- Tempador Magic: A routine exercise, nothing greatly
different from the others we have done in the class. How complex is a
spell for use when one has just called one's current lover the wrong
name, and one wishes to rewrite recent time to have said the proper
one -- but one has not (for whatever reasons of distraction, the
professor did not specify) realized one's mistake instantly, instead
giving the current lover the opportunity to express displeasure?
Actually the assignment was not so specific as to mention that it was to be used for that circumstance. I know what he meant though. (I'm still working on this.)
- The Study of Arithmetical Differences: The third movement
of each of Pireleus' seven symphonies is based on a sequence of seven
to fifteen notes -- spectral notes, that is, in a musical notation
which gives each distinct note that the Rassimel ear can hear its own
number. (I don't understand where the numbers came from -- they're
not arranged in any sensible order to me.)
The topic is to decide if Pireleus based his symphonies upon the Study of Arithmetical Differences. (My approach: solve all the sequences of notes, and compare the official emotional connotation of the solution with the mood of the symphony. The Symphony Honoring Bread, with a 15-note sequence, is fourteenth degree, so probably not based on any numerics at all. The Symphony for a Time of Harvest, 12 notes, third degree -- but the solution is 2, which ought to stand for Peace and Construction, but the symphony is very violent and quarrelsome.
So I said "no".
I was wrong. Pireleus, in his autobiography, said he used mathematics for six of the seven (but not Bread). But he used a different numerology, the one in common use in his branch of course, in which 2 was violent and quarrelsome. We had never learned that there were other systems of numerology in this class.
My grade: "Well-Reasoned".
This was a trick question! Nestrune got tricked! Nestrune read the autobiography, and told the story just the way Pireleus did. His grade: "Deviously Discovered". The Duke and the Duchess of Daukrhame are said to be displeased with this grade.
Much gloating from the fireplace!
And a certain amount of happiness that Nestrune took that autobiography out of the library, so that he alone of the class would have it, before I thought of looking for it.
- For Ancient Ketherian History, I have read five first-hand
accounts of the first wars against the cyarr. It amused my teacher to
no end to have me catalog the references in them to my devastating
grandparent, and dissect in some detail why Chruff the Bold and all
the healers were so annoyed with zir.
Fortunately my grandparent never mentioned anything about that to me. Zie generally talks about whatever zie's excited by at the moment. So I am not so worried about being graded "Deviously Discovered".
- Current Politics of Aradrueia: A very routine and extremely
safe essay explaining why the policies of the current Duke of
Vheshrame are the best for all concerned, including in particular the
Duke's political and military enemies.
I heard a certain trace of bitterness in the teacher's voice at this. Rumor has it that three years ago, the assignment concerned a similar topic but had a different focus ... and Darwenna the daughter of the Great General was in the class. (For those of you from other cities, the Great General is the highest military rank in Vheshrame. In theory she is the duke's equal, though of course in Vheshrame nobody is really the duke's equal.) There was a dinner party ... Poor Darwenna, who had done superbly on that years' assignment and really understood and believed her material, decided to discuss the matter with the Duke directly. At some length, with some vehemence. By the end of the dinner party, Darwenna was no longer the likely candidate (nor even the plausible candidate) to be the next Great General.
In any case, my grade here was "Pleasantly Stated", and in the class as a whole, "Generally Suitable."
- Flirtatious Dancing: The Orgonzona is a seven-person dance:
three Herethroy, four bipeds, and I count as a biped. (No, the bipeds
don't flirt with the Herethroy. Just each other.) It is very fast.
The Herethroy, at one point, take three steps backwards while gazing
longingly at each other, as the bipeds are getting back to places. I
cannot walk on my hind legs fast enough! A great hulking
blue-carapaced insect stepped on my left wing! Three times! Finally
the instructor let me fly back to place in that part.
My grade in the class: "Proper Intentions". [A poor grade, saying that the student intended to do well but was unable to for reasons that were not particularly the student's fault. -bb]
At least Spirshash walked me back home, with me riding on his shoulder, and kissed a bit at the door. "Proper Intentions" there, too, if one is a bit generous with the meaning of "Proper".