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29 May 2019 @ 07:17 am
_Professor_ part 4  

Chapter Four

Schedules and Tests

Rael looked at the time grid on the wall screen and shook her head. “I should have come a couple of weeks ago, and grabbed class slots sooner.” She highlighted the three times a week Advanced Martial Arts. “I’ll see how often Sensei Ikku wants me to work with the Team Trainees, hmm, eleven in the morning, three days a week. So. I need to teach Advanced Magical Theory, and three levels of magic practice at some times that don’t conflict with those times.”

Joke turned her comp to show the screen. “I’ve got Mental Magical Theory and Physical Magical Theory at two levels. Usually at these times.”

“I’ve got Energy Magic 101 and 201.” Lenny sighed. “Theory. I’ve never been very good at actually doing the magic.”

Rael looked between the pair of them. “Perhaps we should do something about that. I see that there are occasionally basic practices here, rather than over in the School of Magic?”

Lenny scowled. “When they don’t want to be bothered with us. Occasionally they have more students who qualify for the practicum than they have slots for them. So they kick out the Directorate students.”

“Right. So I need to find several slots for that—and very limited class sizes.” Rael eyed the pair. “And how much practicum did either of you have?”

“One semester.” Joke sighed. “Finally. I passed, but I was pretty mediocre.”

Lenny shrugged. “Somehow they never managed to get me into a class.”

“My list of questions is getting bigger, rather than smaller. So, I’ll add basic practical magic, to the other three levels, and start by finding out how many students want the basic class but could never get in. Then I’ll ask about adding a Comet Fall Magic Theory. And maybe a practice, as much for me to see if their approach is useful, or not.”

She looked over the other lecturers’ proposed schedules. “You guys are pretty light on classes.”

They both nodded. “And low paid accordingly,” Lenny shrugged. “I’m a grad student, I live in the dorm.”

“And we assisted Doc Yppo, and got a bit more money.” Joke shrugged too. “My husband makes enough to cover expenses, but not much more.”

“I see.” Rael over lay their proposals on hers, shifted the Advanced Theory an hour so they could both assist, and then blocked out an hour every morning for Basic Magic Practicum. “Once a day, for three weeks.” Then . . . well maybe I’ll need to do a second batch of students. There are only five hundred or so students here, and they’ll have to pass ‘Introduction to Magic’ at the School of Magic before they get any practice. And most won’t go past that first practice class. This is just to catch the few that got bumped.

Wrote a quick note to Eshy. “Maximum of five students per session, Seniors should have priority, as this is their last semester. I’ll drop any unneeded sessions.” Sent the schedule to him.

“We’ll see what he thinks.” Rael eyed them. “Let’s go check out the practice field, and you can show me what you can do.”

Not much.

I’m used to training the top Black Horse Guards. I need to think low powered and teach smaller manipulations. Oh . . . I don’t think they’ve ever been taught how to gather power, either. So I’ll teach technique first, then power collection, then controlled utilization of that power.

“Okay. You’ve both got the theories, now let’s start at the beginning, and do some basic exercises . . .”

Ten days of daily practice had them confidently doing more than they’d realized was possible . . . and still appalled Rael with how little they could do. Even with power.

Are they like Qamar, afraid of what they might do? Or is it that all they are taught from the very first is a privacy shield to keep it in, and control to the point they stifle the expression of the magic?

They’re academics, not soldiers. They could do magifacturing. But not battle magic.

Her Comet Fall Magic class was approved. Everything else shifted a bit, but approved, lecture halls assigned. Wait! GLH-A? Grand Lecture Hall A? That’s got about a hundred and fifty seats! Both the Advanced Magical Theory and the Comet Fall Magical Theory are there . . .

She shook her head. Relax. They won’t all be full, I’ve just got a few too many students to fit into the small lecture rooms in Diego Hall.

***

And then the students started arriving.

And got sorted out, Martial Arts-wise.

“It’s weird. Somehow I never realized that all the students went through this, every year. I thought it was just Team Track.” Rael looked around the nearly empty stands.

Urfa chuckled. “No. Every single student gets two years Martial Arts and two semesters of firearms training. Third and fourth years who are definitely not Team material don’t have to do this. But the morning run is mandatory, the whole time they’re here. Fortunately the faculty doesn’t have to run.”

She eyed him, and he grinned ruefully. “I know. Setting a bad example.”

“Bah. We all know you kept exercise equipment in your quarters. You’ve never been out of shape.”

“Yeah, Orde and I sort of egged each other on. But our goals never came close to Black Horse standards.”

“Tsk! And you such an outstanding Alum!”

Urfa grinned. “Oh, so you’re back running, so soon after . . . are you admitting to your secret project?”

“Oh yes. But not advertising him. Poor kid’s going to be so in-and-out of regular bubbles and then Fast rooms we’re going to be guessing at his age . . . pretty much forever.”

“A bit hard to keep track of?”

“I’m keeping a rough tally, but Xen suggested we just wait until the walking and talking starts and call that one year old. In theory, there’ll be less adjusting later on.”

“No nanny?”

“Once the house is finished—we’re really trying to do it according to the regulations, with permits and inspections and so forth. But it’s taking forever!”

“Hmm . . . so, no place to put a nanny.”

“Exactly. In fact I’ve finally put a bed in an upstairs bedroom, so I can truthfully fulfill the requirement for the faculty to live within a hundred kilometer radius of the University.”

“Which everyone’s squawking about needing to change, because of corridors.” Urfa grinned. “I love the way the world is changing.”

“I wonder how many of the faculty I’m going to upset, with my living arrangements?”

“All of them, most likely. They need a good shake up, and bruised egos might make better teachers of them.” Urfa shrugged and looked back at the gym floor. “And here come the incoming students. Most of them are transfer students, most of them with at least three semesters under their belts. Freshmen generally start in the fall.”

“Freshmen next, then the Sophomores and Juniors? And late afternoon we’ll see the seniors?” Rael ran her eyes over this batch. Thirty-two kids. Not bad for the mid-year entry. In the Fall, the entering freshmen classes are generally in excess of a hundred, with a hundred and seventy the absolute cut off.

Eight mats, the length of the gym. For this small group they split them among the center six.

Rael could see the sparkle of barriers . . . ah, sound deadening, so they heard their own bell, not the ones for the other mats.

The judges at each mat chose two students each and the matches were under way.

The leftmost mats, from their perspective in the stands, were embarrassingly incompetent, wild swings and showy kicks. On the right, a pair of boys whipped into a flurry of blows and blocks, obviously trained and experienced in competition Martial Arts.

In between, a range of abilities.

A second match on the right, and a chubby girl grabbed a kick aimed at her and held on as her opponent thrashed, and unbalanced, twisted as he fell. Rael winced, but the Chub twisted the foot she held to stop the boy from damaging himself. Then let him go and stepped back. The boy had sense enough to not kick again, but couldn’t get through her blocking. The bell dinged.

“That girl down there has cold speed. I wonder how she learned that?”

Urfa grinned. “At dance classes like you?”

The mat judge stepped back to speak to Sensei Ikku, who nodded. The chubby girl walked to the next mat. Where her speed allowed her to defend, but she never threw a single punch or kick.

“Fascinating.” Urfa eyed the girl. “I’m not sure she’s ever had any Martial Arts training.”

“I’ll have to watch how she does, she’ll be in the Women’s Martial Arts.”

The girl made it all the way to the top group before she tried to throw a few punches, and a awkward kick.

Ikku shook his head in disbelief, and ranked her third as he lined them all up to bow to him. He returned the bow and sent them off.

A brief break before the freshmen came in, to hopefully show that they’d learned a lot during the fall semester.

A bigger group, Rael ran a quick scan and came up with a hundred and forty two.

But even the worst were reasonably good, and they sorted them out through about ten matches each.

“Two with Speed, reasonably trained.” Urfa sighed. “That’s a bit light. I’m hoping the new restrictions on admitting kids with known behavior problem doesn’t lower the number of Teamers we can train, otherwise I’ll wind up being pressured to let the bullies in again.”

Rael nodded and led the way as they broke for lunch. But got back in plenty of time to see Ryol and Arno starting out on the right side of the gym. Mat five. Upper half, barely. “I ought to have worked more with them.”

Urfa shook his head. “They had the basics and some Speed. They’re moving up fast, on both. Watch. Arno . . . is so quiet about it . . . and when Ryol loses her temper, it’s awesome.”