You may not realize it, but local students of all ages just completed a major academic exercise.
Each year it's administered worldwide and tests important job skills such as creative thinking, research and development, global assessment, market strategy, visualization, teamwork, personal branding and project management, not to mention knowledge of academic subjects, fine arts, popular culture and current events.
I'm talking of course about dressing up for Halloween.
I was reminded of this phenomenon Thursday morning, when my youngest son left for middle school dressed as Moses. He later reported that a teacher referred to him as "that guy from 'The Lord of the Rings.'" A coach called him "Harry Potter" and confused the Ten Commandments with the sorcerer's stone.
You win some, you lose some.
The best idea I've heard about in a while was two boys dressed up as old ladies who'd go to a house and set up a door frame in front of the front door and ring the doorbell.
Then they'd close their door and when the people inside the house opened the door, the boys would open their door and start handing candy to the people whose doorbell they'd just rung.
The students at Muscogee County's only total magnet high school have also honed their skills. In fact, they must wait until their senior year to even attempt to wear a Halloween costume to school.
The process seems to work.
On Thursday, the grand prize winner at Columbus High School was entitled "Art Museum" and featured students dressed as the Mona Lisa, Nefertiti, the Girl with the Pearl Earring, the farmer and his daughter from "American Gothic," some Degas ballerinas, Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup can, a paint-swirled Jackson Pollack and a pixelated Roy Lichtenstein.
Pretty impressive, huh?
There was also a group of fellows wearing suits and waving American flags while wearing convenience store signs that said, "Sorry, We're Closed."
Government shutdown, get it?
Other groups were dressed as emoticons, the months of the year, and storybook characters including Mary Poppins and Cindy Lou Who.
Then there was the girl with a black eye and wearing a dress with a large letter "P" on it. Black-eyed pea, get it?
And the boy wearing the gray suit affixed with 50 different gray swatches from the paint store. "Fifty Shades of Grey," of course.
The G-Rated version.
Oh, and guys in hazmat suits and gas masks handing out baggies of rock candy: "Breaking Bad."
And old and new Michael Jackson. And Taylor Swift and six of her ex-boyfriends.
Some might consider all of this a waste of time, but I'd give a passing grade to any kid who plans and produces his or her own Halloween costume.
Sure, knowledge is important, but assimilating that knowledge and using it to connect with others has always been more important, and today it's more important than ever.
The candy's a nice perk, too.
Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, firstname.lastname@example.org.