Professor Mary Brooding
Great work! [Advanced Students VI and VII]
Mon Nov 5, 2018 01:24

Of all the things Mary had ever been, being an advanced student at Sonora had been one of the hardest. It was during these years that she lost her family, realized she not only had no interest in boys and was attracted to women, but also no one to share that with now, and, eventually, graduated. That was the hardest part in some ways because it was upon graduation that Mary became everything else she was.

As a result, she had a certain sympathy for advanced level students, particularly after the winter break when their final tests were looming dangerously closer. She did her best to make Potions class a fun, stimulating environment, and hoped her students felt secure in knowing her tests were written the same way. She didn't teach to the test; she tested what had been taught.

The fun part about working with Advanced level students was that they were all there by choice. This was, she had discovered, not the same thing as wanting to be there. This thought weighed particularly heavily on her as she had been writing this lesson, and inspired the simplicity of it all. It was not a creative lesson and it was not even a terribly challenging one. It was, however, useful. These students, especially the Potions apprentice who, of course, had a strong investment in class, were taking Potions for a reason. If nothing else, Mary wrote this lesson for them.

As the small group filed in and took their seats, Mary smiled at them. She was more reserved with her advanced students, in part because they were so much more relatable and could likely read her better anyway, but also because they were more wired. She didn't have to put on a happy face and play with them to encourage their attention and their effort. They were practically independent now, and she wanted to treat them like it.

"Hello," she said, nodding to those who were looking at her already and allowing those who were still settling time to finish. "Ahead of you is the life of a fully-fledged magical citizen. I am so honored to have worked with you here at Sonora and to continue as your colleague in the next stage of your lives. Whether you're facing graduation, testing, or preparation for your final year," she glanced at the sixth year students, acknowledging that not everyone was on the cusp of graduation. "Today will, I hope, be a helpful opportunity for you."

Mary thought of Tabitha and the fact that they were both here, teaching at Sonora when neither of them expected that profession for themselves. It gave her goosebumps to look at the faces of people who would, in 10 or 15 years, be doing so much more than anyone could imagine just yet. On the desk beside her, Ailuros purred, offering her silent agreement despite not having any way of knowing what Mary was thinking. Probably.

"If today's activities go well, I'd like you all to consider whether you'd like to provide demonstrations at the mid-summer fair this year. It's coming up in a few months and we can take some time to prepare for that. If you have any other ideas, let me know that as well. Shall we get started?"

Mary waved her wand, revealing four workstations setup around the room. Each one was fully stocked with equipment including cauldrons, books, tools, and more, and the ingredient storeroom was available for anything else they would need.

"We're going to focus on career-skills today. The four stations are setup for healing, curse-breaking and other such work, practical application, and parenting. You'll find everything you need in each station except the actual potions or ingredients. The healing station has several dummies charmed to demonstrate symptoms of diseases, illness, and other problems, allowing you to practice brewing and administering potions. The curse-breaking station has traps, enchantments, and creature-based activities. The practical application station focuses on herbology, cuisine, fashion, etc. And the parenting station is for those of you with particular interest in family growth or home management, and includes simulations and practice for basic childhood conditions that do not require medical attention, cleaning, entertaining, etc."

While she respected parenting as a career, she had been hesitant to include it with the others in a classroom. She felt it was her job to encourage students to pursue higher individual success before committing to family development, but also understand that culturally, some students would be more prone to that direction.

"You should also note that those of you are who interested in teaching potions either here, at Hogwarts, or at any other location, or privately, should know each of these skillsets thoroughly. Does anyone have any questions? I'll be here to help you with anything that does come up throughout our class period or to help you with the equipment and things. Otherwise, enjoy your time and allow some creativity and curiosity to guide your education today. We'll be doing this sort of thing periodically throughout the rest of the semester. If there is not a station set up that you would like to see in future, please let me know!"

OOC - As it is IC, OOC, this lesson is very free-range. I know that it can be tough sometimes with advanced students when they have more individualized goals and things going on, so I wanted to set up a more structured sort of sandbox environment and give students the chance to play with some of their post-Sonora plans. Let Mary know if your student would like to participate in a demonstration at the fair or would like any other individual education goals to be worked on.

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