We go even further back in time, and find Nicolai in the center of the adolescent maelstrom of high school. However, Max Panck Gymnasium is no ordinary high school. The young men and women who make up their student body are more than a cut above the average. It is a high school for the intellectual gods and goddesses of their time, those who aspire to be the leading scientists and artists of their age:
Das Profil des MPG
Traditionell und in Verbundenheit mit seinem Namensgeber hat das Max-Planck-Gymnasium einen mathematisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Schwerpunkt; diesbezügliche Akzente werden u.a. im Differenzierungsbereich und durch Durchführung von/Teilnahme an entsprechenden Wettbewerben gesetzt, aber auch die sprachlich-literarisch-künstlerische Ausbildung ist ein besonderes Anliegen.
In the words of Stateside educators, this is a place for the "Talented and gifted", those who have the motivation and ambition to pursue dreams beyond their peers. And it is among this company that we find Nicolai, in the class of 1988:
So already by his adolescence Nicolai was recognized as one of the more talented of his peers, though it would take almost a decade for his talents to blossom in what he would become known best for: computer and video manipulation.