Glow-worm – P.5

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Subject: Your Nilles University Application
August 21st, Y1
Dear Applicant (Point_Me_@_The_Sky@mail)

We regret to inform you that your application for graduate study in our department was turned down. We look at each application and applicant as a whole and decisions are based on a composite of information including your previous academic performance, referrals, relevant professional activities, proposed research statements, and test scores.

Due to a high volume of applicants, this message has been partially automated.  Your application was received by paper and email and discussed by me and one other faculty member.  We responded by email as per your preference.  We would like to stress, for your particular application:
•  That we would very much like you to apply again in future years.
•  That we would encourage you to use the same email address, as we can easily tie it back to this application.
•  We felt your academics were very strong.
•  We felt your extracurriculars were exceptional.
•  We felt your references were exceptional.
•  In a time when records are often lacking and references may be hard to identify or contact, your application stood above and beyond in how complete and thorough it was.

Nilles is one of three Universities serving an estimated population of fifty million on Earth Gimel and its associated territories, and it is the sole post-secondary institution offering graduate studies.  Over one and a half million bright and eager minds have applied to Nilles in avid hope of starting or resuming their educations, and regretfully, with our current facilities, we cannot accept more than twenty thousand.

Although these circumstances mean we must regretfully send you an unfavorable response, we appreciate your application.  We wish you the best in your future endeavors and look forward to hearing from you next year.

Yours truly,
Dr. Marilyn Ginbar
Graduate Advisor

♦  Private Messages from Glitzglam:

Glitzglam:  Friend said emails out today
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  I got mine this morning.
Glitzglam:  And? ? ?
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Same as last year.
Glitzglam:  : (
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  We have completed a review of your applic’n.  Paperwork good.  Grades good.  X’lars good.  Refs good.  You’re perfect.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  But the world ended two years ago, sorry!  No place for you now.  Please apply next year.  We’ll keep track of your applic’n and the fact you applied last year, we promise!
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  no mention in this yrs letter about me applying last year so I do have my doubts
Glitzglam: aw hon  😦
Glitzglam: why tho?  My friend got in and I know his ap wasn’t as good
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  why do you think?
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  That’s a serious Q’n btw. Because I don’t know
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Rational part of me thinks high demand program + only so many grad students allowed in
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  That part of me outnumbered 14 to 1 tho
Glitzglam: hm hm
Glitzglam: very specific #
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  I’ve been thinking about it all day. Made a list. Lots of unreasonable answers that are semi-possible. sentiment / reference backstabs me / people with ties to uni staff get in first / uni tied to gov + gov wants specific focus for research
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  I could go on. I know some of those sound crazy
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  + all of that?  If true then no reason to think next year will be different.  Last year was a third the number applicants, they accepted 2.5%.  This year, what?  1.4%?
Glitzglam: um
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Could be multiple of above. could be none.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Enough about me. How is training going?
Glitzglam:  is fine.  not important.
Im going to visit as soon as possible
Glitzglam:  k?
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  No need to treat me with kid gloves.  We all suspected this would happen.
Glitzglam:  honestly ?
Glitzglam:  we all were saying 2 temper expectations
Glitzglam:  but we would wink as we said it
Glitzglam:  we thought u would get in
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  That doesn’t make me feel better
Glitzglam:  have u told everyone?
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  no
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Today I have stuff to do.  I work and think.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Might go for long trip before semester starts + I get busy with work.  Visit home.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Share after I get back I think.
Glitzglam:  K.  Im visiting 2.  field exercises today tomorrow.  team want to meet for drinks on day off.  I think I might take off nstead.  home 4 sure.  m/b u?
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  I’m okay.  But do me a favor?
Glitzglam:  anything
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  If you stop by? I set up tarps by house. Make sure they still there & no water getting through? Lost cause maybe
Glitzglam:  can do
Glitzglam:  u sure u ok?
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  I’m not. But I’m the ok sort of not ok. I’ve gotten good at effective brooding
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Our little parcel of humanity is sprawled haphazardly across 15+ alt earths.  Has to be a place for us somewhere right?
Glitzglam:  right
Glitzglam:  and speaking of places.  I got 2 take off becuz my place is 2 be doing drills
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Be safe.  Say hi to the family for me.  I’ll drop by soon.


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50 thoughts on “Glow-worm – P.5

  1. Good Writing, but now I am so intrigued as to the significance of this chapter. Can’t wait for part 2 to hopefully clarify.

  2. Nice to see humanity bouncing back slowly.
    Wonder what other elements of advance culture are just now returning

  3. Grad school implies that Point_Me isn’t a teenager/old enough to have finished undergrad degree. Which is pretty impressive considering they’re a cape – balancing cape life and college can’t have been easy. I wonder if she has a Thinker power, instead of the Blaster that many have been theorizing?
    Also, Glitz and Point live together (given her “say hi to the family” comment, they could even be related), which is an interesting detail, but I wonder how much they actually see each other, given their chat history. Curioser and curiouser…

  4. Three colleges in total sounds insane for so many people. Also, I am loving the insight into the rebuilding/infrastructure. Good stuff

  5. Ohh damn University rejection letters are the worst. Also we got more world building info. I’m surprised that only 3 universities are active. Are those limited to a particular field or government funded?

  6. Looks like Point_Me_@_The_Sky is a high school teacher in their civilian persona – “might go for long trip before semester starts + I get busy with work.” (Alternative would be that they’re a high school student, but in that case they wouldn’t be applying to grad school.)

    Also I’m impressed that they’ve got grad schools again, so soon after the apocalypse …

  7. A caped high school teacher? I have vague recollections of one of the teachers at Taylor’s school being a cape, but I don’t have the free time to sort through the archives to confirm. Either way, I presume they have to let their school know, for student safety issues and the like. I wonder if Sky’s cape status is seen as a negative on the grad school application.
    Also, I bet Sky studies astronomy or astrophysics, and their power has nothing to do with their name.

    • I like the idea that it was because Sky is a cape. That might have been what they meant by “sentiment”. It’s possible that Sky maintains a civilian identity, though that doesn’t rule out the discrimination, provided the Uni has a Private Investigator or Thinker on hand.

      Excited for the rest!!

      • There was a refrence to one of the teachers frequently going MIA, and some kids thinking that it was because he was a cape. However, Taylor thought it was just because the teacher was doing drugs.

      • Was the teachers for her computer and art classes never named? There was a short scene where she made like a calculator or some other simple program and she had that art project that she got extra time to complete after the three amigos destroyed her work.

    • Don’t think any teachers at Taylor’s school are confirmed or even suspected capes, if anyone can contradict me please do.

    • Remember that this is their Cape in Civilian Clothes account, so it shouldn’t show up as a cape. So the school shouldn’t even know.

    • Iirc in arc 4 Taylor has a class shortly before leaving to the Undersiders. The teacher in that class was absent because he had a habit of leaving early. Many of the students guessed that it was because he was a cape.

      Taylor’s theory that he was alcoholic seems to fit better.

  8. “Nilles is one of three Universities serving an estimated population of fifty million on Earth Gimel and its associated territories”

    Damn….. fifty million is not that much. My (possibly unfounded) assumption is that Gimel received a large proportion of Bet survivors, and maybe not too many other survivors. If so, the population has dwindled immensely.

    • I’m thinking, like, the (former?) CUI probably doesn’t use those universities, so probably more people than that survived from all Earth Bet, but. Even if that were just survivors from the United States that’d be a terrifying number. And I don’t think it is.

  9. It’s only behind for 24 hours and year! Also, of my captcha words was Calle, so I’m pretty sure captcha became sentient.

  10. “Point_Me_@_The_Sky: Rational part of me thinks high demand program + only so many grad students allowed in
    Point_Me_@_The_Sky: That part of me outnumbered 14 to 1 tho”

    I do believe that number is too specific to have no significance. Perhaps Point_Me is in fact the only character in Worm confirmed to have fourteen irrational voices in their head alongside one voice that thinks itself rational. Conclusion: Point_Me is Cherish.

      • “Alright class, Bobby skipped class last week so it’s time to punish him. I hope the rest of you are better learners than he is – I really thought he’d get the point after last time, when I took his first kidney.”

    • It’s definitely too specific – they go on to claim that there’s “15+” alt-earths, which fits the pattern.

    • That is pretty specific. Right now I’m thinking Point’s the Butcher, which would explain why the university keeps rejecting him.

    • Oh, clever! I’d been hoping to see her during Gold Morning, but I suppose having Cherish escape is more interesting than watching Khepri kill Butcher repeatedly. Actually, would one of Khepri’s minions have become the new Butcher if they killed the old one, or would it go straight to her? That might be why she didn’t try. Huh.

  11. Post-apocalypse and bureaucracy still will not let you in without the “right connections” even when your paperwork is in order.

  12. Last year was a third the number applicants, they accepted 2.5%. This year, what? 1.4%?

    Do you mean 25% and 14% here? One third corresponds to approx 33%, so a bit of a sudden jump there :).

  13. I’m reading this on mobile and I just went into text only mode on the site. I did not expect it to keep the emoji, but the fact that it got bigger is hilarious.

  14. D’awww, poor Point! The state of the education of refugees does make one wonder, however, how badly stretched the resources of the receiving Earths, Gimel and otherwise, really are.

    Off to read P6 now!

  15. Glam and Sky being mentioned again makes me think that they will become regulars for Worm 2, if not one is the protagonist.

    Also, the prologue ends so soon? That means Worm 2 starts soon! I’m not ready yet…

    Can’t wait for it.

  16. Ok, I got the impression from reading this that Parahumans 2 will be sorta like I was expecting Worm to be before reading it — that is, a cat and mouse game where both the teen-villains and the teen-heroes study at the same school and know each other off-mask but are trying to find ou each other.

    I could be WAY off though.

  17. Honestly I can’t help but wonder if the reason they’re being rejected is because their application is in such good order. “Your papers show you have literally everything we want, and are in unusually good order for the current conditions” can easily be read as “man, you’re not even trying to not go overboard on the forgeries, please keep using this email so we can flag it to auto reject”.

  18. glitzglam: “I got 2 take off becuz my place is 2 be doing drills”
    Drills sounds like either official cape stuff or military.
    If “take off” is literal, this could be another point for the Glory Girl theory.

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