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A Win For Transparency: Harvard To Simplify Application Process, Replacing It With Series Of Riddles Told By Mystical Troll

Bridge troll
What could possibly be more holistic than a 200-pound troll?
Following increased public scrutiny of Harvard’s admissions process, officials from the Harvard Admissions Committee have announced their decision to make significant changes. In an effort to increase transparency, the Committee has elected to phase out the traditional process entirely, and instead have applicants answer a series of increasingly-difficult riddles told to them by an eldritch troll.
Admissions Committee chair Brian Wilmott said at a press conference, “An application to Harvard goes through many readings and evaluations, all of which are taken into account for a final admission decision. The process does have its complications, and it leaves significant room for subjectivity and bias on the part of the admissions officers. Going forward, applications will involve just the one step of answering our troll’s perplexing puzzles and brain-teasing demands.”
The troll, who was present in a nearby cage, added, “Ho-ho-ho! Riddle-dee-dee!/A challenge I propose to thee!/If Harvard Yard you wish to see/ You first must answer my questions three!” It then proceeded to let out a deep, throaty cackle while stroking its scraggly beard with its grubby fingers.
“We are aware that, even with measures like affirmative action in place, the traditional application is still far from just. For example, more-privileged students can take advantage of aids like SAT tutors and AP classes, which adversely affects students with less access to those resources,” said Willmott. “With this change we aim to get rid of those systemic disadvantages, and simply open the door to anyone cunning enough to say what ‘is older than time, yet frail as the breeze/towers with strength, yet crumbles with ease./It warms in the winter and cools in the spring/it claims many victims, from peasant to king.’”
“The answer,” he later added, “is ‘hope.’”
“Harvard is committed, now more than ever, to finding a diverse group of applicants who are motivated, driven, and able to answer even the most devilish riddles while breaking nary a sweat,” said Willmott, as the troll did a hearty jig that shook the very bars of its cage. “In addition, we are providing valuable real-world experience in case our students ever find themselves at the foot of a bridge hidden deep in the woodlands, where neither fairy nor fox dare tread.”
Reporters raised questions regarding the rumor that future Harvard interviews would be conducted by two guards, one of whom always lies and one of whom always tells the truth. Willmott declined to comment.
Willmott then ended the press conference, but stayed in the room, as the troll forbade him from leaving until he could say what “grows to the skies as it hides in the ground, often is lost, and always is found.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: At press time, Willmott was still in the room, desperately shouting words like “a flame!” and “patience!” at the unsatisfied troll.
© 2018