matapam (pamuphoff) wrote,

_Professor_ part 19

Then off to Advanced Theory, and close to three hundred students looking at her quiz in dismay.

Yep, briefly explain these four basic magic theories.

I must be insane, it’s going to take me days to grade them!

She sat, and opened her comp. Not that anyone is going to turn in anything yet!

Joke and Lenny joined her.

Rael checked that the mic was off and started tapping away at her comp. “You two know this stuff already . . . but this is something along the lines of what I’m hoping for. I’m not going to be rigorous, but they need to understand the theories.”

They both read her answers, brows rising.

“Grading will consist of highlighting these important points and congratulating them on knowing them. Or suggesting that they review whichever chapters they’ve apparently not internalized.” She looked from one to the other. “No. Negative. Comments. If it’s really bad, send it to me.”

Brows rose further.

“I’m . . . disturbed by the widespread lack of self-confidence the basic students are showing. It may be absent in this class. This quiz may show me that.” A faint ding from her comp as the first test was turned in. They all looked at it. “Or not. Very nice.” She highlighted the main points, stuck a 4.9 . . . “You guys do use the zero to four point nine scale, don’t you?”

“Yes, just like every other school in the Empire. Princess.”

Rael sniffed. “The Princess School is so odd in other ways that I thought I’d better check.”

Joke snickered. “Do they really hire gigolos to come in and teach sexual techniques?”

“No. The vids and lectures were bad enough.” Rael entered the test results in her records, and returned the test to the student with a “Good job” appended to it. The boy at the exit paused to look at his comp, and started grinning. When he glanced back, Rael gave him a thumbs up.

Then her comp started dinging, and they got very busy for the rest of the hour. The early quizzes were good, then they started inflating as the students floundered around.

The last ones, with the kids sweating and frantic, are going to be doozies.

“How about we meet in my office, Lenny right after Comet Fall and Joke, after your classes. Let’s see how fast we can knock this out.”


“Dear One! Sixteen pages?” Rael shook her head and started reading.

Joke snickered and recorded her latest. “They’re getting worse!”

“No they aren’t. The worst were just dead wrong.” Lenny clicked away. “This gal had most of the points, she just didn’t seem to realize that they were the point of the theory.”

“This one too.” Rael shook her head. “And bad grammar with it.” She tapped away at a long comment about the importance of identifying and understanding the jist of the theories. Gave him a passing grade. Grabbed the next quiz.

Xen stuck his head in. “Shall I order pizza?”

A trio of agreement, but Joke biting her lip. “Where do you live? Want to invite your husband?”

Who arrived five tests later a few minutes ahead of dinner. They munched pizza and hauled Xen down to their joint office, then Oliver Reed, looking very disapproving.

“They had to revise the environmental systems, so they cut out about half this office.” He pointed at the wall. “You don’t touch that.”

Xen eyed the narrow corridor to the half office in back and nodded. “How about I just add ten feet, umm, three meters on the back wall. Seal it around the windows and run extension cords for power in the space.” He flashed a grin. “I don’t think I’d better make a habit of building huge luxury offices.”

Joke’s husband Aflo—pronounced Awful— snickered. “No more bearskin rugs?”

So they took Oliver back to the office, fed him pizza and designed a “bubble addition” that met with his somewhat dubious approval.

Awful was an architect and he and Oliver put their heads together about how to use bubble extensions as if they were invisible cantilevered rooms sticking out all over the building.

“Which those window shields make practical in that office, but won’t work if you’re using the current windows, that can’t open.” Oliver looked around at Xen. “How about some narrow magic windows, right beside the real ones?”

He forced a frown onto his face. “And I want to be there, and see you put it in.”

Everybody looked eager.

Xen grinned. “Right . . . the city inspectors are going to come tomorrow. How about Wednesday at five? I’ll have it done well before the Current Events Seminar.”

After everyone left, Rael took her comp off to the fast room and spent “two days” finishing the grading. Plus two night’s sleep, lots of meals, a break in side the fast room to watch the speed crawler grab her leg and pull himself up to stand. And fall on his well-padded butt and do it again.

She didn’t hardly have any time to wonder about other problems.

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