Ivy League Applications: Optional Reference Form

The two Teacher References are a required part of your application. You may use this Optional Reference Form if you wish to have an additional person who knows you well write on your behalf. That person may be, for instance, a brother or sister, a parent, a coach, a music instructor, an employer, or a friend. You may choose whomever you wish.

[Instructions to the writer]:

Please use the reverse side of this form (or attach a letter to this form if you’d like) to tell us what you can about this applicant that would help us know him or her better. Are there particular strengths and/or weaknesses that come to mind? Particular interests or abilities or talents. Noteworthy character traits? References of this sort are most helpful when anecdotal evidence is provided that allows that allows us to better understand why you have described the applicant as you have. We very much appreciate your interest and time in writing on behalf of this applicant.

[Zane’s dad’s statement]:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

First of all, I want to thank you for this opportunity to write on behalf of our son, Zane. The key to understanding him is his temperament and personality type. As Zane’s father, I have had over 17 years to observe and take note of his development. He has always amazed us with his seemingly effortless ability to master and apply complex concepts.

From his earliest years, Zane has displayed superior intellectual capacity and achievement manifested by thoroughly balanced verbal and quantitative skills. By the age of five he had already taught himself a uniquely original keyboarding style on our Atari 800 computer, memorized the assembler mnemonics for its 6502 processor, and could identify by name and Messier catalog number an impressive number of planetary nebulae in those glossy coffee-table astronomy books. During the same period, Zane’s poem–The Red Ghost–so impressed his kindergarten principal it was read aloud to a school assembly. In sixth grade, Zane captained his Odyssey of the Mind team to the Classics Division World Finals at the University of Colorado. We wondered what made Zane special. The answer came later. Several years ago, I became a qualified practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and of type and temperament theory in general.

I have been blessed to be able to assess Zane from a psychological perspective through the instrumentation of the MBTI. Zane’s personality type is INTP. This means that Zane lives the preferred lifestyle of an introverted, intuitive, thinking perceiver. The energy focus of Zane’s life is inward toward the inner world of ideas and impressions (I for Introversion). He takes in information about the world around him through intuiting, focusing on the future, with a view toward patterns and possibilities (N for iNtuition). His decision making process is logic-based, evaluating information through objective analysis and cause and effect (T for Thinking).

Zane’s approach to life is flexible and spontaneous; he prefers to keep his options open (P for Perceiving). Here is a brief sketch of Zane’s personality type, INTP: Quiet and reserved. Especially enjoys theoretical or scientific pursuits. Likes solving problems with logic and analysis. Usually mainly interested in ideas, finding parties or small talk somewhat boring. Tends to have sharply defined interests. Needs careers where some strong interest can be used and useful. Great depth of concentration and grasp of possibilities. Adapts easily to changing environments. Work-of-best-fit metaphor: Architect. Successful and happy in pure science, research, mathematics, or engineering. May become scholar, teacher, or abstract thinker in fields such as economics, philosophy, or psychology. This combination of life preferences defines Zane’s temperament as that of the NT, the intuitive thinker, which is known in temperament theory as the Rational. At the core of Zane’s temperament are the elements of power over nature and knowledge and competence.

If Zane, the Rational, had a slogan that described his central nature, it would surely be: A love of problem solving. One doesn’t have to look far to see examples of this in Zane’s life. His overall academic excellence and particular skills in mathematical and computer-based challenges are complemented by articulate verbal solutions. Zane is a proficient and self-taught guitarist, playing electric, acoustic pop, and classical instruments with amazing results. A love of problem solving . . . knowledge and competence . . . power over nature. Zane is also a very humble young man. I know his achievements and honors give him quiet satisfaction but he always seems uncomfortable when others focus on his abilities.

As a youngster, he would often say, “I just want to be a normal kid.” We understood that sentiment. We also understand, however, that there is an obligation to apply such giftings to the greater good of the world community. Zane understands that too. The limitations of this forum make it impossible to detail the implications and subtleties of Zane’s temperament and personality type. Nevertheless, the analysis seems to be: Zane is a rare individual. His type is found in only one percent of the general population. He has natural brilliance across the board and learns eagerly, applying his knowledge to the untangling of complexities. He wants to continue doing this at HYPer University.

I can’t wait to see Zane make his mark on the world.


[Zane’s father]