10 Things to do with Prospecti

A Prospectus for the University of Lincoln, no less...

A Prospectus for the University of Lincoln, no less...

So I’ve ended up cleaning out my room. I’ll admit it was under duress, and with much help, but my bedroom is, conventionally at least, tidy. I’ve got to admit I prefered it before. Previously, all my stuff was somewhere on a shelf or on the floor. Now I have no idea where anything is. However, I am sure that I will be able to turn the place into the disgusting pig-sty that it used to be in no time.

One of the things this makeover produced was a very nice set of this year’s university prospectuses. These paperback books, ranging in size from A4 to A5, each have about 200 pages, so they’re impressive tomes, in general, and are far to good to waste. However, you can sometimes struggle to know what to do with them.  Conventionally at least, they are a single-use item.

However, Johz is about to relieve all the misgivings you have ever had about them, with today’s blog post: It’s ten things that you can do with a used prospectus!

1- Draw faces on everyone. Obsessively. Think of it as doodling practise. What if, next time you visit an art gallery, they turn round and say that their most prized work has been spirited away by evil yet certainly quite civilised crooks? This practise will almost certainly improve your drawing skills so that you will be able to turn round and draw something that far surpasses the previous work. You’ll become an instant hit. All the best galleries will hunger for you. You’ll be able to have dinner with the likes of Janet Street-Porter… On second thoughts, probably best to keep the talent under wraps.

2- Papier mache. Another more creative idea, you could create anything that your mind can imagine. Make a wire-frame model of the thing you want to produce. Use chicken wire for this. Alternatively, make it out of plastic pots or balloons or the like. Then just tear your prospectus into small strips, and cover them liberally with a mix of PVA glue and water. Then stick them onto your model, making sure it’s covered all over. Leave to dry, then add another layer. It helps if you use different colours here so that you can see where you’ve already been. Keep on doing this until you think it’s strong enough. Then paint. Unless for some reason you really like the colour of your prospectus.

3- Prevent all that mess. The last idea is probably going to be quite messy, so while you’re at it cover the work surface with pages ripped out of another prospectus. Two birds in one stone!

4- Paper aeroplanes. It’s an old schoolboy favourite, but it’s always fun to get a plane to go really far. The world record is 27.6 seconds of flight, which should be easy enough for anyone with enough prospectuses. Alternatively, try and work out the best shape for doing tricks. Think outside the box – some of the best ones I’ve seen are circular in shape. This is practically research physics, so take time off school/work to do this. No-one will mind, I’m sure.

5- Origami. Yes, that last idea was a bit condescending. I should have realised you’re already a world-champion paper plane maker. Have you ever tried origami, however? Just like paper planes, origami involves taking pieces of paper, or pages of a prospectus, and folding them to produce the desired shape. Unlike paper planes, however, you can make all sorts of objects, not just flying ones. Like cups. or houses. Or even flowers. Cheaper than real ones, and probably more pretty, and certainly better made than real flowers. Tell that to your loved one…

6- Light a fire. Perhaps you’re a bit too manly to be wasting your time making origami models? In which case, please slap yourself for such a rude and blatant show of misogyny. How rude. However, you might want to get rid of your prospectus by burning it on your barbecue. Use small pieces with lots of rips in them, making sure that the fibres are well exposed so that when you strike your flint against them, the sparks have something to catch light against. Then have lots of small sticks to add on top of this. Keep on adding larger and larger bits of wood until you’ve got a decent-sized log on the barbecue. This will give your food a nice smokey flavour. Probably.

7- Keep out zombies. What do you mean you don’t have a flint? Oh, you mean you’ve attached it onto a gas canister to make the flamethrower that you keep in case of a zombie apocalypse. Well in that case, you might as well build a really nice defensive firewall to keep them out. Get some large chain-link fencing, the type that you get around old building yards and that anyone, even zombies, can scramble over really easily. You know the stuff. Then tie lots of little bits of prospectus to the links, so that the whole thing is covered in ribbons of paper. Then cover the whole thing with the PVA glue mixture you used in suggestion 2. Cover the resultant mess in more pieces of prospectus. Repeat until the fencing is completely covered with a solid mass of prospectus. You may need a prospecti. When the zombies attack, cover the whole thing in petrol, then set alight. It should burn for some time. I think.

8- Build the highest tower. Sometimes you really need an activity to do with a group of hormone-ravaged teenagers that is designed to encourage teamwork and social interaction. For this you will certainly choose to do the challenge where the aim is to build the highest tower out of a few scraps of newspaper. Well STOP! Use your head, and use your prospectus. Indeed, give each team a prospectus, and some sellotape. I myself am always finding myself in this situation, especially while wandering down the local High Street, so I carry at least three prospecti about my person at any time.

9- Make a historical artifact. Go out there and do something truly amazing. Something unbelievable. Solve neutrinogate. Prove that the sum of any two numbers is another number. Compose something so breathtakingly beautiful that people will waste away before it, unable to tear themselves away from the brilliance. Write a book. And, as you’re doing so, make sure you use your prospectus as notepaper. In five hundred years’ time, a historian will turn to Giles Brandwith on saturday night television and say “well this is the paper on which he did perhaps his most influential work in the early part of the twenty-first century.” And Giles will nod sagely and say “yes, I did like the twenty-first century. Prefered the late sixteenth, but then of course, that was when I met the missus, and she wouldn’t like it if I forgot that…”.  Because Giles Brandwith is immortal. I swear it. I’ll prove it, if you give me enough prospecti…

10- Wallpaper your room. The yellow pages in this video are formula books for mathematics, including hundreds of tables of numbers based on the normal distribution, random numbers, and all the other bits of statistics you never wanted to know about. There is a severe excess of them, so it’s good that some people took the initiative and did something useful with them.

If you enjoyed some of the more crafty suggestions in this post, then try the new site The Crafty Mother, from the wife of that wonderful spokesperson for all those who work on the front line of the hotel industry, the Hook.


3 thoughts on “10 Things to do with Prospecti

  1. Merry Christmas my dear Johz!

    As for Prospecti (the use of the correct Latin plural highlights my intelligence), I think I’ve got some of them from the University of Sydney when I went down and there and painted the town red with my fellow country folk a while back.

    It’s very colourful. I often leaf through it, gawping in idolatry at the vibrant racial mix of young people with clean skin and perfectly arranged smiling faces. Also the grass is very green.

    If I burn it the smoke will probably kill me, so I’m probably going to put it on ice and await the Zombie apocalypse.

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