Holland Keene
The best-laid plans
Sat Feb 17, 2018 14:33

From their college road trip, Holland had picked Brown (good technomancy work-study program) and Dartmouth (experimental charms, slightly less of a reach) to apply to. Then there was University of Michigan (charms development, great school without Ivy League admissions rates), Carnegie Mellon (smaller technomancy program, but they’d have in-state tuition, and Dad had been really enthusiastic about it being in Pittsburgh), and Minnesota University of Magic, an all-wizarding college in Saint Paul (safety, but some of the professors were putting out really cool spell development publications—with undergraduate co-authors).

Holland was excited about their college options… mostly. Looking over the program syllabi had made them feel just a bit like something was missing. (They were also feeling generally anxious about college, but that was a separate issue.) The seventh-year had always thought they’d end up studying something in the realm of technomancy or spell development, but lately they’d been enjoying their non-Spellwork classes so much that the idea of not studying them any more bothered Holland. After talking to Mr. Tennant about some of their classes—Ancient Runes, History of Magic, Arithmancy, Defense, Spellwork—and what they liked—magical theory, puzzle-solving, long-term object enchantment—he had suggested Curse-Breaking.

Holland had done research and discovered that there was a non-treasure-hunting aspect of the field. Researchers could be involved in respectful examination of enchanted artifacts and warded locations, without permanent removal of ancient spells. On the more practical end of the spectrum, freelance curse-breakers sometimes worked with domestic investigations teams. Both of those things sounded fascinating to Holland, so to their original five schools, they had added two curse-breaking programs: MIT and CalTech. Monty Keene wasn’t thrilled with the idea of CalTech, but since Holland had applied to CMU because he wanted them to, they felt it was fair of them to add one West Coast college. Brown had been their top choice before, but the more they learned about MIT the more they liked it; it had stronger humanities departments than CalTech, and curse-breaker students had room in their schedules to take a class from other departments almost every semester.

Lyra was less of a place where Holland could focus lately, so they’d headed to the library to get some work done on these applications. When they arrived they saw that Rose was there, looking frustrated. “Me too,” Holland said, guessing that this was application-related. Rose and Holland had never been particularly close, but this year was different. They were both serious and ambitious about college, unlike the rest of their group. “Mind if I join you?”

They took the seat across from Rose, noticing her blank notebook. “I think my basic personal statement is done,” Holland said. “I just need to like, swap out different pieces for the different schools.” They’d started with the personal statements, because it was the easy part; Holland had decided to lean into their gender and written about that, and about how spellwork was meaningful to them because it had helped with their self-expression. It was actually true, and Holland thought the connection would sound good to an admissions board. Pointing out the fact that admitting them would increase campus diversity didn’t hurt either.

Holland slung their black messenger bag off their shoulder and undid the buckles with the more-complex-than-Alohomora unlocking charm they’d taken to using. “I decided to apply to a couple of Curse-Breaking programs, like, last week, so I’m starting from scratch with these,” they said, pulling out the forms they now needed to complete. “I cannot wait to just be finished. What’s holding you up, writer’s block?”

  • Future Plans [Holland] - Rose Farnon, Sat Feb 17 12:02
    So far the school year was going well. Rose was really appreciating the one-on-one lessons that the seventh years got with Professor McKindy, because it was letting her look more into the theory... more
    • The best-laid plans - Holland Keene, Sat Feb 17 14:33
      • Well that's ominous - Rose, Sat Feb 17 15:32
        “And how,” Rose said, leaning all the way back in her chair for a moment. “I just don’t have a good angle for writing about myself. I’ve already said what I want to say in the individual ones.” The... more
        • Omens usually are - Holland, Sun Feb 18 02:35
          “I’m still applying to all the programs I was planning on before,” Holland said, to clarify that they hadn’t completely changed their mind. They were still interested in charm development and... more
          • Here's to a good omen - Rose, Wed Feb 21 18:58
            So Holland hadn’t completely changed their mind about their coursework, which made Rose feel a little bit better. She wasn’t sure why she’d been momentarily stressed out by the idea of Holland... more
            • A good omen is hard to find - Holland, Sat Feb 24 12:33
              “ I hadn’t thought of that, ” Rose said speculatively. A quiet concern took root. Rose had a more impressive transcript, and curse-breaking programs were small. Holland didn’t want to have to compete ... more
              • So's Waldo - Rose, Sat Mar 10 11:14
                “Oh congratulations!” Rose said when Holland mentioned that they’d completed Animagus. Rose and Danny had both accomplished their Animagus forms on the same day at the end of last year, and Rose had... more
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