How to fix TOPS

May 3, 2018



Staff Reporter | iqg001@latech.edu




Our budget is broken. The state of Louisiana cannot continue to afford to fund the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students. TOPS is a program that provides college funding to Louisiana residents with academic excellence. For many of us in college, we would not be here without it. However, due to our budget problems, TOPS is on the verge of being defunded. Because of this, a lot of us might lose the fundamental thing that we rely on the most.


All hope is not lost. Some politicians in the capital hear our cries. They understand the need to fund high education for the next generation. A multitude of solutions have arrived since the crisis originally arose. While all of those are great, I am proposing a more unorthodox approach to saving TOPS.


While raising the prerequisites to qualifying for TOPS has already been proposed by lawmakers, what I am suggesting is much more intense. What we need for our future are smart and heroic leaders — people who have the intelligence to make the choices to lead society in the right direction and the heroism to endure the burdens that a great leader must endure. Therefore, I am proposing a more heroic based solution to the problem at hand.


TOPS should go to the person who displays the most merit. We as a society should uplift those who display the best leadership. A leader must sacrifice and endure great hardships to gain the strength needed in order to properly guide the future. And what better way to obtain this level of leadership than to go through the 12 labors Hercules went through?


All selected candidates will be put through 12 rigorous trials to weed out the weak and bring out the most worthy. The first trial will be to slay the Nemean Lion and bring back its skin to the test proctor. After this, they must then slay a hydra with only their bear hands. The next two trials involve capturing the ferocious two beasts, the Ceryneian Hind and the Erymanthian Boar. The candidate must then clean the stables of King Augen in a single day.


For the sixth trial, the candidate will have to slay the Stymphalian Birds. Once completed, they must then capture the largest cretan bull.


The next four trials involve obtaining coveted items such as the Mares of Diomedes, the Belt of Hippolyte, the Cows of Geryon and the Apple of Hesperides. For the final challenge, the candidate must kidnap the guardian of the Underworld, Cerberus.


Once all 12 labors are complete, the candidates name will be dropped into a hat and drawn at random. If their name is not called then they must go through the 12 trials again. Then and only then will they be eligible for TOPS.


Ian Gonzales is a freshman history major from Shreveport who serves as a staff reporter for The Tech Talk. 


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