1. In a group feature, Stranger staffers discuss their worst jobs, which mostly involve drudgework for very little pay in unhealthy work environments. If Stranger staffers were provided complete anonymity, what percentage of the staff do you believe would have admitted that The Stranger is actually their worst job?
2. The news lead—the story that Stranger staff has decided is the single most important story in Seattle this week—is a gotcha piece written by GOLDY that suggests Mayor Mike McGinn's two leading opponents in the mayoral race have "flip-flopped." Make a list of five other stories that are more relevant to the lives and happiness of decent Seattleites than this shallow tabloid fodder.
3. BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT decided to frame her review of the restaurant Gastropod in the form of an arbitrarily numbered list. The piece would work just as well without the numbers. Why do you think she decided to write the review as a list? Is it a desperate attempt to cash in on BuzzFeed-style listicle journalism? Explain how a normal writer would have composed this review without the distracting conceit.
4a. Why does PAUL CONSTANT continue to review books of poetry, even though nobody reads poetry anymore? Is this performance art, or does it just represent Constant's bone-deep loathing of his audience? Write your response in the form of a poem, just to be funny.
4b. Furthermore, Constant doesn't even seem to possess the mental capacity to properly review poetry, instead treating poems as though they're stories with half the nouns and adjectives hacked out. He also seems to think that funniness is the most important scale on which to rate poetry. Does this make Constant a tragic figure, or an aspirational one?
5. For some time now, The Stranger has published a column called "Loose Lips." Try to determine, using contextual clues, what the purpose of the column is. If you can't, write a whimsical piece of fiction imagining the purpose that a gossip column could possibly serve in the age of the internet.
6. DAN SAVAGE is on vacation. Now that you know that the only reason you read The Stranger is on vacation, write an essay with supporting examples explaining why you bothered to finish reading this sentence.