The Yearly Graduate

New year, new students. Same, time and again. They charge in here with very little by way of common sense. A lot of tenacity, but an expectation that they’re going to be onto something almost immediately – saving the world syndrome, I call it.

Though, this time, I must admit, I’m partly to blame.

It’s not often that we get to single out a student and invite them down ourselves. As with most programmes a list comes round with the attached CVs and the proposed doctoral theses. Everyone meets a standard; they’ve followed the procedures, answered all the exam questions pitch perfectly, but since they’re all taught the same way, they’re all exceptional, how do we discover the best of the best?

It’s almost as if we need to discover the intelligence gene (it’s my personal belief that there are certain genetic levels of brain access that the more academic of us can attain and utilize, though ability still seems determined by parental nurturing).

You see, there are the occasions when you spy good genes (if you will) from afar and you just have to steal them for your team.

That’s how it was with my newest recruit: graduated top of his class at university, and accepted at Berkeley onto their PhD program. He’d been through a couple of lab rotations before his name landed on my desk – quite the bioscience expert, at just 24.

As with all glory seekers, there was very little to hold him back from joining us down here at Temixco and continuing his thesis. I confirmed that he can have his cake and eat it.

Simon is able to reach complexities my aging brain is befuddled by, and he keeps on going, working at a problem – a real asset to the team. Though I do wonder whether we’ll take another intelligence leap in the next generation and he will be in my position, marveling at the next graduates.

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