The Application Process

Jillian had gotten the acceptance form all filled out, and was ready to stuff it in the mailbox and be done with the whole messy process of graduate school applications, when she saw the letter. The letter was handwritten, and it was an invitation.

“You are cordially invited to conduct your PhD in public health research aboard the good ship Hardly Able, a yacht designed as a world-roaming classroom, which will take you from the shores of Italy where refugees encamp to the far reaches of Somalia where anthropologists are even now seeking to understand the systemic roots of piracy. Field trips include a hot air balloon trip to the South Pole to study the effect of profound darkness on the human spirit and a series of expeditions to Aztec ruins in Mexico to understand the public health consequences of human sacrifice. You have already been screened and accepted, and to confirm your attendance simply send an owl at your earliest convenience to the most easterly lighthouse in the United States.”

Jillian paused. She held her normal grad school acceptance over the mouth of the mailbox, and this weird letter in her other hand. Choices.


Written on 4/16/16 at Artawake for a woman about to begin a PhD in public health research

The Application Process