DH Skies
Oh. Um. You're welcome
Mon Aug 6, 2018 08:53

I would have hated for Ms. James to find out… and for you to find out that way.

Selina tried not to think about the ways in which that situation might arise. There was of course, the good old rumour mill. Cleo might hear things from other students, come to her asking about Professor Brooding… Then there was also the more… direct way that Cleo might find out. None of those sounded like particularly pleasant conversations to have – she dreaded the day that she had to have a conversation like that about any member of staff - but she had to admit that being blindsided by information about a teacher’s personal life during the process would make it substantially worse.

“I do appreciate that,” she smiled, very genuinely, “Yes… This is pretty much the exact opposite of the conversation I was having at almost exactly this time last year,” she added, “With Andrew James – Cleo’s father,” she added. “And me finding out things I would ideally have known before then…” She had explained, when introducing the subject of Cleo, how it had been dropped on them all rather suddenly only the year before. It was an important factor to know when dealing with Cleo – she had not always known this about herself, and was still coming to terms with that fact. Though a lot fewer things had ended up on fire than they had all expected. Only really one major one… Or there had just been so many other explosions going on last year that they had all just sort of blurred into one or overshadowed the occasional regular fire? It was concerning that it was hard to know which….

“That’s something I’ll have to think about, though I appreciate the offer,” she stated when Mary offered to talk to Cleo about veela relationships. Her initial reaction had been one of deep discomfort, which she had then forced herself to check – but, she concluded, it was nothing to do with Mary’s sexuality. She was fairly sure she would have had as visceral a dislike of that sentence had it come from a male teacher. Possibly more so, in fact. The thought of staff discussing relationships with students was not one she liked. She was sure Mary didn’t mean discussing anything particularly… mature with Cleo. Just to advise on relationships and the like. The trouble was, when that strayed from simple, neutral advice into including the staff’s own personal experience… That just wasn’t a discussion one had with a student. Private lives were private. They could certainly tell Cleo that it was perfectly possible for veela, or part veela, and humans to have healthy, productive relationships. That was good advice. The sentence just didn’t feel like it should end ‘I know because I’ve been there.’ Except, they did say that sometimes. Where did the line between empathy, between demonstrating that you understood and that you could assure them that what you were saying was true because you’d been there… Where did that overstep the line, and start constitute being unprofessional? It was an area fraught with difficulty anyway, and Cleo’s particular situation was not one she had dealt with.

“Of course, if she brings it up with you, I would never ask you to lie to her. Though I think she’s very unlikely to just waltz into your office and ask if you’ve had a relationship with a veela but… If she ended up talking to you about whatever’s on her mind… Just do your best to say what you think is the right thing to tell her, probably without getting too personal,” she remembered, just about, being Mary’s age. Wanting to be ‘relatable.’ Wanting them to like her. But they were here to be their teachers, not their friends. “It’s hard to know, sometimes, where our responsibilities lie in that area,” she explained to Mary, “They spend so much time with us. We’re in charge of their emotional care, their development as people too… And yet subjects like that are so touchy. So divisive. I don’t particularly mean Cleo, she’s a unique case but just… relationships in general. You find yourself having to give parental advice, not knowing what their actual parents would want you to say. Or worse, knowing exactly what they’d want you to say, but not agreeing that that opinion is in their child’s best interest… Not wishing to scare you too much in your first week,” she added, realising how serious that had sounded. “There are nice times too, when they’re all happy or being sweet and they make it worthwhile.”

  • Thank you for tryingMary Brooding, Sun Aug 5 16:06
    Selina's reaction was reserved enough that Mary could tell she was trying, and the effort was quite sweet. It wasn't as if she was unused to such reactions, although she rarely knew anyone closely... more
    • Oh. Um. You're welcome — DH Skies, Mon Aug 6 08:53
      • Am I doing something wrong?Mary Brooding, Mon Aug 6 13:13
        The more Mary talked, the more she was starting to think that she was making a poor impression. She understood that Selina would have a thousand and one things on her mind and that, not knowing Mary, ... more
        • I don't think soDH Skies, Sun Aug 12 00:57
          Mary had gone from being chatty, verging on rambling, to rather quiet, and Selina suspected she was feeling less at ease than when she had walked into the office. Which was a shame, but not something ... more
          • I'm so glad!Mary Brooding, Sun Aug 12 01:48
            Selina had smiled . What a relief! Mary was quite sure that this was a woman who, if nothing else, was honest. She was honest with her work and in her work, and she was honest with her staff. At the... more
            • Me tooDH Skies, Sun Aug 12 03:09
              That was better. Mary seemed to have got the message, and they were in some sort of middle ground now, whereby she would deal with the students’ issues as best she could, without going out of her way ... more
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