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Professor Wright
Cheer up already, Intermediates! (III-V Years)
Fri Sep 15, 2017 14:50

In Gray’s old job, his job had mainly been to imagine things and write them down. Now, his job was to imagine things and then make them real. This was, he often thought ruefully, a less similar skill set than it initially sounded like. When he had started planning his new unit for the intermediates, he had envisioned elaborate light shows and decorations to set the mood beforehand, but in the end, he’d had two other classes, plus wrapping up the unit the intermediates were already in, then supervising flying lessons, then marking exams – something which, with the beginners in particular, made him think he might be qualified for a career as a government code-breaker should the government ever need one; he knew his handwriting was a bit…rubbishy at times and his use of mechanics perhaps looser than a professional writer’s probably should have been, but still. He was sure his teachers had never faced such problems – and other duties, and visiting his parents over the weekend, and penning a polite response to a friend who had admitted that sadly, he couldn’t get Gray anything with his network at the moment….Well, the time just went by, and now, the room had some posters depicting stone tablets with various etchings, all presumably indecipherable to his students, on them hanging directly over his desk.

“Hello, hello, everyone,” he said, coming in waving a sheet of parchment to dry it – he had just had an idea and written it down, using the wall to bear down on, quickly before class began and he forgot it. “Here – “ he put his portable document case on the desk, retrieved the intermediate exams, and handed them to the nearest student. “Hand those out, please, thank you. If anyone has any questions about the material or your grades, drop by after class, but right now, it’s time to start our new unit.”

He finally made it to the front of his desk and pointed to the posters hanging directly above his head. “The things hanging above my head,” he said, “are some of the earliest known spellbooks. One of them also mentions some of the rules of a primitive tax system, but that’s irrelevant to our discussion. Anyone have any idea where some of the earliest wizards started transcribing their spells?” He gave anyone who happened to know this tidbit a moment to speak up, then continued. “Mesopotamia, that’s correct. Very good. Now, a lot of these spells fall strictly more into Professor Nash’s class than mine, since they’re charms to protect houses and people from curses, but by the time these tablets were carved, people had already figured out how to make fire – “ Gray gave his wand a discreet flick and a large candle on his desk lit itself – “and pull water from the air – “ he picked up a goblet from the other side of his desk and filled it with water – “and had started work on spells to affect the human brain.”

A wave of his wand brought one poster down to the level where he could reach it and hold it out for the class’ closer inspection. “This spell, we think, is a charm that was meant to inspire courage in the person it was being cast on,” explained Gray. “It’s an ancestor of the Cheering Charm. You may notice, though, that it’s a lot longer than the incantation for a cheering charm.”

He handed a handout to the last student on the first row with instructions to take one and pass them along. “On one side of this paper, you’ll see the incantation for this charm,” he said. “Or a translation, anyway. It’s seven lines long, repeats certain keywords seven times, and requires some ritual items to complete – honey, cypress wood, and reeds, to be specific. These have to be placed in specific ways at specific times, and it’s a time consuming business that looks at the distinction we make between Charms and Potions and does a jig on it. On the other side of the page, you see a one-word incantation and a diagram showing you a pretty simple wand movement. One of these is a lot easier than the other.

“We’re going to start our unit on mood charms by exploring why that is,” explained Gray. “Fifth years, by the end of this unit – that’ll be in two weeks – you’ll all write me essays arguing whether mood charms or mood potions are more effective – and these are argumentative essays, with sources, not just opinion pieces,” he added, unusually sternly. “You don’t get to use sources in your CATS, but that just means the more you know now, the more you’ll have to work with when you do get to them. Fourth years, you’ll be writing about the ethics of using mood charms, citing at least three different charms in your final product. And finally, third years - development of mood charms between Mesopotamia and the founding of Rome, plus you’ll actually learn the spell and practice it on each other. At the end, each year will get together and plan a short presentation on your subject matter for the class; you can start working with others now if you want, but everyone has to write their own paper and I don’t want to see every single one identical, okay? Good. In class, you can start researching with someone in your own year, or you can help out your friends in others, but here’s a cart of books and there’s more in the library – have at it.”

OOC: As usual, posting rules, tag Gray if you need him, flag me down on the OOC or in Chatzy (mainly I’m ‘Tatiana Vorontsova’ there at the moment), and theorize away, as that would make me happy and earn your House points. Have fun!

    • I was fine until you set that essayGeorgia Kirkly, Teppenpaw, Mon Sep 18 04:25
      For the first time since starting Sonora, Georgia actually felt that her summer had been good, and not just something to be survived as she was shuttled between her parents, and all their stupid... more
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