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Joe Umland, Teppenpaw
It's poetry in motion.
Thu Nov 30, 2017 21:10

Experimental methodology was a pair of words Joe regarded without confusion, or even – entirely – lack of interest (he often wondered how, exactly, he had ended up in Teppenpaw and not Aladren; the best guess he had ever come up with was that it had something to do with the nuances of how he was interested in things, as one of the main differences between him and Tasha seemed to be that he found people at least almost as interesting as the things said people did. This hypothesis was tentatively supported by John’s dismissal of the very idea of psychology as “worthless rubbish” aside from the Behaviorists, though he had to admit that the fact that John’s two particular friends were both socially proficient was also good evidence in the John-being-poor-evidence-for-the-existence-of-anything-other-than-himself column; it was possible that his brother was simply a stray bit of data which diverged from the general trend altogether), but it was a pair of words he regarded with a certain amount of caution. Experimental methodology was, after all, what had supposedly been behind that time that his runners had been cut to pieces, and why his mattress had once caught fire, and how he’d gotten in trouble at Scouts when he was eight, and yes, he knew it was a bit petty to still be bitter about that eight years later, but it hadn’t even been his idea….

He shook his head slightly as Professor Skies, unaware of his childhood traumas, continued placidly explaining the basics of the scientific method to probably a decent number of his classmates. He glanced over toward Tasha to see how she was reacting, wondering if she had ever heard of it or not. Mom said it had begun to develop in ancient times and then picked up in the western world in the thirteenth century, but that it admittedly had only really come into its present form and level of importance after the Great Divide in the eighteenth century. It was weird, from his perspective, to see what those raised entirely in the wizarding world did and didn’t know; in some ways they were roughly as advanced as the Victorians, at least, and in others, they were…not.

The way Professor Skies explained it all, however, made him think that whatever the average wizard kid learned before he or she came to Sonora, it presumably didn’t include the steps of the scientific method as he knew it. Or maybe they all needed a refresher; he doubted he would have remembered the bit about writing down all the equipment needed. He wondered if he ought to write down ‘this pen and paper’ or if that would be (accurately) interpreted as sarcasm and marked down accordingly. Probably, he concluded, it was better to be safe than sorry and omit that from his list, which left the list at ‘rock’ and ‘wand.’

He continued setting up his page as the professor had asked. Her words were slightly different from the ones he had learned from Mom when she’d tried to teach him basic science when he was younger, but they were close enough that he didn’t hesitate at all until he reached the hypothesis. That was a tricky part – how, exactly, was he supposed to have an educated guess about this topic? The nuances of wand movements were something he had only a cursory familiarity with. John had rambled at him about it before, but there was a difference between that and really knowing about a topic….

He remembered, though, that John had once referred to Joe’s style as more ‘elegant’ than his own. He had not been entirely sure whether it had been meant as a compliment, but while he liked the phrase, he suspected that from John it was simply an observation, as he had noted at the same time that Julian was less expansive than either of them when using her wand, isolating her movements much more to the fingers and wrists than they did. Now just to figure out what in the world, if not complimentary or derisive, that word meant.

Joe decided to put an experiment in an experiment and try both wand movements without trying the spell. The circle irked him a bit (it wasn’t perfect), but the other two both seemed usable to him. However, the flowing motion was the one which felt most natural to him, and which seemed to bridge the gap between the sharp, manufactured, geometric lines of a pencil and the rounder, more organic lines of the pebble. He wrote down this hypothesis and his reasoning and was, finally, left with the essential bit – actually trying it out with actions and words together.

He started with his least-favorite, the circle. The pebble rose, losing its flattish shape and becoming more or less a cylinder, and stretching out, but not turning yellow or developing all the component bits of a pencil. He picked it up and rubbed one end against his paper, but didn’t get much of a mark out of that. He glanced at his neighbor.

“It just occurred to me that we’re probably going to have to test all these more than once to be sure one’s the easiest,” he observed. “Do you think?” He almost hoped that his neighbor did not so think, as his neighbor so thinking would mean a lot more data than he had expected to compile, but he suspected he was right.

  • Intermediates - she blinded me with scienceProfessor Skies, Fri Nov 17 16:27
    “Good morning,” Selina greeted the intermediate class. Today they were probably in for a pleasant surprise. Whilst this lesson was down on their timetable as ‘theory’ it was going to be quite a... more
    • It's poetry in motion. — Joe Umland, Teppenpaw, Thu Nov 30 21:10
    • Science! Yes!Zevalyn Ives, Aladren, Wed Nov 22 11:53
      As she always did, Zevalyn Ives took a seat in the front row. She hadn’t been a front row seater back in normal middle school, but that changed last year. With the amount of extra help she needed,... more
      • I'm happy for you.Tasha DuBois,Aladren, Thu Nov 30 18:34
        Tasha settled in her seat for Transfiguration. She usually enjoyed this class quite a bit, though she supposed that was true for all her classes. It was going to be hard to choose which ones to... more
        • Oh? What was the fair like? Sounds fun!Zevalyn Ives, Wed Jan 3 15:50
          “I guess so!” Zevalyn agreed happily, still grinning at the girl sitting next to her. Tasha, she thought, was her name, but she wasn’t certain enough of it to use it. “What was that?” she asked with... more
          • It was!Tasha, Sat Jan 6 16:50
            Tasha nodded. "It was a lot of fun. I was in the Ethiopia group. " It had been great, as she had developed a love of Ethiopian food and made friends with Joe. Until then, she hadn't had any friends... more
    • I’m petrified. No seriously. This is a panic attack.Jozua Sparks, Teppenpaw, Tue Nov 21 15:50
      Jozua was not expecting much from today’s Transfiguration lesson. It was theory, and while he could follow most theory discussions without too many headaches, he much preferred practical work.... more
      • That doesn't sound goodRaine Collindale, Teppenpaw, Sun Nov 26 08:47
        Raine’s standard method for dealing with class was to keep her head down and just do as she was told, as best she could. It didn’t always work, because sometimes she found the work too difficult, or... more
        • No, it’s an unpleasant load of baggageJozua, Tue Nov 28 10:23
          Jozua flinched slightly as someone touched him. Fortunately, he did not yelp or draw a wand or do anything else to draw further attention from anyone else. He drew in a deep a breath and turned to... more
          • How about we put it down?Raine, Wed Nov 29 02:20
            “Um…” was all Raine managed to Jozua’s comment about not panicking or blowing up the school together, followed by “Oh,” at the rest of his explanation. “I’m sorry about your house. Was anyone hurt?”... more
            • Great plan. Where?Jozua, Wed Nov 29 09:34
              Jozua sighed and relaxed his cross-armed stance as she asked in concern after the well being of his family. “Nah,” he said, shaking his head. “We’re Sparks. My great great granddad figured out how to ... more
              • Chuck it out the window?Raine, Thu Nov 30 09:18
                “Those sound very interesting,” Raine commented with a smile, as Jozua explained about his house. She wanted to tell him how nice it was to meet someone else who thought in usual ways, or at least... more
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