Will He Ever Finish His Stupid Cherry Vile Prep (#6)

November 25, 2008

I tend to put childhood into three categories: horrible, awful, and not that bad, but still not that great.

Horrible ranges from group efforts, such as wars and concentration camps, to individual efforts.

For example, I will mention, Ishmael Beah. As summarized by National Public Radio:

[He] has written a memoir about his years as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. Orphaned by the civil war there, he was carrying an AK-47 by the age of 12. Pumped up by drugs, he was forced to kill or be killed.

When he was 15, UNICEF took Beah to a rehabilitation center. He was eventually adopted by an American woman and brought to the United States, where he attended high school and graduated from Oberlin College.

His book is A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.

Not only was he kidnapped and forced to fight in a war, but his suffering did not stop there. He was accused of falsifying his story by an Australian newspaper, and then sent to Oberlin College for his college education, a fate only David can appreciate properly.

7 Responses to “Will He Ever Finish His Stupid Cherry Vile Prep (#6)”

  1. Are you serious about the Oberlin part? That really is just too cruel … the poor guy.

  2. Spectrum Says:

    So, what you’re telling me is that there’s still a fate worse than cheery vile prep? 🙂

  3. Random Name Says:


    The Oberlin part is absolutely true. I about fell over when I read it.

    If you can stand to look at it, Oberlin pats itself on the back in regard to him on their alumni web site:


    Many students dream about writing a book during college, the way Beah did. According to Chaon, those opportunities exist at Oberlin “if students have the desire and willingness to work as hard as Ishmael did.”

  4. Random Name Says:


    “Cheery Vile Prep?”

    Cherry Vile Prep was bad enough. I am trying to imagine cheery vile prep. My mind and stomach and nether regions are boggling.

  5. truce Says:

    Oberlin College taking credit for Ishmael Beah’s book is like the Swiss Patent Office taking credit for the Theory of Relativity.

  6. modestypress Says:


    LOL. Actually, if my daughter (who is twice as smart as me) wins the Nobel Peace Prize or something similar, I plan to take complete credit for it. As my daughter attended Oberlin college, if they try to take credit, I will occupy and claim possession of the building which I clearly own on their campus. I know I own a building there because I paid enough tuition when she attended to pay for a good sized campus building.

  7. Spectrum Says:

    You mean it’s not “cheery.” Yes, my type-o. Almost an oxymoronic statement, eh?

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