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December 9th, 2010, 03:28 PM
First I am DELIGHTED that this support topic exists. Glad to know I'm not the only person with an imperfect remembery.

Protagonist is a young man, and the story takes place when many young people are analyzed and then "filled up" with the knowledge needed for their careers. Our protagonist "fails" the test in some way, and is sent off to a remedial school of some type. Needless to say, some angst and self-criticism follow.

Time passes: Protagonist and his friends gather in a stadium, where individuals compete so as to show off their knowledge. Some are experts on the "Smith Nucleator Mark IV" or some such, others are experts and compete for fast repairs on some other device, "Wobbleheimer Analog Distiller", and other things usually with some person's (or company's) name in description.

Protagonist has a flash of insight: Each of these amazing devices was CREATED by someone who had enough insight and creativity to improve on the prior state of the art. This is confirmed to him, and he realizes that he is not a failure, he is in fact one of the relative few whose analysis showed the potential for true creativity. Rather than be allocated to some mundane carreer or skill, he was sent to the "remedial" school in hopes that he would come to this epiphany himself, since creative people can't be FORCED to create.

Jim diGriz
December 9th, 2010, 10:15 PM
Sounds a lot like the book that svenm was looking for recently. http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28658

December 11th, 2010, 06:02 PM
It's interesting to see how many times this theme has been used. None of the ones in Sven's thread are a specific match for the one I remember. I'm sure it was a short story, and I have a suspicion that it appeared in Boy's Life. One detail I remember is that the young protagonist chafed over being assigned to the remedial school. (I'm reminded of the Harry Potter usage of "School for Incorrigible Malcontents" or whatever.)

The search Continues .... !

September 20th, 2013, 06:31 PM
I know that one. When I find it again, I'll post title. Its "something day" maybe ... not graduation day but ...

September 20th, 2013, 08:38 PM
Thank you, Ugelmor! There is yet hope. :)

September 21st, 2013, 02:58 PM
Thank you, Ugelmor! There is yet hope. :)

Hope indeed and now an answer: "Profession" by Isaac Asimov