Professor Aaron McKindy
Starting off on a high note [Beginner Spellwork, Yrs 1-3]
Wed Jan 11, 2017 09:53
100.15.137.217

It was the first Spellwork lesson of the school year, and Aaron McKindy had dressed appropriately. He wore jeans and a pair of black Converse sneakers, and a surprisingly muted black shirt with a faded logo on it - but to top it all off, on his head was a magnificent top hat made exclusively of pink bubbles.

The professor had woken up that morning, set up for his lesson, and then returned to the suite to help get Drew and Madeleine off to school before heading to breakfast. Spellwork was first thing in the morning, so he was glad to see some of his bleary-eyed students staring stoically into their oatmeal as they tried to get up to speed with the world around them. A good breakfast was important, especially since for some first years this would be the first time they had ever properly used a wand. It was exciting. Although Aaron loved teaching in general, he was always particularly excited to teach first years; they were always so excited, and guiding them through their first magical steps was always very rewarding.

Although Aaron typically enjoyed using the practical lab for his lessons, today his beginner’s class would be on the Quidditch Pitch because they required a little more space than was provided in the practical lab. Fortunately, the day was sunny - as Colorado days often were - and there was no hint of rain; with any luck, the weather charms were holding up and they wouldn’t be experiencing any problems with a rain of puffskeins today, either.

Students had been notified by a post on their House bulletin boards that today, Spellwork would be meeting on the Pitch. Aaron waited for what he assumed to be most of the students to wander to where he was on the field before magically amplifying his voice - not much but enough to be more clearly heard by everyone in the class.

“Good morning!” His voice was probably a little bit too chipper for some of the students this early in the morning. “My name is Professor McKindy and I will be your Spellwork professor for the foreseeable future.” Aaron gave the students a brief overview of the class and expectations and introduced the concept of STOATs, the standardized test taken at the end of third year that determined what classes the students could take in their middle and upper years. For his third years, he would begin holding review courses in January, once they had returned from the mid-term break. The second and third years had heard all of this last year - he was the only Spellwork professor they had known - but Aaron always did his best to not leave the first years behind.

“Now,” he said, grasping his hands together in front of him. “Today we’re going to be playing a game called Lava Field.”

As the students had undoubtedly noticed, the typically green Quidditch pitch had been converted into mostly red, with some green patches, spaced far enough apart that students would not be able to jump from one to another. On some of the green patches there were miscellaneous objects - boxes, pieces of wood, and string among other things. The changes spanned the entirety of the Quidditch Pitch, starting at one set of goal posts and ending at the other set. On the center goal post on both sides of the Pitch was attached a wooden box.

“Your goal for today is to get from one end of the field,” a gesture to the left “to the other,” a gesture to the right, “without falling into the ‘lava’. When you start, you’ll take a metal disc from the box at your starting position and carry it with you. If you - or your disc - falls into the red area on the Pitch, the disc will glow bright red and you’ll have to go back to the beginning and start again with a different disc.

“Now, in order to get across the field, you’ll have to be resourceful and use some of the objects that have been provided to you, as well as two spells: Wingardium Leviosa and Carpe Retractum. The first spell levitates objects and the second spell creates a rope that shoots out from your wand and wraps around a target, which allows you to pull the object toward you. Allow me to demonstrate.”

Aaron pulled his wand out from the back pocket of his jeans, where it had been tucked, and wordlessly tapped his tophat. Without hesitation, the pink bubbles came apart and quickly morphed into perfectly normal colored frogs, who took the opportunity to leap into midair and scatter amongst the students. Once the general shock had dissipated and Aaron had the attention of the class once more, he grinned and began to demonstrate the spells.

Carpe Retractum,” Aaron said, making a short, jabbing motion with his wand in the direction of a toad sitting on the grass between two students. A thin, golden rope shot out of his wand, encircling the frog, who looked disgruntled as Aaron pulled it towards him. “Finite incantatem,” he muttered, and the rope disappeared, leaving the frog to stare up at him grumpily. “So as you saw, you just say the spell while focusing on your target, make sure the tip of your wand is pointed at the target, and say the incantation. Your aim with your wand matters much less than your actual focus on the target. As long as you have a clear image in your mind of where you want the rope to go and your wand is pointed in the right general direction, you’ll be fine.

“Now,” Aaron said, and then swished his wand, ending with a flick as he said “Wingardium leviosa.” The frog floated up in the air, following Aaron’s wand. After a moment he carefully lowered the frog again. “Finite incantatem.” With another disparaging look, the frog, now free, hopped away to join one of the other frogs off to the side of the class. It apparently had no interest in being of further use to the class.

“The first spell is at a third year level, so second years, don’t try it unless you’re fairly confident in your abilities. First years, I suggest you don’t try it if you want to keep your eyebrows.” This particular spell had the tendency to backfire if performed by an inexperienced wizard, often resulting in a cool, purple flame that somehow still managed to singe the eyebrows. “As for the levitation charm, first years don’t get too worried if you can’t do it at first. Second and third years, use this opportunity to help your fellow students out and review the charm yourself.

“In the interest of fairness, I want you all to pair up in groups of two or three, with at least one first year and one older student in each group. The students who complete the challenge in the least amount of time,” Aaron grinned, “will get a packet of chocolate frogs!”

Hopefully that was enough of a motivator. He stepped back, watching the students as they formed groups and began to attempt the obstacle course. Once the class had gotten into the swing of things and Aaron was sure there were no more questions, he would go off to retrieve his frogs and re-Transfigure them.

|OOC|
Hello and welcome to Spellwork! Feel free to make up (within reason) what items are available to your characters and where they are located. If your character needs the professor’s help, tag me in the subject line of your post. Remember that each post must be at least 200 words. Longer, more interesting posts get more House points. Go forth!

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    • Re: Starting off on a high note [Beginner Spellwork, Yrs 1-3] - Raja Nazari-Richards [Aquila], Wed Jan 11 23:06
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