Professor Samuel Boot
A story about you (HoM Years 1-3)
Sat Aug 4, 2018 15:02

This school year was so far very much like most school years, except that it was very light on Tuesdays. Samuel Boot and the poltergeist Shifty Eyes usually played poker on Tuesday evenings, but there had not been any Tuesdays this year, as they hadn’t played in some time (a detail about which Samuel’s self-shuffling cards frequently complained). Perhaps all the Tuesdays would be at the end of this year, rather than distributed throughout. Samuel was not aware of a time this had happened before, although he was familiar with the occurrence of one particularly long Tuesday in 1899, so it was surely possible.

When the beginners students arrived, they saw a horizontal line of white chalk drawn across the blackboard. The line was marked with a series of dates—the earliest at the far left end of the line and the most recent at the far right—beneath which had been scrawled descriptions too tiny for those at the back of the room to read. Served them right for sitting in the cheap seats.

Samuel began the lesson by pointing to the blackboard. “This is a timeline of the life of Vargot, one of the key figures in the goblin rebellion of 1754.” This was Samuel’s third-favorite goblin rebellion, because of the Mid-to-Late-August Apple Orchard Ambush. It was not his favorite because his favorite featured a goblin chef brigade, and it was not his second favorite because of the distinct lack of goat catapults. But 1754 was still quite a good year for a goblin rebellion nonetheless, and Vargot was still a particularly good chef, even though he had not captained his own brigade.

“Later in the semester, we will be using timelines like this one to write reports on other historical figures. To prepare you for this task,” Samuel did not want to hear any comments like ‘it’s too confusing’ or ‘I didn’t like all the soap’ about later assignments, “today you will practice by creating a timeline of your life, starting with your birth day and leaving off at today, unless you have died, in which case you may end it on your death day. Think about the most important events that have happened to you so far—they can be positive or negative, but you must include at least five—and note them at the appropriate spots on your timeline.”

“I have provided parchment on which you should draw your timelines.” Samuel waved his wand, and a pyramid of scrolls fired off his desk like a battalion of bottle rockets. His aim and force were slightly off, and many of the students who weren’t smacked on the snout with their parchment were obligated to get up from their chairs and climb over other seated students to retrieve the scroll. The question of how much parchment to give them had vexed Samuel. Surely they would not need much space. The students’ short lives were but the blink of an eye on the timeline of humanity, a fraction of a fraction for someone of Samuel’s many years! But some of the students had rather large handwriting, so he had compromised by giving them five-foot rolls of parchment (taller than some of the first years) that, even when they were not unrolled to their full length, could not possibly fit on the surface provided by the lecture hall’s seats’ desks.

Hopefully the first years’ making skills had improved since their abysmal attempts at manticore traps. Some of those traps would not even have trapped a Welshman. “You cannot use ‘being born’ as an event. You’ve all managed that so it doesn’t count. If you are stuck, it may help to consult with another student to figure out which events were important.” Unfortunately some students may not know which previous events would end up being important yet, but as this was not a Divinations class, it simply could not be helped. “Well, go on!” Samuel said, waving his hands at the students and managing not to throw his wand, which tried to escape quite regularly. “Your history won’t write itself!” Not on the parchment, at least.

[OOC: Hello there! Please remember to follow all the site rules when posting in class. If unsure, check out the Rules and FAQ pages or ask in the author chatzy. Extra-interesting posts get extra points. Happy posting!]

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