Applying One’s Self by Andrew Oberg

This week we launch the second series in our ongoing By Prescription Only: Themed Writing short story and essay showcase. The topic this time around is Expectation. Grab a drink, sit down, and enjoy the show! Your soda jerks, Paul, Nick and Andrew.

You heard her: The following story is entirely a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, events, etc. are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in the following works of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners. Some stories in this showcase contain adult themes, so reader caution is advised.

Applying One’s Self by Andrew Oberg

“Just what do you think will come of this?” Davis asked, setting the essay down on his desk and moving his coffee mug to one side. He would have liked to move the student opposite him to one side too, but his office was too small and too cramped with books for that.

“What do mean, Mr. Davis?”

“I mean, do you really think North Woods State will take this seriously?” He stared at the man — the boy — unsure whether he should try to hide his irritation or not. It could be a useful motivator, but what was the point? How many more students did he have to see this afternoon… December was always his busiest, and worst, month.

“I’m still not sure what you’re getting at, Mr. Davis. Why wouldn’t they? This essay is what they wanted, or at least the kind of thing that they asked for. And I also completed all the required forms and included my transcript. I think my application is pretty solid.”

“Derek, this essay is titled ‘Singularity: Black Hole Existence’ and seems to be a kind of quasi-mystical study in ontology. The application package calls for you to write on why you want to attend the university, what you can contribute to its academic community, and what you hope to get out of it.” He leaned back in his chair, raising his glasses slightly and rubbing the bridge of his nose as he did so. If the boy hadn’t noticed his frustration before then he certainly should have now…

To read the rest as a free pdf, click the “Download Now” button below.

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