If you had one year off to do anything you wanted, what would you do? If you could spend a year pursuing any activity, all expenses paid, what would you do? Be specific, and describe why your choice is meaningful to you.

Let me first express my extreme gratitude toward the Stanford Admissions Department for allowing me to put forth my ideas on a worthwhile year-long activity. Something which, I assure you, I have given a great deal of thought. With so much suffering in the world, it is obvious that humanitarian aid is necessary from those who are able to give it. My ability to send wheat to Ethiopia, or doctors to Bangladesh is rather limited now, although if needed, my Led Zeppelin C.D.'s would be on their way there tomorrow.

What could I do in a year to develop a charity base, to amass the large fortune necessary to drop a virtual penny into the seemingly bottomless pail of World Need? Make an obscene amount of money. But how to do it? Here are some estimates I've arrived after significant research:

I'm no fool. I'm sure this is obvious. While the life of a destitute bike mechanic sounds promising, I can't turn down the opportunity of TEN MILLION DOLLARS PLUS VALUABLE PRIZES! Especially when I MAY ALREADY HAVE WON!

[Historical note: When Jos wrote this, a well-known part of the junk mail received in every household was a large envelope from Publisher's Clearing House. On the envelope well-known television personality Ed McMahon announced that you may have already won many tens of thousands of dollars which you could only claim by reading further.]

If International relief is going to get the kick in the butt it needs, I see it as foolhardy to do anything but dedicate my year to the winning of the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. The realization of my destiny came upon me (as I'm sure it has come upon you) as a bit of a shock. In fact, it was sort of revelation. Just as Buddha had done when he achieved Nirvana under the blossoming tree, I knew then that it was time to cast aside my material goods and selflessly work toward my goal. One year later it was finished. I would like to share with you my year of triumphs and pitfalls, my year of accomplishment.

January 1st.
Politely requested 9,500 entries from nice receptionist at P.C.H. Ordered a subscription to "Better Homes and Gardens"
January 2nd
Sold telephone (last material good). Bought 365 sourdough loaves to eat throughout year. ("Big League Chew" also purchased to stave off hunger between meals.)
January 3rd
Moved under steps at Tressider Union. Invested in cardboard box from "The Store." If drought persists, will be unnecessary.
January 4th
Picked up 9,500 entries at campus post office. Had family cursed to poor fertility by angry deliveryperson.
January to December
Filled out entries.
May 14th
Got sore tooth.
May 15th
Tooth fell out, placed under pillow for Tooth Fairy, bread running low.
May 16th
Scurvy set in.
May 17th
Placed 31 teeth under pillow for Tooth Fairy. Noted tooth from the 15th still there.
December 31st
"Dropped" 9,500 entries in mail. Had family pets and ancestors cursed by older, yet still irate, deliveryperson.
January 1st
Gummed a large pepperoni and pineapple pizza at Ramona's Too. Wished for intact taste buds.
Six months later:
Success! Have won MANY VALUABLE PRIZES! Delivered jet skis and motorhomes to needy Kurds in Iraq.

As I watch news of my philanthropy on the television, it occurs to me. If we all just spent less time fantasizing, and more time making personal sacrifices for the good of others, then finally this could be a world in which we'll all want to live.

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