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StatenIt’s dark and stormy at West Linn High School, and a supernatural aura is lingering in the halls. Screams and groans fill the school. Students shuffle around, looking but not seeing. Visitors speak of haunted classrooms, warning others of the spectral possibilities.

They are half right: WLHS is full of zombies. Welcome to finals week.

This last week of school is the most extreme form of torture for any teenager. It’s the week that ordinary students turn into terrifying undead beings — all in the name of 200-point exams.

You, ordinary citizen, are not safe. Over 1,000 zombies lurk in this fair city, and there is no one who can swoop in and save us from the impending doom.

Below is a survival guide dedicated to keeping you safe and the zombies contained. If you hope to outlast this mini-zombie apocalypse, you’re going to have to follow the advice vigilantly.

Say goodbye to your grande vanilla latte. These undead beings haven’t slept in weeks, and you can be sure they are willing to fight to the death for a double shot of espresso. WLHS students during finals week are more high-maintenance than Lindsay Lohan on her worst day.

Stay clear of coffee shops, Starbucks or otherwise, unless you are willing to die a long, slow and painful death. Don’t lay your life on the line for an latte.

Warning signs: You’ll be able to hear the groans from around the block.

Dress like you’re going to the Oscars. It doesn’t matter if you prefer Plato’s Closet or Michael Kors. Just make sure you’re dressed to the nines. Being well-kept is a natural repellent of the WLHS zombie, whose outfit of choice is typically yoga pants or shorts and a wrinkled shirt. They don’t have time for cleanliness — they’re too busy studying the Pythagorean theorem.

Warning signs: An unidentified specimen in a baggy sweatshirt, holding a U.S history textbook and muttering about a blue dress scandal.

Pull a Dr. Phil. WLHS zombies are notorious stress cases. If you should run into one this week, the best thing to do is to channel your inner physiologist and ask, “How are you feeling?” This is the only question that might deter them from unleashing their monstrous rage on you. Instead they will be so overwhelmed and infuriated by their various responsibilities that they will start complaining on the spot.

Soon they’ll become more like miniature versions of Simon Cowell rather than undead zombies.

Warning signs: A strong sudden dislike of Ryan Seacrest

As long as you are careful you should be able to survive the impending zombie apocalypse. Remember that finals week doesn’t last forever. At the end of the school day on June 13, the WLHS zombies will turn back into fun, loveable teenagers, ready to get summer vacation started.

Until then, keep a cool head on your shoulders, and re-watch The Walking Dead.

Madison Staten is a sophomore at West Linn High School. She has contributed a regular column to the Tidings this school year.

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