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Professor Daniel Nash
Thu May 24, 2018 15:29

On the last day of August, Daniel would have been mildly disappointed if Headmaster Mortimer or Deputy Headmistress Skies told him they had found a permanent professor and his services were no longer needed. A few weeks ago, however, when the Deputy Headmistress told him she had interviewed a candidate for the position and she looked promising, Daniel had done a little dance (after Selina left, of course) and treated himself a nice dinner at an upscale restaurant in LA (as soon as he was allowed to leave the school premises) in celebration.

Admittedly, half the celebration was for his restored freedom to come and go, but the opening to leave permanently was definitely more welcome than not after the past few months. He had spent far too much time trapped among teenagers and leaving for good was certainly looking more and more appealing, even without another job to go to.

Of course, he hadn’t escaped entirely, yet. They were still keeping him on as substitute back-up to help out Isis while the disease worked its way through the staff, particularly since the school was temporarily down a potions professor while Sophie stayed safe with her young family. But once Tabitha was settled into her new position, he’d have more free time, less lesson planning, less grading, and most ideally, if he could convince Isis to give him mostly Advanced classes to cover, fewer dealings with both Cleo and Jasmine.

It wasn’t that he disliked either girl. Well, that was perhaps slightly untrue in both cases. It he wasn’t related to the one, he doubted he would particularly like Jasmine, especially after being her teacher. As it was, their relationship could only improve again once he stopped reading her essays. Cleo, by accident of birth, had forced herself out anonymous mediocrity and into awkwardness, and he would be glad to leave that in Tabitha Hawthorne’s hands. He had no desire to deal with teenaged girls and their problems any more than he absolutely had to, even if Cleo’s were a bit more remarkable than most of her peers’. It wasn’t that she was half-veela that bothered him. It was that she had already come to visit his office hours once and it wasn’t to argue about or improve her grades (which were entirely unremarkable - a far greater failing in Daniel’s opinion than any genetic accident she might be cursed with through no fault of her own) but rather to ask him about his regard toward her feelings.

Really, he was very glad Tabitha was taking over. He could polish off his resumé and start interviewing for the kinds of university professorships he’d been hoping to find when he first when back to school for a teaching degree. Sonora was cursed with the absolutely worst age range to deal with. When they were younger, they were at least cute. When they were older, they might have actually developed something close to intelligence. The sooner he found the job he really wanted and got out of here for good, the better.

As the advanced DADA class began to trickle in, he eyed the seventh and sixth years as if to gauge them for the qualities he hoped to find in university students not much older than them. Maturity and intelligence was beginning to peak through in some them, but by no means all.

Raine and Kyte - well, they wouldn’t go to a university so he’d be safe from them. Raine at least tried, he’d give her that, but that didn’t make her essays any less difficult to slog through. Obviously even the Collindales had to take some kind of RATS courses, and he’d just got unlucky, he supposed, that they did marginally better in his class than the others. Arguably, he could preen over the fact that he’d been the only professor in the school able to beat enough information into Kyte’s head for him to pull an Acceptable in his subject, but then he’d have to admit that by not doing so, the other teachers had been able to spare themselves Kyte’s presence in their theory lessons which perhaps displayed the greater wisdom.

He had already warned Tabitha that she ought to have brandy on hand when she read his homework or test papers. Raine’s were hard to read. Kyte’s were painful, littered as they were with Bad Science, made up facts, and plagiarized bits from other students.

Then there was Ben Pierce, best friend and roommate to Kyte. Ben was not half as bad as Kyte, thank Merlin, and perhaps at least as much to blame for Kyte’s passing grade as Daniel, but he was still a Pecari and probably complicit in Kyte’s plagiarism of his papers. His kind frustrated Daniel far more than people like Raine. Ben was smart. He could have excelled, but he didn’t put forth the effort to do so. He coasted through with a steady E. Daniel figured he might get some of kids like that at the college level but Ben’s papers at least didn’t make him mutter under his breath as he tried to decipher the bad spelling or go for the alcohol because he needed to dull the pain inflicted to his brain by the theories on offer. So he wasn’t all bad.

Ingrid was a bit like Ben. Also a Pecari. Also more interested in other things than getting her homework perfect, though he thought she probably could if she just tried harder. But at least she didn’t have Kyte frequently distracting her from Daniel’s lectures, nor were any of her papers suspiciously similar to any of her friends’.

Fabian was about the same. No trouble, really, not even as bad as most Pecaris Daniel knew, and his essays were almost good. A couple of Fabians and Ingrids in his future classes wouldn’t be the end of the world, he supposed. If the Head Boy and Girl had to be Pecaris, they weren’t bad choices.

Wu was just quiet. If she had problems with the English language, they were not reflected in her written assignments, which were clearly written and well focused. He would not go so far as to say she was a pleasure to have in class - she was too easily overlooked to invoke pleasure at her presence- but he had no trouble seeing her in a college setting and doing well there.

Nevaeh likewise did her work and never caused him any problems, though being blind, he did need to put it a little extra effort so nothing was ever entirely dependent on visual cues. Also, some extra safety measures had to be taken on account of the seeing eye dog, whenever the class was throwing around curses or had a dangerous creature on display. But she worked hard enough that he never begrudged the extra work necessary so that she could take part. She was an actual pleasure to have in class, and he hoped his future college students would be a lot like her.

Natasha was good student, and a fine Aladren. If he could have a classroom full of Natashas in his next job, that would be the closest thing to occupational heaven as he could imagine.

Louis, like Natasha, was a fine example of an Aladren. The Frenchman was perhaps a bit too focussed on his life outside the classroom for Daniel’s taste, but he turned in good work most of the time, when his family obligations weren’t too demanding.

Kira was very talented, especially with her wand work. It was satisfying to see students excel with their work like Kira did. He’d be glad if he got some people like her, too.

Joe was a good student as well, usually turning in well thought out essays, and contributing productively to classroom discussions. He was also the only advanced student to have come down with the fever that had quarantined the school, and had somehow miraculously managed not to infect any of his peers.

To Daniel’s knowledge, the advanced class continued to be otherwise spared the ravages of the school’s plague, and most of the advanced students were pretty well behaved normally, so he wasn’t really expecting any major shenanigans during Tabitha’s first class. Aside from Kyte, they were a good group to start with.

She seemed a bit nervous as she began, but they’d gone over the curriculum and he had pointed out the key points the students may get tested on in their RATS, and she quickly fell into a rhythm on her own without any more than raised eyebrows as encouragement. She knew what she was doing. They’d talked about it enough. And now it was her time to fly out of the nest.

She did fine. He couldn’t help but think that he would have talked more before having the students attempt to make their own Patronuses, but he knew he was occasionally prone to over-explanation, so it was possible she might have said enough to get her lesson across.

She came over to where he was observing to do her own observing (it was a good spot to see most of the room, which was why he had picked it) and asked what he thought of her performance. Not one to hold back criticism, he said, keeping his voice down to keep the conversation private, “You started a little shaky. It’s best to not show any nerves if you can help it. Paste on a confident smile before they come and keep it up until it becomes real. After you got going, you did fine, though. I like to repeat the important parts a couple times to reduce the chances that someone dropped their pencil or absolutely had to tie their shoe right that second or somehow otherwise got distracted during just that part and missed a key point. But that may just be a teaching style difference.”

He looked out more toward the class than at Tabitha, partly due to the compulsive vigilance instilled after months of dealing with unexpected accidental magic in the younger years, but partly to see how the students that had been his for two years now were doing with the spell. “Oh,” he said in mild surprise as a small sliver of silver came out of Raine’s wand on her first try, “Good for Raine,” he commented. “That Teppenpaw who just managed a ribbon,” he added to Tabitha, with a discreet chin point to indicate which student he was talking about, “She tries hard, but really struggles with theory and written assignments. She’s normally good at practical application, but I wasn’t sure if she had the happiness necessary for this one. She usually seems rather anxious most of time in class.”

His chin moved, indicating her brother. “And that’s Kyte,” he added, because that kid was the one advanced student that absolutely required close monitoring, “He’s the one I told you about,” he added.

Ooc: Welcome Tabitha! Also, as a note regarding his analysis of the students, Daniel was an Aladren during his Sonora days, and he does harbor a strong bias for Aladrens and against Pecaris; he is fully aware he has a bias, but he doesn’t realize it’s as bad or as obvious as it is.

  • Advanced - The Patronus CharmTabitha Hawthorne, Sun May 20 03:26
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    • WorriesKira Spaulding, Crotalus, Thu Jun 7 13:25
      Kira had been supremely irritated about the Quarantine. She might not have minded any other time, but shortly before Midterm-could she still call it that if they didn't go anywhere? There hadn't been ... more
    • Insights — Professor Daniel Nash, Thu May 24 15:29
    • Thinking happy thoughtsRaine Collindale, Teppenpaw, Tue May 22 08:51
      Sometimes, a new teacher was a good thing. Raine’s first year had probably been the worst of her academic career, as she adjusted to the strange variety of rules and expectations that formal... more
      • I hope I don’t stink at thisBen Pierce, Thu May 31 10:37
        Ben Pierce entered the Defense room with seconds to spare before he would have official earned the title ‘late’. He slipped into the nearest empty seat, still breathing a little hard from running the ... more
        • Perhaps a little, but it'll be okRaine, Sat Jun 9 23:10
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          • practice makes perfect Ben, Pecari, Tue Jun 12 12:37
            He smiled apologetically again as Raine was all Teppish and said his stink was tolerable. Or, at least, that was how he was interpreting her response. No help for it anyway right now anyway. “Oh,... more
            • It sure doesRaine, Sun Jun 17 06:33
              Right. Ben seemed fine. Of course he was fine, and he didn’t need a pep talk from her. Silly to think that had been a possibility. She just sort of nodded along as he rambled about memory, because he ... more
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