Professor Nathan Xavier
First Year Orientation
Fri Jan 4, 2019 12:42
101.86.224.223

Nathan was up far too early this morning, and it had nothing to do with his duties as Head of House or even orienting the first years. Students weren't arriving until afternoon, after all. No, his lack of sleep, and the resultant bags under his eyes were caused by have an almost three month old living in his family's quarters, which had seemed quite spacious when they set them up last midterm but seemed less so when trying to walk a squalling infant to sleep at 2am.

He probably should have let Gray do the Orientation again, but Nathan considered it his job; he'd done it most of the years since Orientation had been implemented, and he'd promised Selina keeping a baby on premises wouldn't interfere with his or Isis' work. Besides, he'd missed doing it last year due to wedding preparations, and he didn't want to miss it two years in a row.

So he tried to be mostly cheerful and welcoming rather than exhausted looking as each new batch of students got off the flying covered wagons that had brought them to Sonora from all over the country. He directed the first years off into the garden to where the Orientation was set up with tables of snacks, plenty of room to mingle with each other, and a stack of folders with important information about the school, including a map. Everyone else was welcome to head on into the school, where the library, Cascade Hall, and the common rooms were all available for them to use to entertain themselves until the Opening Feast that evening.

Soon all the wagons were accounted for, and the school's prairie elves had dealt with the luggage and putting the flying wagons away in their shed. He followed the last group of first years into the orientation area, and gave them a few minutes to pick up food and a folder.

Soon enough, though, he cleared his throat to gain their attention.

"Hello, students. Welcome to your first year at Sonora Academy. My name is Professor Xavier." He was trying to keep his sentences short and simple; partly because he was tired and they could easily drift into long rambling things that even he couldn't follow if they went on too long, and partly because they had a few foreign students for whom English was not their first language. "I am the Herbology teacher here. In a little while, I'll give you a tour of your new school, but first, a few words about it."

"Sonora Academy of Magic is a seven year secondary school. We teach Charms, Transfiguration, Potions, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, and Defense against the Dark Arts as our core classes. You'll be taking each of those for five years. You will begin with beginner level classes. Beginner classes continue into second year. This allows you to get to know and work with people who were in your place last year. As first years only, you’ll also take Flying Lessons. In third year, you will move up to intermediate classes. At that point, you can add elective classes and independent studies to your course load, if you want. The core classes continue to be required. Intermediate classes continue through fifth year. Your first major exam, called the CATS - the Critical Assessment of Talents and Skills, is at the end of fifth year. After the CATS, you may drop some of your courses so you may better focus on the ones you decide to pursue at an Advanced level. Your last major exam, the RATS - the Ridiculously Anal Testing of Skills, is at the end of your seventh year. You need to pass two RATS to graduate, and most colleges require a minimum of three. Obviously, that's still a long way off, but that's the overview of academics here at Sonora. You should have your schedule for beginner lessons in the green folders. If you didn't get one, they are over there," he pointed to the appropriate table. "If you need help with English or math, please tell your Head of House. Sonora offers an academic assistance program for anyone who needs it for any reason." Reasons could and have included anything from growing up in a circus with little formal education to being a non-native speaker of English. "Also, each professor will offer office hours if you need help in a specific subject."

"For extracurricular activities, Sonora has a number of student led clubs, including a Dueling club, an Orchestra, a Gardening club, an Art club, and a school newspaper called the Aronos. If you don't like those, you can always make your own. We also have a school wide Quidditch team that competes with other schools. First years are welcome to try-out, but you'll likely be on the reserve team. For those who don't know, Quidditch is a wizarding sport played on broomsticks." He realized his sentences were getting longer, but he couldn't figure out how to get them any shorter, now that they were past basic introductions. He compensated by trying to talk slower.

"After the tour, you will be sorted into Houses. You will receive a badge, which you will dip into a potion, and it will come out one of four colors. Blue means Aladren. Aladrens tend to value learning and problem-solving. Yellow means Teppenpaw. Teppenpaws are our diplomats, valuing friendship and personal development. Red means Crotalus. They believe in respectability, responsibility, and strategic planning. Brown means Pecari. Those students are often adventurous and adaptable. Not everyone fits neatly into one House or another, so try not to put too much stock into House stereotypes. There are smart Crotali and adventurous Teppenpaws. There are adaptable Pecaris who aren't adventurous. But everybody will be sorted into one of them. This is a boarding school, so you'll have a Head of House who you will look out for you and serve as your adult guardian while you're here. We're a small school, so you may need to share a room with anyone else in your year matching your House and gender. Each House also has three prefects who are appointed to help you with any trouble you may have. Your House can earn points for your good deeds and exemplary class work. Likewise getting in trouble can lose your House points. The House with the most points at the end of the year wins the House Cup to display in their Commons the following year, and may earn extra perks at the end-of-year midsummer event. Pecari will be hosting it this year."

He mentally ran through the important topics one more time and thought he'd hit most of them - it was his eighth time doing this, and he was proving he could just about do it in his sleep. "That's about it. Wear school robes with your House badge to class. The Cascade Hall serves breakfast from 6:30 to 8:30, lunch from eleven to one, and dinner from five to seven. Those times should also be on your schedules. Between those times, you can get smaller things like sandwiches and snacks. It opens at six and closes at ten. Ten PM to six AM is curfew; you should be in your House areas during that time. Unless there are any questions, you are free to chat and get to know each other until the tour, which kicks off at 5:30."


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.

Please remember that anything that happened in the Sandbox was just practice and did not actually occur. (You are welcome, of course, to use any background information you generated about your character during these exercises such as pets, accidental magic, etc, but they have not yet spent any time at Sonora, or interacted with any classmates.)

Also of note, entering your email address when you reply will mean you get notified when someone responds. This is optional but can be useful for helping to keep track of posts. Please do NOT check the box that says 'show email address,' as this will make it public and may result in spam. Please note, that lately some reply notifications have been ending up in spam folders of email accounts. Please check your spam folders and the boards if you think you are not receiving replies

Now, go forth, new first years of Sonora! Post, enjoy, have fun! Everyone here is happy to help out, so if you've got a question, put it on the OOC board or try to catch somebody in the Chatzy and we'll try to get you an answer as quick as we can. Have fun and we’re glad you could join us!

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