Next episode of Homeland? No, just a college recruiter chasing Noah
An Army general inviting my sleep-to-noon and video-game-playing son to a national leadership program sounded like something out of Homeland. But, no, it was just one more college recruiter chasing our Noah and our money.
My wife Judy and I received a letter the other day that really caught my attention. The envelope said it was from Maj. Gen. Stanley Hyman and it was addressed to “The Parent of Noah Zheutlin.”Skip to next paragraph
Peter Zheutlin is a freelance journalist and author whose work has appeared regularly in the Boston Globe and The Christian Science Monitor. He has also written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and other publications in the US and abroad. He is the author of "Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry’s Extraordinary Ride" and the co-author of three other books. He lives in Needham, Mass., with his wife and two sons.
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I was hoping it might contain confidential information about the next episode of "Homeland," but in fact it turned out to be an invitation, a "special honor," for Noah, a high school senior, to attend the “National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security: Exploring American Diplomacy, Intelligence and Defense” to be held in Washington, D.C. next spring
Under separate cover the same day, arrived a more formal invitation, addressed directly to Noah, an invitation so fancy I thought it was for a bar mitzvah in Boca Raton: letters and envelope gold embossed with an eagle carrying an American flag, details of the six-day program, and a list of past speakers including former CIA Director George Tenet, former Secretary of Defense William Perry and the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Henry Shelton.
Wow! My son Noah, the one who sleeps past noon on weekends, is immersed in the world of video games, and is incapable of doing a load of laundry, was one of the few select American high school seniors invited to participate in what appears to be a high level national security briefing based on his 'leadership potential!' Apparently, George Mason University, the academic sponsor of this briefing, and the National Youth Leadership Forum know a lot about my son that we don’t. Oh, and, for the honor of Noah’s attending we only have to come up with the $1,630 tuition.
Like millions of other parents, we are in the midst of the college search process this fall, and Noah is suddenly the recipient of a huge amount of mail like this from colleges all over the country.
Now, I love my son, and I am very proud of him, but all this attention isn’t because he can throw a football 60 yards, debated Chris Matthews to a draw on 'Hardball,' or won the Nobel Prize in chemistry at age 13. (For the record, he didn’t do any of those things.)