Posts Tagged Studies
Or: Sorting Your Way to a More Successful Tomorrow
So you got your acceptance letter to magic school. Congratulations. You may think the program is so easy a kid with no prior knowledge of the subject could just roll in there and become the best at everything.
You’re probably right. But with that road comes angst and pain and constant mockery from a smarmy kid who had Miley Cyrus’ look down pat long before Miley Cyrus got into whatever the heck she’s been doing for the past few years.
Real wizards plan ahead. And there’s really only one subject in which you must be well-versed.
There are four of them. Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Gryffindor. And when you arrive, you will be assigned to one by a hat.
That’s right, your future rests with a piece of clothing, and if you’re not prepared, you could end up doomed to seven years (or eight movies) of studies with the wizard equivalent of Scrappy Doo, or the kids from Full House. As you can tell, this is a serious matter. But if you play the game correctly, you could win the easiest seven years of your life.
“How?” you ask, in your squeaky, ten-year-old voice. Simple. Go Slytherin, and look socially acceptable by comparison.
Here’s what you face in each of the four houses.
Ravenclaw: Emos and goths. Too broody, plus you could probably use the sun.
Hufflepuff: Theater majors. This is not Rent. You are an aspiring wizard.
Gryffindor: Brown nosers and nerds. Their life is school. Memorizing herbology to stay even with everyone else is lame. And do you really want coursework in sycophancy?
Slytherin: Sociopaths and morons–the brown ring of scum around the fixture that is Hogwarts.
Essentially, if you choose Slytherin, you commit yourself to a popularity contest against a bunch of disgruntled miscreants who would struggle to match wits with Marmaduke were they allowed an extra seventy or eighty IQ points and a favorable wind.
So go for it. You can thank me later when you’re Minister of Magic.
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Stasko arrived at the maintenance office thirty-seven minutes later. Wisric had no doubt arranged everything to give him a chance to chat with Corinda Blanch, though there was no guarantee she would be around. Since both Stasko and Wisric had been moved to temporary quarters in the agricultural wing, Blanch had coincidentally been in the area more often, usually for "strategic discussions" with Mot Jarvis, her counterpart and the man in charge of maintenance for the agricultural warrens.
Mot was a short, black-haired man who could be described using a number of adjectives that ended in -umpy. In general he had an ill temper. He had prominent muscles as a result of his fanatical weightlifting, a trait that had required a certain amount of adjustment in the years since he had lost his right arm during an ill-fated safari, as he put it: "Fighting a pair of alligators," which may not have been entirely true.
Nobody really knew the truth about his missing limb, and few entirely understood how he kept the agricultural warrens maintained so well with only one arm. But his resilience in the face of life's oddities had given him an occasional endearing quality, and Leonin visited him when he needed perspective.
Wisric, for reasons unknown to Stasko, seemed to cringe when Jarvis was around.
On this occasion, however, the commons around Mot's office was quiet; Mot wasn't waving his arm threateningly from the break table as he tended to do quite often, but his office door was open. A transmitter buried somewhere in the office was busily spitting out animated conversation.
In the doorway stood the hulking silhouette of Resfarl, one of the few who had managed the transition from Brush to Graevon. If there was one common thread among lunatics it was that they always seemed to prefer keeping the Atlas-types around.
Saunders slowed and took hold of a length of metal conduit near one of the terminals. “I’ll handle Resfarl; you guys go on ahead.”
Anya gave him an incredulous stare. “Have you lost your mind?”
Gregg paused in mid-step. He hadn’t expected an argument.
“Why in space would you want to split up at a time like this?” continued Rayleigh. “We have no idea what that Borius character might be planning.”
“Just go; don’t worry about Resfarl,” insisted Gregg.
“I’m not worried about Resfarl,” she stated flatly. “There is exactly one of him right now, and he doesn’t even have a gun.”
“I'll handle him! Find Graevon and stop him before he commits another act of genocide.” He made prolonged eye contact with her, trying to convey an inability to accept anything other than compliance.
It hardly made a difference.
“Skabs to that! What do you take me for?” She broke his gaze and gestured indignantly toward the other man. “Is this supposed to be some sort of idiotic macho act?”
He stepped back momentarily. “No,” he began, with marginally less certainty than before. “But this will give you time to--”
“Time to what?” she asked, clearly uninterested in any clarifying statements. “Worry about your misguided hide because you want to play the martyr while we're chasing down a madman? Fine.”
She fired two shots, one into each of Micco Resfarl’s knees. His legs gave way almost in unison, no longer coordinating their actions with the rest of his body, and with his weight unsupported he buckled over, clearly out of commission. “Have it your way. While you’re busy being irrational and clubbing him up with your new toy, the rest of us will be solving problems instead of creating them.”