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Professor Nathan Xavier
First Year Orientation
Fri Sep 16, 2016 13:57

Nathan Xavier stood in the Gardens, directing students as they got off the flying wagons. "Please leave your luggage in the wagons. The elves will deliver your belongings to your rooms. First years, please head through there," here he would point through an opening in the labyrinths hedges over which hung a banner that read Welcome to Sonora! First Year Orientation. "Mingle, enjoy the food, meet your year mates. Older students, the Cascade Hall and library are open for your use, as well as your common rooms. If you need a password, please find your Head of House or one of your prefects; there should be one here in the landing area now, or in the Hall later." Then another wagon with another load of students would arrive, and the process would repeat.

Eventually, all of the wagons were accounted for and the older students had all spread out into the school while the first years were congregated together in one of the larger open areas in the labyrinth. Food and drink tables lined one hedge, with snacks and desserts of all forms, and even small sandwiches for those wanting something healthier and more filling. Another table had two piles of parchments weighted down with rocks and signs that advised this was where one went to get a map of the school and a class schedule.

Looking around as he entered the area, he could see some students had already collected their copies and many had accepted the invitation to eat and drink after their bumpy and potentially long journeys aboard the magical covered wagons that had flown them here.

"Your attention please, just for a moment," Nathan called, far more comfortable addressing this group than he had been speaking in front of any of the previous orientation groups he'd overseen. He attributed that to a year's worth of student teaching, an experience he hadn't been able to claim at this time last year. He was barely sweating, and the little bit he was perspiring was at least equally due to the bright Arizona sun shining down on them. The weather charms on the school and the shade from a couple overhanging trees cut the worst of the heat, but it was still late summer in a dessert. This was definitely good beach weather today but Sonora was sadly lacking a beach.

"First of all, welcome to Sonora Academy and the First Year Orientation. If you haven't gotten copies yet, there are maps and schedules there on that table." He pointed it out. "I am Mr. Xavier - er, Professor Xavier," he stumbled over his new title, still not used to introducing himself that way, "the new Herbology professor, Teppenpaw Head of House, and the groundskeeper."

"We'll be taking a tour of the school in a little bit, which will conclude at the Cascade Hall just in time for your Sorting Ceremony and then the Welcoming Feast, but first I'm going to go over some of the school policies and offerings, and then you'll have some more time to meet and greet amongst yourselves until it is time to head out and tour your new school."

"Academically, all first years take the same core subjects together: Potions, Charms, Transfiguration, Care of Magical Creatures, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and now Herbology. We're a small school, so your year group will join with the second years for a combined beginners class. When you reach third year, you will move up into the Intermediate class and stay at that level until you take your standardized Critical Assessment of Talents and Skills, or the CATS exam, at the end of fifth year. After that, you'll have the opportunity to drop any subjects you do not want to continue into the Advanced level, which is where you will prepare for your Ridiculously Anal Testing of Skills, or RATS standardized exam, at the end of your seventh year. You will need to pass two RATS to graduate, but we strongly recommend taking at least three if you wish to continue your education at a college or apprenticeship. Starting at the intermediate level, we also offer additional elective courses and independent studies beyond the core classes you start with this year. If you find you need additional academic help, we also offer supplementary study groups that cover English as a second language, essay writing, and study skills. Please see your Head of House if you would like to enroll in that."

"Extracurricularly, the school hosts Quidditch teams for each House - Pecari is the team to beat this year - and the Library accepts student helpers. Beyond that, we've got quite a few student run clubs here, including a Book Club, Art Club, Baking Club, Archery Club, Science Club, a Fashion Club, a Sports Club," he paused, counting those off on his fingers to make sure he hadn't missed any. "Yeah, that's all the ones we had last year. And if none of those are what you are looking for, you can always start your own."

"I just mentioned Houses. There are four of them: Pecari, Aladren, Teppenpaw, and Crotalus. They are called Houses because that's where you'll be living for the next seven years, and your Housemates will be your family here. The Sorting Ceremony tonight will determine which of those you will be joining. Within each House, you will room with those of your year and gender. Each House has three prefects, one from each of the year groups fifth year and up, a Quidditch Captain, and a faculty member called your Head of House, any of which you can go to with questions or problems. Your House earns points whenever is members display exceptional classwork, good behavior, or participation in school activities such as Quidditch. Likewise, misbehavior loses points. The House with the most points at the end of the year gets the honor of hosting the House Cup in their commons the next year."

He took a deep breath and finished off with the key facts people probably wanted to know but which didn't fit together in any neat categories. "Small fare food like sandwiches and snacks are available upon request in the Cascade Hall at all times between 6am and curfew at 10, but larger meals are marked on your schedule and are only available then. All students are welcome on the House Quidditch teams; no experience necessary. I think most teams have openings and reserves are always reassuring to have."

"If you have any further questions feel free to ask me or one of the other staff members." He took a moment to indicate the other staff volunteers milling about the clearing who had chosen to help him chaperone the orientation. "In the mean time, enjoy the food and talk amongst yourselves. The tour will begin in approximately one hour."

OOC (Out of Character):
Welcome first years to Sonora! You can post a reply here to ask staff questions or meet your new classmates. This thread is intended for first year students to have a chance to try out posting and get acclimated to the site before we throw you into the big Opening Feast, which is open to the entire school population and can be a bit overwhelming. So post, enjoy, have fun! Everyone here is happy to help out, so if you've got a question, put it on the OOC or try to catch somebody in the Chatzy and we'll try to get you an answer as quick as we can.

    • Things can only get better, right?Winston Pierce, Thu Sep 22 20:27
      This day was not going as well as he might have hoped for his first day at his new school. It had started well enough. The house elves had pulled together a very nice farewell breakfast to celebrate... more
      • Not sure if you're being positive or negative.Luke Powell, Mon Sep 26 06:57
        Having one foot in the magical world and the other in the muggle world wasn’t always easy but Luke had never imagined he’d genuinely resent his situation. Only now he wasn’t so sure because, as... more
    • The start of an adventure!Victor Callahan, Tue Sep 20 16:59
      The wagon ride to Sonora had been pretty cool, definitely more fun than floo travel (which was just over too quickly, even if there were cool effects!). The only thing that would make the wagon... more
      • Definitely experiencing new thingsKir McLeod, Wed Sep 21 01:17
        Kir stretched, working the crick out of his neck after the long wagon ride from the east coast. So. Here he was. School. The thought of it was mostly exciting. It was an adventure he felt he’d been... more
        • It's probably good for youVictor, Thu Sep 22 12:39
          Well. Victor had misjudged the boy before him a little. His introduction suggested that he was not, in fact, society, but oh well. He was better to talk to than nobody at all, and as far as he knew... more
          • That's what I've been toldKir, Mon Sep 26 04:45
            Kir knew about society purebloods in the academic sense. On paper, he knew what they were like. He knew that they didn’t actively snub everyone who wasn’t like them, which in a way made their racism... more
    • I miss my friendsIsaac Song, Mon Sep 19 00:17
      Saying goodbye had been really hard before getting on the wagon to Sonora. Isaac almost wished he wasn't magical so he could go to the same middle school as the rest of his best friends. He knew he... more
      • I'm sorry.Simon Mordue, Thu Sep 22 12:23
        The wagon had been dim (Simon preferred to think this was for the sake of authenticity rather than to hide inadequate cleaning) and deeply uncomfortable, but it had had one thing going for it: it had ... more
        • It makes room for new onesIsaac, Fri Sep 23 00:00
          At Simon's introduction, Isaac wondered if he'd messed it up in some way. Boys at his age weren't all about high society manners, but then again he'd never met any purebloods from that kind of world. ... more
    • Not in Texas anymoreMagnus Graphorn IV, Sun Sep 18 01:17
      Magnus Graphorn IV stepped off of the flying wagon and surveyed the school grounds. He was the very first of his family to attend a formal institution in what was at least a century. Maybe more. Mag... more
      • What is a Texas?Salali Bly, Sun Sep 18 15:55
        The wagon ride was bouncy. Salali liked it, bouncing along with each hop. She had never been on anything like this--she’d only discovered cars recently, and this was even more special than those!--so ... more
        • I'm glad you askMagnus, Mon Sep 19 01:46
          Auntie Moira would not be pleased with the girl that stood before Magnus, having always had an aversion to messy children for about as long as the boy could remember. Luckily for everyone, Auntie... more
    • Finally ArrivingKit Reid, Fri Sep 16 17:08
      Before getting off the wagon, Kit pulled a compact mirror out of her small, white handbag. Holding up the mirror, she made sure no hairs were out of place and fixed her white headband. Pulling her... more
      • And now the fun begins!Ayla Tremaine, Sun Sep 18 00:40
        It had been harder to say her goodbyes than Ayla had imagined. Mostly because Aurelia was crying and clinging to her while Mother tried to settle a fight between Milo and Lenn, and Declan was crying... more
        • It should be interestingKit, Mon Sep 19 19:47
          “It was terrible! Part of me wished that my parents had sent me to a school on the East coast, however, they thought this would be better so that I could meet new people.” It went without saying that ... more
          • I definitely hope so!Ayla, Wed Sep 21 02:16
            “Welcome to the Southern United States, where it rarely gets below 40 degrees.” Ayla said with a smile. “I’ve heard that Connecticut is really pretty though, and you guys get snow. We don't get snow... more
            • New Friend. :)Kit, Thu Sep 22 00:13
              “Oh, it is so pretty, especially at Christmas! We put up twelve different trees and have a huge party. My dad always hires performers to put on a production of the Nutcracker and we have absolutely... more
              • Friends forever! Ayla, Thu Sep 22 13:31
                Ayla couldn’t see a reason for her parents to object to her visiting Kit in Connecticut over the holiday. She was so excited, and hoped that they would let her. How lucky was it that she and Kit... more
    • First Day JittersSawyer Matheson, Fri Sep 16 16:14
      The ride to Sonora had taken longer than Sawyer had anticipated. When he got off the wagon, he stretched his legs in relief. Frowning, he stuck his finger in a hole in his pants, right above the... more
      • Same here.Florence Newell, Sat Sep 17 16:21
        The wagon ride was surprisingly bumpy. Flo had expected something more gracious of their transportation, given the school’s highly wealthy population, but no. Not that she was complaining (or really... more
        • We'll get over it together.Sawyer, Mon Sep 19 21:00
          “I might join some clubs. I’m not really sure yet. I wasn’t in any back home, because we were usually doing some sort of event at church or community service,” Sawyer replied before stuffing another... more
          • That sounds like a planFlorence, Fri Sep 23 03:39
            The mention of church was, for some reason, a bit unexpected, but Flo couldn’t say she held it against Sawyer. If anything, it was an odd comfort. The Newells were not horribly religious, some fairly ... more
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