Russell Drew
What if this isn't a skill I want?
Mon Aug 6, 2018 12:19

According to the flyer tacked up in Cetus, not only was Cultural Studies being held at a different time than their usual schedule and in the lab instead of its normal room, but it was also a mandatory class for upper-years. Oh good Lord. The last time there had been a mandatory class, Russell had been handed a baby and then ran away with Marissa to hide from their professor's unnecessarily loud spiel about sexually transmitted diseases and the responsibilities of parenthood and other things that still made him feel stressed just thinking back on the experience. And this time, he didn't have a Marissa to help him stabilize. He also didn't have a Kit, and he deeply appreciated that he would be long gone before she was of the right age to join these classes. But without any Kendricks, and with Emmett as the only real constancy (and technically also the seventh-year girls, minus Myffi who had not been there last time, although he interacted with them even less than Emmett), what was he going to do? How would he make it?

Anxiously running his fingers through his hair, the lower half of which had been left out of his bun and now loosely brushed the edge of bony collarbones exposed by a scoop-neck tee, Russell ducked into a hidden wall entrance to the passages. It would be a longer loop around to the lab, but that was a good thing as it made for a chance to pace through the dark and try to calm down. His nerves had driven him to leave way too early, so he had the time to spare, anyways - although not too much. Pushing up his sunglasses, the Californian glanced down compulsively to check his watch. After spending the last four years in Professor Blair-West's class, he knew that there was no such thing as arriving on time; there was only 'awkwardly early', 'okay early', and 'out-of-luck late'.

He ended up timing it out to be somewhere in the middle of 'awkward' and 'okay', pushing the door open to see a couple keeners already there and the short professor ironically looming from on top of her table. The tall seventh-year ironically shrunk under that stare and took a few steps closer, readjusting the strap of his messenger bag on his shoulder. He didn't see any sign of babies yet, but Russell didn't trust his eyes by habit and especially not where mystery mandatory classes were involved, and he continued to peek over his shoulders and around the room in the remaining time while the rest of the upper-years arrived. The babies could be hiding behind the walled-off sections.

Russell didn't relax until class instruction was well underway, and even then he didn't relax completely, because practicing life skills seemed like exactly the right context for Professor Blair-West to have sneakily made a baby-themed challenge. Ten minutes per room wasn't a lot of time, however, and he felt reasonably confident that she wouldn't assign any challenges that couldn't feasibly be resolved in ten minutes or less. That ruled out a lot of possible scenarios; babies were very time-demanding. At worst, they might have to change a diaper, and then the ten-minute alarm would go off and he would never have to look at a baby again. Russell's lanky frame relaxed, imperceptibly.

And promptly tensed again, perceptibly, because he was being pointed at and she was signalling him off to stand at one of the rooms. Oh no. Russell slid off his bag, left it against the wall, and went towards his assigned room. Oh no. As he approached, he saw the no-wands sign, and dutifully put his larch wand down underneath. At the same time, he tried to sneak a look into the room, but his eyes went hazy and he couldn't tell what was beyond. Oh no. He did not like being surprised. The final surprise, apparently, was going to be when another student had to choose him as partner - meaning that said other student would have to willingly choose to work with him, and when had that ever happened, a couple of last years' seventh-years aside? This year's seventh-year and Head Boy stood as patiently as possible, scrutinizing every person who seemed to turn his way. Then someone did, for real. Oh no. "Erm, hi. Ready to do this thing?" he ventured weakly.

  • Life Skills Training (Years 4-7) - Professor Blair-West, Fri Aug 3 14:57
    Estelle was in a Mood. This was not particularly unusual, but today her Mood was the result of the school administration, and despite their quirks she’d always been pleased to say she got along with... more
    • I'll just do my own thing - Remington Burnham, Sun Aug 19 20:01
      Usually, Remington didn’t mind the chance to take advantage of an additional educational opportunity. At a magical school, those were bound to be fascinating and challenging. There were so many... more
    • I've got this... - Leopold Harris, Sun Aug 19 16:02
      Leo rubbed his temples. His head was throbbing. He’d spent the morning holed up in the library and still hadn’t managed to fill one sheet of parchment for his Spellwork essay. Normally, he studied... more
      • Do you, though? - Kaye Packman, Sun Aug 19 17:39
        Around two that morning, Kaye had woken up with a low grade fever and swollen knees. This hadn’t come as a surprise, since she’d covered up her butterfly rash with foundation the day before, but it... more
        • I'm hurt by your lack of faith in me - Leo, Sun Aug 19 19:41
          Leo was disappointed. There were certain people he expected to take his side on things (especially when the ‘thing’ he was criticising was the establishment, and pointless lessons geared toward a... more
          • Does my lack of faith... disturb you? - Kaye, Sun Aug 19 20:56
            Leo grumpily explained that he knew what he was holding was a sheet, which meant that Kaye had completely misunderstood his statement when she entered the room. She was just too fatigued to pay that... more
    • There's no I in Teamwork - Myfanwy Owen, Sat Aug 18 15:40
      Myfanwy didn’t especially appreciate being summoned to a class by a screeching notice pinned up on the Lyra noticeboard, but she supposed the method had been effective. She didn’t think it was a... more
      • If you squint, it's hidden in the A - Brynjolf Nilssen, Tue Aug 21 21:10
        Bryn didn’t mind the mandatory classes that cropped up every now and then, but the last time there had been one for Cultural Studies it had involved a thing that behaved like a baby. That was not... more
        • It's an optical illusion - Myfanwy, Wed Aug 22 15:55
          Myfanwy wasn’t disappointed to find Brynjolf already in the cubicle she had selected. They shared a lot of classes together (one less since Myffi had dropped potions; she was really good at it but... more
          • Brynjolf quirked a grin at the girl as she discarded her robe and stepped further into the room. He was glad to see the normal bright colors that accompanied Myffi’s personality and it put him at... more
    • My life skill is having money - Connor Farnon, Mon Aug 6 15:02
      It wasn’t that Connor had been present for the last mandatory life skills class, where the upper years had to take care of a baby, but he’d seen the results of that class and it terrified him.... more
    • These are not My Life Skills - Claudia Dubois , Mon Aug 6 13:29
      Today’s schedule entailed yet another mandatory session to spend in the company of Professor Blair. Claudia had just about had her fill of those. She didn’t mind the Cultural Studies classes, because ... more
      • Surprisingly, this isn't mine, either - Marley Chapman, Mon Aug 6 15:24
        It was a whole month since she and Teal had broken up, and she still wasn’t over it. That was kind of weird, right? Like, sure they’d been dating for ages (and that wasn’t even an exaggeration, since ... more
        • Some of this is familiar - Claudia, Mon Aug 6 23:08
          “Um, hi.” Claudia paused as if frozen (she would not be surprised if Holland had taught Marley how to execute that spell, but on this occasion her motionless was a result of surprise, not literal... more
          • And some is unknown territory - Marley, Tue Aug 7 22:46
            As soon as the word ‘okay’ had finished, she exhaled in a short sigh, forgetting for a moment not to be too obvious about her relief. She couldn’t help it. Although logically it wouldn’t make sense... more
            • Ready to explore? - Claudia, Wed Aug 8 16:23
              Marley seemed relieved; Claudia wondered why. Did it have more to do with absence of rejection, and with it the need to find another partner, in addition to any negative emotions experienced, or to... more
              • Sure! I think. Maybe. Too late. - Marley, Thu Aug 16 15:31
                “I didn’t say that.” She had spotted the quirk of Claudia’s eyebrows, but her automatic assumption was that it was just a reaction to being called out. She definitely hadn’t expected the other girl... more
                • It started well - Claudia, Fri Aug 17 16:57
                  Marley was infuriating. Claudia hadn’t been expecting anything much when she acknowledged she could have set aside her own reservations to blindly rejoice in Marley’s happiness, so receiving an... more
                  • And keeps dragging on - Marley, Thu Aug 23 20:39
                    It’d probably be super presumptive to say that she had been expecting a “you’re welcome” or even a “thanks for noticing”, because Claudia had never been the type of person to acknowledge the more... more
                    • We could abandon it - Claudia, Fri Aug 24 09:28
                      It felt as though the two of them were incapable of speaking to each other without arguing. Even when they had been friends, they had argued substantially more often than Claudia would consider... more
                      • I'm not good at giving up - Marley, Mon Sep 3 22:53
                        Ears still ringing (or maybe scratching was a better way to describe it) from the sandpapery alarm, she accepted her robes back from Claudia, noticing as she did so that her hand was shaking a bit.... more
                        • Then I have a new challenge for you - Claudia, Thu Sep 6 15:49
                          Marley was measurably more enthusiastic about this next task than Claudia. The paler girl stood towards a back corner of the cubicle, out of the way of its practical assignment, and wordlessly... more
                          • If at first you don't succeed... - Marley, Tue Sep 11 21:54
                            Quickly recovering from the surprise of Claudia requesting to help with the tire repair, Marley bobbed her head, long-ish curls bouncing along with her. “Oh my gosh, yeah, of course.” Laying the... more
                            • Give up and go home? - Claudia, Wed Sep 12 15:48
                              Manual labor was not something to which Claudia was accustomed. Potions and Magizoobotany had both required her to engage in some unpleasant physical tasks on occasion, but Claudia had not continued... more
    • What if this isn't a skill I want? - Russell Drew, Mon Aug 6 12:19
      • All skills are worth having - Nolan Ramsey, Mon Aug 6 14:27
        Apparently the other students who weren’t taking Cultural Studies—and some of the ones who were—didn’t like mandatory yes-you-have-to-go-even-though-you-dropped-it lessons. Nolan agreed he’d rather... more
        • Not this one - Russell, Tue Aug 7 23:31
          The person to finally approach him was Nolan, whom he knew casually - they shared a few classes and he was pretty sure they’d wound up partners for at least two impossibly vague History assignments... more
          • How can you tell? - Nolan, Tue Aug 14 22:02
            Russell’s response was to go stand in a corner, so Nolan might have chosen wrong in the partner department. Great. He should’ve just picked Buckley. The guy was always going on about how having a... more
            • He took vague stock of Nolan’s question - just enough to deduct that the only way they were going to make it through this was if either they waited for the timer to go off and moved to the next... more
              • You’re so evasive - Nolan, Mon Sep 3 09:25
                Russell said he couldn’t imagine why this was one of their tasks. Nolan agreed, but for different reasons. Why bother learning how to do things the Muggle way? Everyone at RMI had magic—hell, even... more
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