Scribbles and ‘Stashes
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 15:10
November is without a doubt my favorite time of year. You have cheap candy from the end of October, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the Leonid meteor shower, but all of that pales in comparison to two of my favorite month long challenges. The first one, which is pretty well known, is Movember.
A portmanteau of Mustache and November, this month long challenge is to help raise awareness for prostate cancer and men’s health in general. Unlike its brother event, No Shave November, the Movember Foundation is a charity that collects money based on peoples home grown mustaches. The idea propagated just before the turn of the century by a group in South Australia, though official reports are hard to track down without some skepticism.
The official charity began in 2004 and has raised well over 150 million dollars. In 2010, the United States alone collected 7.5 million. The rules are simple: Shave it all off on Oct 31. Grow and trim a mustache (not a beard, and not a goatee). Be gentlemanly in everything you do. On top of that, apologies are due to my friends in advance because I’ve already signed up.
The other event, which I’ll be trying to participate in while I’m growing my ‘stashe, is National Novel Writing Month. November is also home to NaNoWriMo, because the whole name all together, is a bit of a mouthful. In order to create successful works of art, a lot of bad writing usually has to take place and NaNoWriMo supports that which is writing for writing’s sake, even if it’s complete crap.
The challenge (which for someone like me is a lot harder than not keeping my goatee) is to write 50,000 words in the span of the month. I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in. It breaks down to 1,667 words per day, or a rough equivalent of 5 Microsoft Word pages single-spaced with 11-point font. The hard part is that you can’t submit stuff that you’ve already written or anything with polish; you are just supposed to write, write and write some more.
Of the eleven or so years that I’ve been doing this, not once have I actually completed the 50,000 word challenge-- my record stands at just under 30,000 by midnight Nov 30. The first one took place in July of 1999 and had only 21 “over-caffeinated yahoos” and has been growing in leaps and bounds ever since. Last year’s statistics cite 256, 618 participants and 36,843 who completed the challenge. Now mind you, those are only the ones that registered last year on the website, I’m sure there are more out there who have heard of it but don’t put their info down online.
So I invite you all to join me and grab a razor, or grab a pen, or grab both (though, not at the same time, that could be dangerous) and join me in celebrating the month of November in any way that you see fit.
Stanley is a senior majoring in computer science.