October 14th 2015 was quite a day in the Wodehouse Library as Year 10 boys used their Free Learning Day to develop a Zombie Apocalypse Recovery Plan (ZARP).
The boys had the few facts below to inform their thinking:
From this starting point – and with a little inspiration from the film Sean of the Dead – the Year 10s put their non-infected brains to work on the ZARP.
Group 1 looked at weapons and vehicles, rating anti-zombie potential in top trumps style. The big mower (see picture on right) and the minibuses scored highly for their offensive capabilities and passenger capacity, with motorcycles also getting a swashbuckling mention by the same group who brought us the Wish List creation GALACTUS. We have the drawing of GALACTUS and it looks a bit like Ironman who won the Wish List nomination for zpoc leader (pipping Batman and Dr Who).
A consensus formed amongst all Group 1 boys that lots of useful zombie fighting kit could be sourced from the D&T Department (hammers, drills, saws even staple guns) and the CCF Stores but the latter was also considered a high priority by Group 2 who were tasked with organising the campus for the survivor community.
Group 2 boys looked specifically at our key needs:
- food and water
- shelter and clothing
- supplies and service
- communications, and
The clock tower was the clear choice as vantage point (although there’s really not much space up there!) and it was decided that raiding parties would venture out to scavenge dry and tinned foods and any water they could find from abandoned local sources, like shops and homes. One group selected the Shackleton Building as a base because, with a little bit of entry and exit point reinforcement using sheet metal and scaffolding poles, it would be easy to defend against both marauding zombies and other survivor groups.
The afore mentioned sheet metal was to come from the D&T Department which will be a hive of activity come the zpoc.
Once it was explained clearly what a latrine was, the task of digging them was assigned to Lower School boys and in a moment of inspiration someone came up with the idea of using the costumes from the Edward Alleyn Theatre in case the apocalypse meant dressing as a girl was necessary.
Group 3 chewed over the question of leadership through the zpoc, getting especially caught up in the thorny issue of brawn vs brains. Prompted by this from the University of Oxford and a useful comparison of combatant types offered by Roger Ma in his book The Zombie Combat Manual, the merits of various potential leaders were evaluated loudly. Eventually it was agreed that Dr Avshu was the person to see us through the apocalypse, ably assisted by a Council made up of most of the Sports Department and Dr Croally.
Conceding that contact with other survivor groups would sometimes be necessary, Group 3 boys decided that this should take place only when no solution could be found from our own resources. Morale amongst our community would be bolstered by a sensible mix of zombie hunting expeditions and religion whilst miscreants would be punished with escalating penalties from reduced rations to being cast out into the waiting zombie hordes.
Group 4 were the day’s left-field thinkers who embraced the zombie life style and advocated for it strongly. Culturally, they said, the zombie genre has offered some real entertainment and who doesn’t have a favourite zombie film or book, huh? Group 4 went on with their “what’s wrong with being a zombie?” theme by pointing out that once infected you were freed of the regular cares of being human, let alone the more onerous cares that arise from being a zpoc survivor. Your foreshortened zed life, they told us, had the advantage of ending forever the wrong versus right, fun versus boredom, friendship versus loneliness merry-go-round because YOU’RE A ZOMBIE AND ALL YOU WANT TO DO IS EAT BRAINS!
All in all, we felt the day had given Dulwich College a fairly robust start on its ZARP as well as something to think about when the bleakness of post-apocalyptic living left you feeling a bit down in the dumps.