When Jonas turns 12, he attends the selection ceremony. All children are observed carefully by their teachers, professionals in the community, and the council of elders. During this observation time, the observers look for specific traits, characteristics, or aptitudes that might give them insight into an ideal job match. At the selection ceremony, all the 12's are told their new jobs. One of his friends is selected as assistant recreation director, another is selected as a birth mother, and finally the girl he likes is selected to be a caretaker of the old. Jonas, however, is skipped. At the end of the ceremony, he is informed that he has not been selected, but rather, he has been chosen to be the receiver of memories, which is a position of great importance and honor. He receives a list of instructions, and is told to report to the current receiver of memories for training the following day.