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The Great Jordini, IU's First Magic Grad

The Pledge

"Pick a card, any card," Jordan Goldklang challenges WFIU's George Walker. "But since this is radio, I want you to simply fix a card in your mind."

Goldklang, who practices magic as "The Great Jordini," is a graduate of Indiana University's Individualized Major Program. He is the first in the history of the program to graduate with a degree in magic.

When Goldklang approached the program's director Ray Hedin, Hedin was reminded of the puzzle editor at the New York Times, Will Shortz, who graduated from the program with a degree in enigmatology.

"Really things almost developed by magic," says Goldklang. "In one of my classes, Rob Goldstone, who's the head of the Cognitive Sciences program, used a magic trick to make a point. He became one of my faculty sponsors. My other sponsor actually comes from the Jacobs School of Music. He's Jeff Nelson, a French horn professor who also does magic."

The Turn

"Now, before we talk any further," Goldklang continues, "would you please change the card that you have in your mind. That way, there will be absolutely no way that I could know what you've picked."

"There was another almost magical development for me," adds Goldklang. "By chance, I met Joel Silver. He's curator of books at the Lily Library, is a magic enthusiast and knows tons about the history or magic and the library's collection of literature and puzzles."

"Of course, like all Indiana University students I had to complete the basic course requirements and I included courses tied to psychology, theater and the business of being a professional entertainer.

The Prestige

The time has come to finish the interview. Goldklang checks to be sure that his host remembers the second card he had in mind. Goldklang produced a deck of cards, fanned them and showed that all were face up except for one. "Now, what card did you settle on?" he asks.

"The Jack of Spades," Walker answers.

With a flourish, Goldklang turns over the mystery card. There it was: the Jack of Spades. Even on radio, the Great Jordini manages to pull the proverbial rabbit out of his hat.

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