The first child entered the office on June 2nd. The lights were
dimmed as he stepped forward. He took a seat in the chair that is
placed before the dean's desk. He extended his hand to the dean,
who greeted him and politely denied him; now was not the proper
time for a handshake. The child sat with his back straight
against the chair, his legs crossed and his hands folded together
with the right thumb on top. The dean sat in his chair and asked
the child to remain silent while he looked over his
The application, which was given to the child to be filled out
that same day, was typed in 12-point Time's New Roman font.
Several notes were added by the program's staff in Courier New
Program Applicant Code: 10060257
Fill Thoroughly to Best of Ability.
October 18th, 1993 (18
years of age)
(Do Not Put American):
6 feet, 1 inch
Elementary School - Greater Minds Elementary (Graduated)
High School - Detroit Central High School (Graduated,
Employment - Uncle Roger's Tackle and Bait Shack, Cashier
Hawkeye Programming Centers of Detroit, Intern
Fill Thoroughly to Best of Ability in Complete Sentences.
This Section Will Allow Us to Better Know You As An Applicant
for the Program. It Is Very
Necessary That You Include Specific Details in Each
Is Your Current Relationship Status?:
I am recently single, as of the 3rd of this previous May. The
relationship was with Meredith Connelly, a fellow student of
Detroit Central High School. The relationship had lasted about
one year and three months. I was the one who ended the
relationship, not Meredith.
One Thing That You Disliked About One of Your Previous
Many times while working at Uncle Roger's Bait and Tackle Shop, I
was placed into situations with little warning and I did not have
the prerequisite knowledge with which to complete my job.
However, I did my hardest to work even under these conditions,
and managed to thrive in many situations that I did not fully
understand at first. It was a learning experience, although it
could have been handled better.
is Your Favorite Form of Media (Television, Reading, Music,
personally enjoy reading above other forms of entertainment
media. It helps to promote a greater intellect, and requires one
to think more about a variety of different topics. Less of the
common and over-used tropes of cinema and television are being
utilized in literature, making an experience that is fresh. You
are less likely to encounter a book that has an interesting and
unique storyline than a film that has an interesting and unique
the Above Media, What Is Your Favorite Product (Your Favorite
Book, Movie, Song, Play)?:
My favorite book might surprise you - Machiavelli's The Prince.
It is not my favorite solely because of subject matter and
message, but instead because of the story behind it. Those who
had not known of any of Machiavelli's other works would have seen
The Prince as a work that goes against the very Republic our
country is based on - it is a work that promotes a tyrannical,
"ends justify the means" mindset and a limitation on one's
individual rights. However, I see the book much differently since
I know the backstory. Machiavelli's other works heavily promote a
Republic and individual rights. The Prince should be seen not as
a promotion of fascist thinking, but a satire of it. In this
light, it takes on a wit that was fresh back in the days of the
Your Parents' Relationship:
I have never met my father, for he left my mother before I was
born. I plan on one day trying to find and contact him, if only
to let him know what I have done with my life. I want to show him
that I didn't need a father figure to be a success. I'm just fine
on my own.
Fill Thoroughly to the Best of Your Ability.
List Pi As A Fraction:
Pi cannot be defined as a fraction, for it is an irrational
number. Irrational numbers, by definition, cannot be made into
Is Your Sexuality?:
I am heterosexual.
Could Be Accepted into Any College, What Would That College
I would very much like to be accepted into this program. While it
is not entirely a "college" by the traditional definition, it is
still viewed by many employers as an equivalent to such higher
education. If this program is not an acceptable answer, then I
would like to apply to Harvard Law School.
Did You Decide to Apply for the Nathanwood Program?:
I am constantly looking for ways to engage myself intellectually,
and I believed that the Nathanwood Program would allow me to
expand my skills in both logical and creative thinking. It would
provide a better challenge for me.
A Single Word of Your Choice:
After a few minutes of silence, the dean looked up at the child.
"This is a very impressive resume, Mr. Faust," he says, placing
the papers down on his desk neatly, "But I must ask you a single
question. You do realize that only five applicants will be
accepted into this program, correct?"
"Yes, Sir," Markus said, "I do realize this. I did my homework
before I decided to apply."
"Look at this." The dean moved the application forms towards
Markus, so that they could be easily read. "Do you see this
number at the top? The application number? Do you know what this
"No, Sir, I do not," Markus responded. He uncrossed his legs and
bent over to look at the application number. 10060257.
The dean pointed his finger onto the paper as he explained. "The
first two digits show what year the program itself is on… It's
year 10 of the Nathanwood Project, so the number is 10. The third
through sixth digits are the date. Today's date is June 2nd, or
the second day of the sixth month - 0602. The last two digits
show the position of the application based on its relation to the
others. The 57 means that you are the 57th person to be
interviewed for this slot today.
"It is only noon, and today I have already viewed the
applications of 56 other children from all across the country who
want into this program . There are still two months of
applications coming in as well. What makes you so special? What
makes you different from all of the thousands who are trying for
"You walk in here trying to act so intelligent. You say you're a
valedictorian. You say that you have a 4.0. You say you want an
intellectual challenge. You say you want to go to Harvard. You
say that you value loyalty and an American Republic. Well, so do
a lot of other people! Our program wants nothing but the best,
and your application does nothing to prove that you
The dean's voice built up as he shouted these final words at
Markus. Markus sat there, mouth agape and looked at the dean for
a second. He shook his head a little and looked into the dean's
eyes. The dean was balding, brown-eyed. "Sir, might I suggest a
better acting coach?" Markus said with a smug grin.
There was a glint in the dean's eye as he heard this. "What do
you mean?" he asked.
"Well," replied Markus, "It's clear that was scripted. You have
probably been shouting that same thing at everybody who passed
through this office. They probably went home crying, too, because
they didn't see through it like I did. That's the difference
between me and them, Sir." He folded his legs again.
The dean smiled. His face was glowing bright, as he held back the
urge to let loose a quick chuckle. "I really hate to burst your
bubble, Mr. Faust, but that actually wasn't scripted. Believe me,
after reading application after application from every
valedictorian in the United States for a few weeks, you just
start to get angry. I wasn't trying to call you out specifically,
nor was I trying to trick you; I was just tired of the millions
of other people who were like you.
"You are different from all them though, for the simple reason
that most others would have went home crying after my little
spiel there. I can tell you're going to do fine. I would like to
welcome you to the Nathanwood Program." The dean held out his
hand to Markus. Now it was the proper time for a
There was a heavy sense of calm in the room, and the lights
appeared to become a little less dim. Markus thanked the dean for
the interview, and the dean thanked Markus in return. Before
Markus exited, the dean had asked him for his phone number so
that he may be contacted later in the year.
Markus had been correct in his assumption. The dean had scripted
that speech. It didn't feel right to admit it, though. It felt to
the dean as if he were letting the child claim some sort of
victory over him. He wasn't there to combat the students; he was
simply there to find which ones were ready for the program, which
is what he had done that day.
The Nathanwood Project's tenth year had found its first official