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Academic Correspondence

How should the professor reply?

 Drop this student like a hot potato

 Carry on -- ignore the overly creative input

 Call the school for a phone number


(Some nouns have been changed)

October 5, 1995

5555 Bogus Street, #28
Berkeley, CA 99999

Dear Sarah,

It was a pleasure meeting you a few weeks ago. I am happy to hear that my book, Multimedia: Making it Work, is the "official" textbook for your Multimedia class at XXXXXXXX; the book is now published by McGraw-Hill in about nine foreign languages, and correspondence comes in from Australia, Finland, and even South Africa. There is a lot going on as the electronic revolution heats up.

I wanted to follow up on our discussion about the necessary skillsets and tools for making money in the digital age. During the last five years it has become impossible to know ALL the tools well, so I would suggest that you continue to concentrate in the graphic art and animation areas where you already have an advantage. Develop your skills in Illustrator, QuarkXpress, Photoshop, and Premier. Mastering these will allow you to make the graphic building blocks for authoring multimedia projects and pages for the World Wide Web. Then learn HyperCard, SuperCard, and Director: these are the authoring tools themselves. Regarding your computer, Macintosh is still the preferred platform for making multimedia, so you are OK there. You should have as much RAM as possible, especially when working with Premier and 3-D rendering programs... at least 36MB would be recommended. Your 250MB hard disk should be upgraded to at least 720MB, but with prices dropping rapidly, a one or two gigabyte is drive is well within reach nowadays. Anyway, with your creative skills and with these tools, you would be a welcome addition to any multimedia team.

Indeed, if it suits you, we would like to tap your energy and enthusiasm, and bring you more formally on board as an intern at Timestream, where you can hone your growing skills on real projects and help us, too, while you learn. We are Apple Developers and have wholesale contacts with vendors of computer equipment and accessories; perhaps we can get you better deals for your needed system upgrades than you might find at XXXXXXXXXXX.

I hope you will accept our offer. In the meantime, keep up the great work you're doing in school - your HyperCard stack is looking good!

Best wishes,

Tay Vaughan


(Saved by recipient for its iconoclastic application of creativity)

Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 21:07:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Sarah CXXXXXX."
Subject: letter
Mime-Version: 1.0

Hi. School's email is working weird, so I hope you get this ungarbled. How's this [wording for the letter you should have written]:

Dear Sarah,

You're smart, creative, and you have great tits. Timestream wants you. Double your RAM, get a gigbyte hard drive, and jump my bones - whoops! I meant, Jump on Board!


Tay Vaughan


[And twenty years later, the astonished professor still smiles at this bold and complex reply to a simple internship offer.]