lively music sessions, with Sgt. Pepper playing his animal bone xylophone as his students sing songs that he wrote. Sgt. Pepper also teaches his students makeshift arts and crafts, cave painting with natural pigments, and scrapbooking.

Sgt. Pepper showed The Saber his scrapbook, which he made with raccoon leather, magazine pages, and tree sap glue. “This is where it’s at,” he said, pointing to a picture of a toilet and full roll of toilet paper. “This right here is how things are gonna used to be. You can lose modern plumbing. You can even lose toilet paper. But you can’t lose your memories of modern plumbing and toilet paper.”