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 The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.

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PostSubject: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Wed May 12, 2010 12:03 am

Matthias Burkenshire capped his pen, sighing. Things had degenerated into the usual pattern, and there was no point in taking notes anymore.

The faculty meeting had started out spectacularly. They actually addressed two of the issues brought up, which was probably a record. However, the success was short-lived. Not long after, the Eberhardts and the Remingtons started to quarrel, and the rest of the teachers joined the squabbling. Matt, and to be fair, a few other teachers stayed completely out of it, but it certainly was frustrating. The faculty was worse than the students, always finding some area of contention, and blowing things out of proportion until the meeting ended in shambles, with little accomplished. It was all Matt could do to withdraw, blocking out the screaming resounding in both his ears and his head.

It was times like this in which having natural mental powers (and fairly strong ones, at that) proved to be a bother.

He looked around the room, ignoring the teachers shouting at each other, spit flying and faces red. He was more concerned about the faculty NOT verbally abusing each other with the skill of two-year-old children. There was a point in time in which he would have tried to step in, to play the mediator, but those days had passed. He realized the futility of his attempts, and although he would have loved for the bickering to stop, he knew that nothing he could do would stop them.

A voice broke into his head, and he immediately went about trying to pinpoint the source. "Matthias," the voice said coolly, quite formally, using his full name. He finally recognized the tone--and turned to look at the younger, somewhat guarded pair of eyes staring at him from across the table. "Yes?" he mouthed discreetly.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Wed May 12, 2010 2:58 am

Henrietta let her mind relax after she finally broke through the screaming and into Matthias's thoughts. It wasn't easy getting the attention of a clearly preoccupied and very overwhelmed man, especially one who wasn't expecting your voice barging into his head. When he finally turned questioningly towards her, she picked up her ballpoint pen and began to scribble.

Normally, she wouldn't even be at a meeting like this. Ettie was neutral on most of the issues argued in these glorified boxing matches, and she hated political debates, but she had to at least appear to care about the inner workings of the school. If anything, she attended to keep up the charade of her job; even if her students were learning less and less, she could compensate by being more present in the school system.

She finished scribbling her note and quickly read over it. This isn't accomplishing anything. All they're going to do is yell, and they're certainly not listening to one another. If you pull some strings and get the meeting adjourned, they'll have time to cool off. She'd signed Henrietta at the bottom, although he would obviously know who the note was from. Glancing up to ensure that she still had his attention, she silently pushed the note as far as she could with her arm and then the last bit of the distance with her magic. She had worded the note so that it was neither a request nor a demand, but a suggestion. She had worked with Matthias for a while now but didn't know much about him except his heritage and that he was often the quietest of the deans besides Mr. Hassan.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Wed May 12, 2010 3:24 am

This isn't accomplishing anything. All they're going to do is yell, and they're certainly not listening to one another. If you pull some strings and get the meeting adjourned, they'll have time to cool off. Henrietta

Matt read over the note quickly and discreetly, although his care was hardly needed. No one else in the room was paying much attention to the pair's exchange of glances, and the exchange of the note. They were too concerned with the trivial issues they were debating. It really would help if at least they could focus on the important things. Matt sighed wearily, and went back to the note.

It was rather to the point, but it wasn't an order. Henrietta was wise in the phrasing of her note--while Matt would not have been offended or bossed around by a different tone, she chose the best one possible. She was making a reasonable suggestion, and nothing more. Matt knew she was correct, also. Nothing was being accomplished, just like nothing was ever accomplished, and if things continued the way they were, nothing ever would be accomplished. It bothered Matthias--he felt that the staff should have a more organized system during the meetings, but he couldn't do much, even though he was a dean. The teachers could not be reigned in, or controlled. They were already understaffed and underpaid, and the faculty was beginning to feel unappreciated. THIS was the result of that.

However, Henrietta definitely had a point. Tempers were only escalating, and the meeting would get worse from there. They needed some time to cool off and think things over. He folded up the note carefully, and looked over at Henrietta, nodding once. He eased out of his seat and worked his way over to Hassan, who was sitting at the front of the table, as powerless to stop the quarreling as Matt was. However, he could do one thing that Matt could not--he could end the meeting.

"Karim," Matt said quietly, "we both know this isn't going anywhere." He carefully shielded his thoughts, not allowing anything to bleed over into the head dean's mind--that was one violation he was not willing to make. However, he could see from Karim's lined face that he knew the hopelessness of the situation as well as Matt. He knew Matt was being perfectly reasonable, and he knew the situation well, having been through it time and time again. He sighed quietly, and turned to address everyone, his voice low and booming, although not harsh. "This meeting has been officially adjourned. The meeting schedule will be posted shortly for next week."

And that was that.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Wed May 12, 2010 3:59 am

Henrietta watched complacently as Matthias read the note. At this point, she knew that she'd be leaving whether or not the meeting was adjourned, but it would look better if she waited for Hassan to dismiss them. She bit her lip and waited as Matthias appeared to think over what she had written. He was surely taking his time to make a simple decision, and personally, she didn't have all of the time in the world to be wasted here. If she wanted to see people behave like children, she might as well be teaching class. There were papers to grade and greenhouses to tend, not to mention letters to write home to students' parents. It was early on in the year, but already she could tell which of the new pupils were going to require a lot of patience that she didn't have at the moment, and didn't expect to have anytime soon.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity to Henrietta but must've been less than a minute, Matthias looked up and nodded once at her, as if he had made up his mind. He sidled over to the senior Dean and spoke to him in a quiet voice. By his lips Henrietta could see that he called the man by his first name, but she had known that already. The men treated each other as equals although Mr. Hassan had much more power and probably a decade more years than Matthias. Meanwhile, the older man seemed to concede and, moments later, announced that the meeting was over. Feeling her whole body slacken with gladness, Henrietta pulled a clip from her bag and used it to sweep all of her hair up and away from her face. She needed to be ready for working with some of the plants in the greenhouse, and it certainly wouldn't do to have any of the more aggressive ones grabbing onto her hair. She'd seen it one too many times with her students to ever make the mistake again.

Henrietta waited patiently until most of the faculty had filed out and finally got up to leave, grabbing up her designer bag as she stood. It was one of the few luxuries she still allowed herself, her fashion, and it was more for her than for anyone else. She was no longer looking to impress anyone these days; however, the feel of a new dress or an expensive bauble or two was enough to keep her moderately happy at times, and because of that she gave into it. The shoes on her feet were proof of that as she clacked across the floor. Matthias was there in the doorway, and she paused a moment for him. "Thank you. I thought someone should stop them before it became some perverse adult version of Lord of the Flies." She pulled the first literary reference she could think of, knowing that English teachers usually dealt more in others' words than their own.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:18 am

The traces of a grin appeared on Matt's face at the literary reference that seemed very unnatural from Henrietta's mouth. She certainly seemed intelligent and worldly enough to know about the world of literature, but for some odd reason, hearing such a statement coming from her seemed out of place. However, she definitely had a point. If they hadn't stopped things when they did, things would have gotten much, much worse, declining into complete and total anarchy. They were adults, in charge of a school, nonetheless, and they should not be acting as immaturely as they were.

"No, thank you," Matthias said, giving her credit for her role in stopping the downward decline, as he didn't completely deserve it. "You are quite right in that things only would have gotten worse from there." He stopped, pondering the situation. "However, this always happens. We may have stopped the violence in one single meeting, but eventually, we will not be able to do a thing to prevent it. We need to come up with some other method, or another way to run meetings, or we will never get anything done. Surely there is some sort of precedent for this? They cannot have always run meetings this way, or the school never would have been created. We're inefficient, and nothing is ever actually agreed upon. Holding votes just degrades into seeing who can accuse everyone else of cheating, and never remains unchallenged."

Matthias stopped. He was not embarrassed by his rambling, as all of what he said was honest and needed to be said. However, he did know that he would like Henrietta's opinion on the matter, as she was the one who blew the whistle in the first place. She was the one who decided when enough was enough. Thus, it was only fair to let her have a say in the matter. Matt did not expect her to be quite as vocal as him, although he didn't exactly know what to expect. He didn't know her as well as he did a lot of the other faculty. However, she clearly was as sick of it all as he was. It was hard to attend so many faculty meetings and NOT be sick of it all.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:55 pm

The formal tone in Matthias's voice was a bit off-putting, but Ettie took it as a sign of years spent teaching proper English and focused on the actual content of what he said. Everything he had to say was right, of course, but honestly she didn't see what she was supposed to do about the situation. She had watched the school slowly degrade into factions and then, finally, tumble down into the ragtag state it was in now with a sense of dread but not much real care for what would happen. Most of the issues at hand didn't affect her classes whatsoever, besides an ongoing debate on the safety of crossbred magical plants in the classroom.

She found that she was tapping her toe, beating a metronomic rhythm that matched her slight impatience. Stopping herself, she found that she was, in fact, meant to respond to Matthias's observations. "The school has never gone without a singular figure of power, for even a term. There have always been interim deans and substitutions made by the council. Dean Hassan is a truly amazing man, and he has a lot of power that he doesn't use often enough. A lot of the other teachers think of him as a peer, without realizing he's the closest to a leader we have right now. Without someone who will truly lay down the law, they're never going to settle down." Ettie knew of no other way to stop the petty nonsense that went on within these walls. She surreptitiously pulled at her earring and the time chimed in her ear. Lovely. She wasn't going to get half the work done that she needed to. "Perhaps you can convince Hassan to reconsider his promotion offer?"

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 am

Matthias grimaced. What Henrietta was asking for was the most logical solution, but it certainly was not a comfortable one. When Hassan had been offered the job of principal to begin with, Matthias had supported him taking it--he was a good man, with a lot of influence in the school. He was the head dean, and everyone liked him. When he used what power he had, he was nearly invincible. However, the head dean turned it down, to everyone's dismay. They did need an authority figure. Without a principal, things were falling into ruins.

"How on earth do I manage that one?" Matthias pondered out loud, not expecting a response this time. "I mean, I know you're right, but how exactly I should go about this is going to be interesting. I'll work it out, though." Matthias did not consider whether he should go ahead and talk to Hassan or not, naturally assuming that he should, and would. If it would help improve the school, there was no question in his mind about it. Hassan being officially in complete charge would right a lot of the current problems with the school, and that was the thing Matthias wanted most.

(shorter post.)

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:51 pm

Ettie frowned. She knew that Matthias would do the right thing; she could tell that he cared about the situation a great deal more than she did. The problem was that it was unlikely for Hassan to suddenly agree to the promotion when he had been so adamantly against it the first time around. Then again, this was Matthias she was dealing with here; surely if anyone could articulate the need for a strong principal here at SAS, this was the man for the job. "He's a considerate man and he cares for this school more than most of the members of the Council. I'm sure he'll understand how necessary this is. And if this doesn't work...I say we take matters into our own hands and find someone to run this place."

Tugging at her earring again, Ettie grimaced and fidgeted a moment before making a decision. "I honestly should've gone ten minutes ago. I'm never going to finish my lesson plans, and half the plants are probably withering for lack of water. I have to be going. Thank you for being reasonable today, though. It seemed like you were my best bet."

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:37 am

"Thank YOU," Matt said earnestly, watching as she walked off. She absently fiddled with her earring, which was a bit of an odd habit, especially when compared with the rest of her composure. Her clothing was well-made, fitting her well. Her skin was a lovely color, and her hair complimented it perfectly. She walked in a way that spelled out to the world that she meant business. There was absolutely nothing fidgety about her appearance, or the general demeanor that Matthias had seen her display. She always seemed to be in control of the situation.

If he were anyone else, Matthias may have been a bit intimidated. However, Matt was not the type to scare easily. He thought about what Henrietta had said about Karim, and he knew she was right. He was going to have a hefty task in front of him. However, if anyone could do it, it was him.

Thinking about Henrietta, he noticed his thoughts start to pull away a bit, touching the edges of her mind. Realizing his mistake quickly, he shut it down, slamming his mental walls around his head. He had not intruded enough to alert her... that is, unless she had a very strong mental awareness. He wouldn't put it past her. He scolded himself for being so careless.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:23 am

Bloody Ellie.

You were the one who was so excited about this, and you quit posting on me.

-.-

I am NOT a happy panda.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:35 pm

I'm here to post now because I'm super excited about SAS again thanks to DeLani. Also I remember exactly why I didn't know how to post after this part.


Just before descending the stairs to the visible floors of the school, Ettie felt an odd twitch at the back of her mind, like something important forgotten. She paused for a moment, one hand on the railing as she mentally checked over all her possessions. There was clearly nothing forgotten; perhaps she was just worried about the plants. She took one last glance over her shoulder at Matthias standing in the hallway and then carried on her way.

The greenhouses were chilly at night as opposed to the muggy temperature of the day. She set the sprinklers going with the flick of her wand and quickly unlatched the cage of mice she kept for the carnivorous plants. The sharp click of her heels was muffled by the soft dirt that littered the floor and her thoughts began to quiet as the plants lulled her into her state of comfort. It had been a very loud and unsettling day, at least until she had gotten Matthias involved. She made a note to herself, as she finished up for the night and gathered her papers to head to her quarters, to pay more attention to the man from now on. If he could not convince Dean Hassan to pick up the task of leading the school, she was sure that between the three of them (who seemed most clear-headed) they could find another solution, if only temporary.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:15 am

TIME SKIP!


Matthias stood by the entrance to the school, clipboard in hand. It was his turn to help transport students over to Fairview. He always worked with the younger kids, because Karim trusted him to be able to motivate them without scaring them. Today, he had a group of first years, as well as his normal group of fifth years. He was supposed to have another faculty member filling in to help him out. Signing kids out was usually a two person job, after all. However, with the way the staff meeting went the other night, Matthias decided not to bring the matter up. He left a sign-up sheet around in the teacher's lounge for the next few weeks, but he had not really expected anyone to sign up for that day.


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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:59 am

For the first time in several years, Henrietta found herself running appallingly late. She had taken her earrings out the night before without replacing them with the studs she wore to sleep, and thusly hadn't had an alarm going off in her ear to wake her. It was closer to mid-day by the time she was up and appropriately dressed for her duties of the day.

When she approached the school's entrance, she was unpleasantly surprised to find Matthias working the shift. If she wanted him to view her as a competent peer, running late like this would really not do. It was sloppy and gave off a bad impression, even to those who were generally more laid back. "My sincerest apologies," she said quickly as she arrived, pulling a pen from her purse as she found the second clipboard used for signing students' out. "I don't make a habit of being late. I'm usually very punctual." And usually less adamant about explaining herself, she noted. "It's first years this weekend, correct?"

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:09 am

Matt was stunned when he saw Henrietta walk out towards him--although he did not know her particularly well, he was not used to her coming forward and helping out like this. She was professional, true, and she always did whatever jobs she was assigned. However, he hardly expected her to come forward and work with first years the entire weekend, just for the fun of it. However, he certainly could not complain--it gave him less work to do.

"It is perfectly alright," Matthias said cheerfully. "I did not expect anyone else to be here at all, so this is a pleasant surprise." He flipped pages on his clipboard, preparing for the surge of students that surely would come soon. "Yup, first years this weekend. First years, and fifth years, of course. However, the fifth years know by now how this goes, so they are usually pretty simple to deal with." He was being fairly chatty, and he should almost feel a bit embarrassed. However, not being left alone to deal with a pack of excited first years was a rather promising thought, and he was grateful for her help.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:30 am

"I could've sworn I put my name down for this weekend," Ettie muttered, mostly for Matthias's benefit. She was, in fact, positive that she had, but perhaps he hadn't checked the list since then. "I prefer dealing with the younger children when I can." No need to explain the reason: that the older students had already learned, over time, to hate her.

After a moment of silence in which she would've felt awkward at any other time, she decided there must be something to talk about. She didn't talk on much besides plants, normally, but that was completely irrelevant to the situation. Finally, she hit on something she had thought of the night before. "If Hassan turns down the post again, I've considered that we might want to form a committee to appoint an interim dean. Bellingbright's headmaster recently retired and might not mind filling in until the Institute finds a permanent replacement."

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:46 am

Matt was pleased to see Henrietta, whether her name was on the list or not, so it did not really matter. However, there was something biting about her comment about younger children. It took all of Matthias' iron will to avoid leaking into her mind to find out what she was talking about, although he supposed that he didn't really need to. He heard the older kids talk.

Then, of course, the talk turned to politics. Matthias sighed. "I really hope he takes the position. We really need him for it. However, if he turns it down again, I think that is a plausible solution. My family has some connections at Bellingbright, so I could probably pull some strings." Matthias hated pulling family connections like that, since he felt it wasn't really fair. However, he had long since learned that when it came to school politics, sometimes a little dirty work was necessary.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:50 am

Even before the seemingly exasperated sigh from Matthias, Henrietta could tell she had clearly chosen the wrong topic. She cursed herself inwardly for knowing the man as well as she should; this was the consequence of her withdrawing from her fellow educators. "Well, then, that's settled for now, isn't it?" she asked as courteously as she could, ending the conversation before she had a chance to aggravate the man farther.

Another long moment passed before she hit upon another topic that they both had plenty of experience with. "How are your new students this year? It seems like every new class has something new to be dealt with." She shook her head, thinking of a few of her clumsiest first years. Luckily, the more valuable or dangerous plants were housed separately, so only a few creeping ivy plants had been damaged in the chain disaster that had been caused one day.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:28 pm

Matthias was unsure why Henrietta abruptly changed the subject to their students, but it was a welcome change. Although he knew that the issue of Hassan needed to be dealt with quickly, he dreaded the unfortunate outcome that was entirely too likely. "Actually, this year's new ones don't seem to be too bad, at least where English is concerned. They don't seem like the most graceful lot, but it seems that they aren't too rowdy, and there are a few really good readers. How about in your classes?" Matt always thought it was interesting to see the students from various different angles, because he found that just looking at their performance in one subject was inadequate. Different students had different skills, of course.


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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:11 pm

Henrietta smiled stiffly. "You're right about grace. You would think so much focus on video games and sports would give them better coordination, but it seems they get clumsier every year." She paused for a moment to process the rest of what Matthias had said, replaying it in her head. "It's good to hear that there are good readers among them. It seems like they've gotten better at studying as well. I noted that most of them are Muggle-educated until this point. Perhaps they're doing something right that the magical schools aren't." She, of course, had attended Muggle primary school and felt that it prepared her just as well if not better than a wizarding school would have.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:09 pm

Matthias was not surprised to hear the herbology teacher complain about the gracefulness, or lack thereof, in the new students. However, he was surprised to hear that she valued reading and studying as well as he did. That was a good thing; there were many teachers who only cared about their individual subject, and it always made him kind of sad.

"I never had a muggle education," Matthias mused out loud, "But I always kind of wished I did. It seemed like the people who did were more used to studying and working hard. Although the magic may not have come naturally to all of them, they were better prepared to dig in and work until it made sense."

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:10 am

A less stiff and more genuine smile crossed Henrietta's face as she noticed they'd come upon a topic they agreed on. "I was Muggle educated, but I grew up in a magical community. I think more of the primary schools should focus on integrating the two the way that we do here. Students can't function without learning about both cultures. I could understand magic-only schools in more traditional countries...but this is America."

It surprised Ettie that she should be voicing her opinion on a topic such as this one. Usually she stayed out of talks like this with the intention of not stirring trouble in things she honestly didn't care quite so much about. It was one thing to be a strict teacher and another entirely to be a quarrelsome and unruly staff member. Something seemed to tell her that Matthias wasn't the type to make more of her comments than she had intended.

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:20 am

Matthias nodded, agreeing completely with Henrietta. "I think that it's really nice that there are schools like ours, because I think the blend of muggle and magic is important. Although there are lots of people, even here in America, who only pursue magical jobs, I feel like we are much more prepared to deal with any muggles we may have to deal with. You know, in the UK a few years back, the wizards drew a lot of attention from the press, because lots of the wizards had no knowledge of the muggle world. I think American wizards who go to schools like SAS are much better at keeping up with the muggle world, because it's practically part of the curriculum."

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:25 am

Henrietta shook her head in a sort of weary indignation. "It's so disappointing to hear that so many wizards and witches are willingly and even willfully separating themselves from muggles even now. All they're managing to do is make themselves look backwards and limiting their own abilities. Hogwarts still runs completely tech-free, did you know? They still haven't bothered to take the measures that would allow electricity to function on-campus."

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:32 am

Matt frowned. "I don't understand why they don't start using technology more. It seems silly. I know how much my classes benefit from it, although I suppose English is not a course offered at Hogwarts." He paused for a second before continuing. "I just... I really like the system we have here, because I feel like it really allows for students to learn anything they could possibly want or need. It's not JUST magic, it is a little bit of everything. Like the equivalent of a liberal arts college, but with magic mixed in."

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PostSubject: Re: The mythical, the legendary, the failure at titles.   Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:51 am

Ettie's nose wrinkled for a moment before she quickly corrected her expression. "I apologize. As a sciences major, I was sort of required to turn my nose up at the words 'liberal arts.' We were supposed to care about our plants and to hell with Chaucer or the Nash equilibrium or anything that didn't require a lab coat and goggles." She caught herself by surprise with her casual talk, but reasoned that it was bound to happen sooner or later. "I agree with you, though. Other schools don't even give the students the option of learning things they might need outside of the magical world. Here they can be prepared to do anything they want, be it muggle or magical."

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