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 12-point font.
Nathanwood Program Applicant Code: 10060257
Technical – Fill Thoroughly to Best of
Name:Markus Dietrich Faust
Date of Birth: October 18th, 1993
(18 years of age)
Ethnicity (Do Not Put American): German
Height: 6 feet, 1 inch
Weight: 178 pounds
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Blonde
City of Residence: Detroit,
Grade Point Average: 4.0
Elementary School – Greater Minds Elementary (Graduated)
High School – Detroit Central High School (Graduated, Valedictorian)
Employment – Uncle Roger’s Tackle and Bait Shack, Cashier
Hawkeye Programming Centers of Detroit, Intern (Unpaid)
Personality Profile – 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 Response.
What 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.
Describe One Thing That You Disliked About One of Your Previous Bosses: 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.
What is Your Favorite Form of Media (Television, Reading, Music, Theater)?:I 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 storyline.
From 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 book’s creation.
Describe 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.
Other – Fill Thoroughly to the Best of
Please 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 fractions.
What Is Your Sexuality?: I am
If You Could Be Accepted into Any College, What Would That College Be?: 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.
Why 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.
Write A Single Word of Your Choice: Loyalty.
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 means?”
“No, Sir, I do not,” Markus responded. He uncrossed his legs and bent over to look at the application number.
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 this
“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 qualify!”
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 participant.
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