Author Topic:  The Discipline of Study [open]  (Read 160 times)

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The Discipline of Study [open]
« on: April 02, 2018, 02:35:36 PM »
FRIDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2001, 3:00 PM

“I believed in studying just because I knew education was a privilege. It was the discipline of study, to get into the habit of doing something that you don't want to do.”
Wynton Marsalis

"Quiet down," Professor Akyildiz said sharply. "Turn in your textbooks to page 76 on the Käymäjärvi Inscriptions." She scowled as she looked over the class, some of whom were moving too lazily for her taste and making more noise than was necessary to simply take out a book and open it. But this was the cost of teaching modern children. They lacked discipline, and as an instructor it was her job to force them into the proper mold and straighten them out. Some might say it was a losing battle, but Bircan Akyildiz did not lose, ever. "With silence and celerity, please," she said even louder, and most if not all of the room hushed quickly as students obeyed and found their place. Bircan nodded firmly and began walking between the desks as she began her lecture.

"The Käymäjärvi Inscriptions are an example of Sami rounets. The Sami witches were among the first in wizardkind to realise that individual letters could be considered magical words in their own right, and to reason out that what we call words came to mean what they do because of the way that they were spelled out - that is, literally, the individual letters or 'rouns' cast a spell to interact with each other, forming an analogue that described something," she slapped her wand down on the shoulder of a near-sleeping student, jolting the boy awake and making his hair stand on end with static shock, "physical. Detention," she growled at the alarmed-looking boy, before proceeding back to the front of the classroom.

"The Nords, Danes, and Angles would eventually make similar discoveries about what they called 'runes,'" Bircan went on mercilessly, "but instead of using them to connect to physical acts of magic, their runes would be used to shape and direct energy. Examine the picture on page 76 for a moment." She paused, affixing the entire class at once with a penetrating glare, and the children all hurriedly lowered their gazes to look at the illustration. "This is Birch bark letter number 292. This is no random splattering of stems and branches like the so-called fuþark. This is raw Cyrillic, and the language is an old Finnic dialect of Russian called Karelian." A bit of pride filled her voice. "This is true written magic, and this is what I hope to teach you for the last semester of the year.

"Not all of you will succeed, however. In fact, I have little hope that most of you will comprehend enough of the subtleties to enchant the colour of a single brick." She sighed, and went on, "But you'll certainly learn nothing if you do not read your text or fail to complete your coursework, so I expect nothing but complete commitment to your academic pursuits or you will be spending many of your free time hours in this classroom catching up, and believe me," she smiled viciously, "if that eventuality occurs, I have no reluctance about keeping you hexed to your seat until I have managed to affix the lesson firmly into your heads, even if it takes all night. I trust I have been clear."

One by one she met the gaze of every student, gauging those that were going to excel this semester, and those that were going to cause her the most problems. Then at last she went on with her lesson. "I would like to hear your hypotheses. What do you suppose it is that causes the stroke of a pen or the carve of a knife to produce a roun rather than a simple letter or word?"
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 02:38:35 PM by Taed »

  • Offline Mattias Hedlund
  • Re: The Discipline of Study [open]
    « Reply #1 on: April 07, 2018, 04:17:08 AM »
    Friday afternoon meant two things. First it meant that he was only a few hours away from being able to spend the weekend catching up on what he had missed during the week as far as homework and workouts were concerned, but he also would have a good deal more time to enjoy himself with Mats. Now that the two were a little more official than they had been before, Mattias tried to go out of his way to do something special for the other boy, to show him how much he cared for and valued him, at least twice a month. The other thing that it meant was that he had Runic Magic, one of a few courses that he and Mats shared. Coupled with the fact that Runic Magic had been one of Mattias' best classes since he had arrived at Koldovstoretz, Friday afternoons were that much more enjoyable.

    Gathering his things, Mattias made his way down the familiar corridors of the cavernous school hidden within the mountains. His feet could direct him to nearly any location within the school, which was extremely useful in completing his duties as Snegvoin as he could wander the halls during his patrols without worrying that he would find himself down a hall that he didn't recognize. As he rounded the final bend in the corridor, Mattias entered Professor Akyildiz's room and moved towards the first bench near the front of the room, setting his bag on the table and retrieving a few sheets of parchment and a quill.

    After a few minutes, the rest of the class filtered in and Professor Akyildiz instructed them to review an picture in their books that was known as the  Käymäjärvi Inscriptions. Mattias had seen something of the old carvings in his previous studies of runic history and was glad to have at least a slight idea about what they would be discussing today. Titling his parchment, Mattias scratched down a few comments on the inscriptions, specifically Professor Akyildiz's note about being the "true form of written magic" Rune symbols used in bans and enchantments were complicated magic to be sure, but Mattias had spent some of his time at Durmstrang learning how to cast in the old languages.

    As the professor scanned the room, the Swede ensured that his gaze did not falter as she searched him. He wanted to ensure that she knew he would maintain the high levels of work that he had displayed over the last few terms and that his break at Durmstrang had not entirely been a loss. Only as she passed from his gaze to the other students did he look back to his parchment, scribble a few more notes, and then look back to the front of the room. The first question of the day posed was one that magical theoreticians had long discussed.

    Taking a moment to see if anyone else wanted the first go at it, Mattias placed his hands on the table and stood, speaking in a clear voice in crisp, measured Russian. "The difference between a runic enchantment and simple prose written in runic script is similar to the difference between a potion maker who is brewing a potion rather than cooking a soup. The intent of the spell caster and his conscious transference of magic to the written words is what creates the roun rather than a letter or a word." Taking his seat once more, Mattias waited for Professor Akyildiz's thoughts on his hypothesis.