Professor Skies
Beginners - Button It
Fri Aug 10, 2018 22:04

“Good morning,” Selina greeted the beginners class, eyes travelling around the room to take note of the new faces. A lot of the surnames on the roll call were familiar, and not just due to the usual Pureblood families with a large influence in the school. Hopefully, that meant that most of the first years were having an easy time settling in, as they had older relatives to help them adjust.

“For our new first years, welcome to Transfiguration, and to the start of your classes at Sonora Academy. I am Professor Skies,” she smiled. Transfiguration for the beginners was every day after breakfast, and so this was always their first introduction to lessons and to using their wands. A little harsh, perhaps, given its reputed difficulty compared to other branches of magic, though hopefully their spirits wouldn’t be too dented if they got lack lustre results. In that sense, having the second years alongside might be a help - it showed how far they could progress in a single year. Though she supposed a year was a long time to eleven and twelve year olds…. “The first thing to know, is that Transfiguration is very difficult magic. It may take several attempts before you start to see results. You are likely to progress through each transformation by making small steps and alterations, rather than by being able to achieve a complete result in one go. Just remember, that even when it feels like you’re failing, you are still learning something. You need to learn to channel your magic, to have it respond to your will rather than your emotions, and all of this is good practise.

“Successful transfiguration comes from two things - one is clear visualisation, the other is respecting the laws and limits of this branch of magic,” behind her, the chalk wrote these two headings in elegant, looping handwriting.

“Visualisation is key. Picturing what you want your object to turn into, and how it is going to get there. Let’s take the classic example of a matchstick into a needle. What is similar about the two objects, and in what ways do they differ? Second years, you should all be experts at answering this type of question by now,” she added, wanting to rouse any sleepy older students who had tuned out on the assumption that this part of the lesson was not for them. Behind her, the chalk drew a matchstick and a needle, annotating them as suggestions came in from the students about their similarities and differences.

“Good,” Selina nodded, when she felt they had covered all of the important points, “So, thinking through the items - their properties - allows us to really concentrate on what it means to turn one into the other. It also allows us to find any common points - they are both long and thin, for example - areas where we can see a similarity, and help link the objects in our minds. That’s important, and it brings us on to point number two.

“There are a number of legal restrictions on transfiguration and laws of nature against which it will not work. We will look at those more throughout your time here at Sonora. In terms of laws of nature, the first thing to know is that it helps for there to be some similarity between the objects you are transfiguring. Some would say it is always essential, just as your power grows those connections can become more and more tenuous and abstract. To begin with, you will almost always work with objects of a similar size and shape to those which you are attempting to create. Finding those similarities is as key as finding the differences - identifying the differences allows you to see the work you have to do, but identifying the similarities allows you to know that it is possible.

“To help with this process, you will fill out transfiguration tables before you attempt to begin casting. These list all the ways in which you can compare objects - their size, their colour, their function etcetera,” she explained. A table with a full list of headings down one side and two blank columns next to these made their way to each first year, “Second years, you should be able to do this from scratch by now, but you may take a table if you wish. You may fill this out however you like. With pictures. With words. You may write in a language other than English. The purpose of these is to help guide your mental process. For you to show yourself what you need to do, though I will ask you to produce a neat, English version for homework so that I can check your working.

“The lesson today will be on pebbles to buttons,” as she explained this, a box made its way round the room, so that each person could select a pebble. There was some variation in the size and colouring but if anyone got too hung up about making their selection, the box would pointedly rattle itself at them. “You will first need to fill out your tables to describe what steps that transformation will require. When you are ready to cast, the incantation is Pangolus. The wand movement is a clockwise circle if you are right-handed. If you are left-handed, a counterclockwise variation is possible - it is generally considered less effective but this is balanced out if it feels more comfortable and natural for you to move in that way,” behind her the chalk scribbled this key information on the board. Selina held up a pebble, demonstrating the spell by making a pretty flower shaped button with shimmering mother of pearl inlay.

“Second years, challenge yourselves by removing your pebble further from its original state - change its colour, make a more pronounced variation to the size, or the shape, or include a nice pattern.

“If you are stuck, chapter two of your textbooks has more about transfiguration tables, whilst chapter three has more theoretical background to the subject. You may also call me over, or talk quietly amongst yourselves. You may begin.”

OOC - posts should be a minimum of 200 words and will be graded based on length, relevance, realism and creativity. If you have any problems (or are causing problems whereby a teacher would likely step in) please tag me in the subject line and give me time to respond. Selina would not let things get out of hand. Bear in mind that during their first transfiguration lesson, only Hermione managed to get any effect, and she was a freaking prodigy. We’ll allow you to go a little faster for the sake of having interesting things happen/variation between people but be prepared to not get very far very fast. If you have questions about the lesson or realism, then stop by chatzy or ask on the OOC.

    • But what is 'it'?Katerina Vorontsov, Thu Aug 16 10:52
      It had never occurred to Katya to sit anywhere but the very front of the room until the moment she entered the Transfiguration classroom. Then she saw Julius Astley and her mouth thinned in... more
      • 'It' is a pronoun whose meaning changes by contextHeinrich Hexenmeister, Mon Sep 10 07:11
        Heinrich was glad to be in second year. There were a lot of other problems associated to this year, but being the older half of the beginners was not one of them. He had a handle on how most subjects ... more
        • I suspect context can make 'it' a real headache of a word.Katerina Vorontsov, Mon Sep 10 17:37
          Heinrich. That was not a Russian name at all, of course – she had figured out reading history that someone Germans called Heinrich and the English called Henry, Russians would call Genrikh; Katya had ... more
          • He smiled back at Katya. For a moment, Heinrich couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong with Katya’s English. It followed all the grammatical rules he knew, and almost could have come right out of... more
            • And tenses. Don't get me started on tenses.Katerina, Mon Sep 17 20:53
              Heinrich used short, straightforward sentences. This was – at least when it wasn’t done for her benefit, as it clearly wasn’t here – a trait Katya appreciated in a person. His grammar twisted on... more
              • Oh, I am with you there!Heinrich, Wed Oct 3 15:03
                German! She spoke German! Not perfectly, it was clear, but enough! Enough that it would have immediately gotten her an invitation to the ball last year, enough that his eyes widened in surprise and... more
                • Glad we're on the same page.Katerina, Wed Oct 10 11:40
                  Katya listened closely, glad for relatively short, straightforward sentences in German as well as English, and then shook her head. “No,” she said, also in German. “I do not go to Germany. Mama war – ... more
    • Let's just get on with it. Julius Astley, Sun Aug 12 16:07
      After the Opening Feast, Julius had been happy enough to be led to the Crotalus Common Room by the Deputy Headmistress no less. That was at least reassuring that the house he had been sorted into was ... more
      • That seems like a good idea.Nathaniel Mordue, Teppenpaw, Mon Sep 17 20:17
        The classrooms at Sonora had not changed much over the summer, though some of the faces in the rooms had changed. Nathaniel had hoped that being a second year, one of the big men in his class, would... more
        • It means I can go back to wishing I wasn't here.Julius Astley, Crotalus, Mon Sep 17 20:54
          Julius had been diligently filling out his transfiguration table, determined to focus on nothing but. He wasn't sure how he felt about transfiguration, still unsure as to its practical applications... more
          • Probably not the most productive use of your time.Nathaniel Mordue, Mon Sep 17 21:24
            Astley, California. Another western family, so Nathaniel recognized the name, though he was confident that their families were not close associates in any way. This was quite possibly a good thing –... more
    • A Button in a Pebble Stack [tag Ness and Malikhi]Evelyn Stones, Fri Aug 10 22:30
      After a quick 'Malikhi, this is Ness. Ness, Malikhi,' Evelyn had taken a seat between them. Having missed breakfast due to her conversation in the library with Ness, Evelyn hadn't actually gotten to... more
      • Can we keep the buttons?Malikhi Hill, Pecari, Fri Aug 10 23:14
        Malikhi wasn't particularly very happy upon arriving into the Transfiguration classroom. He had spent his breakfast at the Pecari table alone and in silence given that Evelyn seemed to be missing and ... more
        • No, they will revert back to pebblesNess McLeod, Aladren, Sat Aug 11 05:50
          It had been a pretty intense morning. Waking up in a new place was always an interesting experience - that little moment adjusting and remembering where you were. In this case, it was a place Ness... more
          • And so it begins....Evelyn Stones, Sat Aug 11 15:41
            Evelyn sighed as quietly as she could. She couldn't help sighing, but she could help whether it caused an issue or not. She wasn't even sure what emotion to feel first, although frustration and... more
            • I am not enjoying myselfMalikhi Hill, Pecari, Sat Aug 11 16:04
              Malikhi kept his eyes firmly fixed on his paper, his hair falling round his face as he scowled. If he'd have stared hard enough at his paper, there was possibly a chance that it would catch fire. He... more
              • Really? What's not to like?Ness, Sat Aug 11 22:50
                “Oh. Ok,” Ness nodded, with a slight curious hesitation as Evelyn revealed that the nickname was something only Malikhi used. The hesitation was because, like with most things, a bunch of follow up... more
                • I've done it all wrong!Evelyn Stones, Sun Aug 12 01:38
                  Upon hearing Ness' thoughts on their task, Evelyn was convinced she'd done it all wrong. She really did care about her relationship with these two, though, so there was no room for lying about it. "I ... more
                  • Everybody thinks differently. Malikhi Hill, Pecari, Sun Aug 12 15:33
                    Malikhi couldn't help but smile as Evelyn rattled through her thoughts and explanations. Somehow, it was just so Evelyn . She was somehow seeing beyond just the button and delved deeper, into the... more
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