Essay prompt: What traits and talents does your child have that will make him or her a valuable addition to the Litchfield Canterbury Nursery and Grammar School? (500 words)
Our little McKinley is a remarkably precocious child who will thrive in the challenging environment of a prestigious, selective institution like Litchfield. At the tender age of twenty-three months, McKinley is already developing a keen interest across a broad spectrum of the arts. Almost every night, she displays her grasp of Greek philosophy by making Socratic enquiries like “why?” into the existence of bedtime. She recently pursued her passion for theater by taking on a starring role in the self-directed, self-written one-act drama, A Temper Tantrum at Whole Foods. And then there is her work as a budding mixed-media sculptor. McKinley specializes in mostly-digested organic materials of various textures and colors, arranged in more or less tubular configurations. We had previously requested that she keep her masterpieces confined to the bathroom, but soon gave up because, really, how can you restrain such an artistic soul?
McKinley’s love for books is another trait that makes her a delightful addition to any educational setting. During the home visit interview, you probably noticed that instead of a television in the living room, we have a large bookshelf containing a carefully calibrated mix of Russian literature, William Faulkner novels, Taschen coffee table books on West African architecture, and recent issues of The Economist. McKinley devours these reading materials, often quite literally, as she is still at an age where she will put all sorts of random things in her mouth (including some of her mixed-media sculptures, unfortunately). Her current favorite book is Ulysses, as it is more accessible than Finnegan’s Wake—by which I mean it is on a lower shelf, making it easier for her to reach—and also makes a more satisfying thud! than A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man when dropped on the ground.
But perhaps most impressive among McKinley’s many excellent qualities are her ambitious drive, self-confidence and natural penchant for leadership, which will serve her well as she pursues her first life goal of becoming president of her pre-K class. You will surely remember how in her group playdate interview, she redistributed resources of Play-doh from another child’s workstation to her own, then leaned in Sheryl Sandberg-style by asserting “No!” when the other child attempted to mansplain why he should have control of said assets. If that isn’t future feminist CEO material, I don’t know what is.
I hope by this point you agree that our precious princess will be a wonderful fit for your preschool. But in case you still have any lingering doubts about our little darling’s potential, I am enclosing a copy of her DNA test, which she passed with flying colors. Some parents may protest that including genetic reports as a part of the preschool application is a gross violation of the child’s privacy. Personally, I’d be curious as to what gross incompetencies and mental defects in their child they were trying to hide.
And if that still doesn’t cut it, I’m also attaching Part 18 of the application: a check for a donation to the school. Is a new classroom enough, or will you require a whole building?
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