Chapter 19


Re: Application letter to Foxbury – Biology with elective in Veterinary Science

Dear Dr. Gilscarbo, PhD.
It is with great pleasure that I submit my application for the distinguished degree in Biology at Foxbury University.

At present, I am finishing my studies at Newcrest High, and I have already secured several scholarships. My dream is to become a veterinarian and open my very own vet clinic. I feel that this would be the best way to combine my love for animals and my need to do good.

As you may be aware, my mother and father also both attended Foxbury in their youth. My mother went on to become a great astrophysicist, responsible for recently reestablishing direct contact with our neighbours on Sixam.

My father became a renowned lawyer. It is my firm belief that attending Foxbury will also put me on the path to greatness.

For this essay, I have chosen to illustrate how animals have made a great difference in my life. I do not believe that I would be who I am today without my beloved childhood dog, Maggie, and the other pets in my life.

To understand what Maggie meant to me, let me first take you back to my early childhood. When my grandfather died, my entire family was understandably distraught, and my parents decided to adopt a young pitbull from a shelter. The dog immediately sensed that I, a toddler at the time, needed her protection, and she was always by my side.

Maggie and I grew up together, and she became my trusty companion, sleeping next to my bed every night, and waiting for me when I came home from school.

She was also by my side on the night that changed both my life and Sixam relations forever.

I had gone to bed while my older brother was out with some friends, but I wasn’t asleep yet when I heard him come home. I also heard unfamiliar voices and my mother’s excited screams of disbelief.

I climbed out of bed, and went out in the hall, where I saw my parents and my brother – with two people I didn’t yet know.

Of course, my mother had told me about her adventures on Sixam, but this was their first visit back in over a decade.

After a brief introduction, my father tried to put me back to bed, but I couldn’t sleep.

I was scared because I knew that these people, who looked like my brother, could only have come to take him away.

My father tried to explain everything to me. He and my mother had been anticipating this for years.

He told me that Daniel’s biological father on Sixam was very ill and never had any other children.

It was important for my brother to go to Sixam and learn whatever he could while his father still lived, so he could take over his seat on the council.

As the first hybrid in a position of power at Sixam, my parents were worried for his safety, but his uncle, Tomnu, promised to keep him safe.

My mother, who had recently made the first breakthroughs in wormhole technology, suggested that she could go with them, to set up matching technology on Sixam, so direct communication, and perhaps later even travel, might become possible.

My father immediately asked to talk to her in private. He would not allow her to leave, and this was the first time I ever heard my parents have a serious fight.

I heard their loud voices through the wall, my father arguing that my mother couldn’t leave us, that he couldn’t lose her, and my mother crying, afraid to let her oldest son go alone. Again, Maggie comforted me.

I am happy that my mother decided to stay, and instead teach the Sixams as much as possible, so that they could set up the other portal on Sixam. If she had left, she might not have come back. My brother still has not.

While my parents were obviously very upset at the time, my brother was excited and wanted to go. The strangers, his uncle and grandmother, would take him with them when they returned to Sixam. Until then, my mother would teach them about her new technology.

The next few days, before they left, the rest of us tried to spend as much time with my brother as possible.

I admit that I was angry with him at first. I felt that he was abandoning me.

Who was now going to help me with homework and make me laugh when I had a rough day at school?

Luckily, we managed to make up before he left. And I could see why he wanted to go – it was both an obligation and an adventure to him.

My father also had a heart-to-heart with my brother, the last night before he left for Sixam.

It was a warm night and I could hear them outside my open window.

I know my father and brother both consider themselves true father and son, despite my brother’s origins. I hope spending time with his biological father on Sixam hasn’t changed that.

When the Sixams left, my dear brother left with them. I knew that it could take years before he would be able to travel back and visit us, especially if the wormhole technology never worked.

Trying to overcome the sadness of my brother leaving, my mother threw herself into her work. Sometimes I would barely see her for days, because she would stay late at the lab every day.

We now know that it was worth it, that she finally managed to secure a communication link, so we can get updates from my brother every few months, but she still hasn’t succeeded in establishing travel, and my brother is too busy to leave Sixam for a year or two just to visit.

My father tried to compensate for my mother’s constant working by spending more time with me.

But my father’s job was also very demanding, and I often spent my afternoons alone.

Most days, I only had Maggie for company.

But she was more than enough.

It’s not that I didn’t have friends, I had good friends at school, but I couldn’t exactly schedule playdates every single day.

One day, when I was alone at the playground, I saw a stray cat. She was limping and very dirty, and would not let me get near her, but I wanted to help her.

I spent the entire day trying to befriend her, and she finally let me pick her up so we could take her to the vet.

The cat had no chip or ear tattoo, and when no one came forward to claim her, my parents decided that I could keep her. I named her Winky.

Seeing how the veterinarian expertly diagnosed her problems and treated her while being kind and respectful made me realise that this is what I want to do with my life as well.

My parents tell me that I would play vet constantly, and bring home any animal I found. I was allowed to keep smaller birds and a couple of mice while nursing them back to health, but my parents helped me take any stray cats and dogs to the shelter, or I would have had an entire zoo.

A few years later, one of our neighbours had to move into a retirement home, and had to find a new home for her old dog, Milo. I had often been walking him for her, and she wanted me to have him. This time, my parents did not object.

Animals are what keeps me going, my reason to be courageous, kind, and disciplined. These are the qualities I will bring to Foxbury.

Thank youoooo99999ggggrrrrr;;;;;;;;33333333333

“Winky, seriously? Thanks for helping, but this is a very important letter.”

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope this essay gives you a better idea of the passion I bring to everything I do, and that I will bring to the field of veterinary medicine.

I look forward to speaking with you again in the future – hopefully as a student at your esteemed institution.

Eric Fyres-Munch Duchelli
Asphalt Abode

5 thoughts on “Chapter 19

  1. I laughed at the string of numbers and semicolons.
    My cat does it constantly. Sending strange codes on Discord when I’m in the middle of a conversation 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh—noticing a distinct shift here. Starting with this letter, because I cannot get over the writing in this letter and I know you totally did it on purpose.

    Dear Dr. Gilscarbo, PhD.

    GOOPY! (Or a relative!) MY WEAKNESS!

    Great call on the greeting. Very realistic. If I got an email starting “Dear Dr. Llama, PhD.” my brain would go “an undergrad wrote this.” And because I use “undergrad” the same way Boomers on Facebook use “Millennial,” it’s probably accurate here?

    Oh god, you made the entire writing style like that. Hahaha. Props. The part of me that taught intro STEM courses is going “sure, kid, whatever.” Wait, wait. Translating the whole thing. “Hey, does Foxbury do nepotism? Let me do a nepotism please.”

    (For the love of everything, he stopped talking about his parents and ended two sentences in a row with “life.” God. I can feel the soul leaving my body. I feel my asshole retracting back up into me. This kid is gonna get a B in my class and send an email at the end of the semester asking if there are any other extra credit opportunities on top of the copious number of extra credit opportunities I already offered, I can feel it.)

    “And now we’re going to take a hard right into my mom’s sex life. Did I mention my mom is a Foxbury alum? I say ‘alum’ instead of ‘alumnus’ or ‘alumna’ but understand that ‘alumni’ is plural. Anyway, back to my mom’s sex life. I believe understanding my mom’s coochie, and where it’s been, and who’s seen it, is integral to convincing you I am a good fit for your veterinary program. It is one of the only things I know about her because she rarely talked to me growing up, and this facet of her life was obvious because a blue dude came out of her.”

    “Anyway, enough about my mom’s hoo-hah and its role in intergalactic relations. The people who saw my brother as a tool/political pawn when unborn, amazingly, continued to see him as a tool/political pawn when grown, so they didn’t take his feelings into account when shipping him into space. My mom—the alum? Remember?—is also gifted at not taking her family’s feelings into account when making decisions, and instead of giving in and saying fine, my dad did so much yelling that she did the thing she did not want to do. I’m okay! Hahaha! This is normal!”

    “Anyway, my feelings about my brother at the time were, what about me? But it was a little more understandable because I was a small child still processing my own emotions. But you know what helps? Parental support? No, animals! Animals that depend on me for care! They’re like friends that can never leave! No matter what.”

    “And that is why I should join your program and become a vet. QED.”

    (My verdict? I’d recuse myself due to personal bias. Within the first paragraph of talking about animals like emotion sponges with zero boundaries I’d be like “great, another fucking dog person” and toss it to one of my colleagues that have like four fucking dogs.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like the admissions letter for the format of this chapter. It’s creative. It was also very sweet, even if it’s sabotaged a bit in the end with a “youoooo99999ggggrrrrr;;;;;;;;33333333333”. I feel like Winky is saying don’t go, but I hope he’s able to get lots of scholarship money.

    Liked by 1 person

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