The summer camp is over. First the shrieking stopped, right before Lammas, and now the tents are gone from the orchard. Most of the sprouts are still on campus, but they're quieter...and they're not outsiders. They stay over sometimes, though I'm not sure where they sleep. Maybe they bunk with the masters or something, though if they do they know the trick of going in and out of the fourth floor without any of us seeing.
|Grasshopper on Flower|
The reason Allen comes in on Tuesdays is that his first class of the week is Tuesday afternoon. I'm in that class, though it hasn't actually met yet. The official name for it is “Lies, Statistics, and Illusions.” Among other things, it’s apparently about how to avoid being manipulated by advertising, so I've heard some people call it "Defense Against the Dark Arts," a Harry Potter reference, of course. It’s a popular Allen’s classes are.
Charlie’s classes are usually less popular. I suppose that’s what happens from growling at people the way he does. I signed up for two, though—Messing Around Outdoors, and Environmentalism for Dummies. The former actually is pretty popular; it’s basically several classes worth of field trips but without much in the way of lectures or homework. He teaches a version of it every semester, and a lot of people take it more than once. The other class is probably more important but less fun; learning some of the science behind environmental issues, like why species go extinct. The “for dummies” part is probably a reference to the fact that a lot of students here really aren’t that interested in science--something that seems stranger and stranger to me the longer I'm here. I guess Charlie's ideas are rubbing off on me.
So, another semester, another set of classes—except this time all the classes are electives. We still have to take a certain number of credits in each competency area, but from here on in I get to choose which ones I can take. So I’ll be in class with senior students as well as other yearlings, and I'll be learning things not all of the other students will learn. We’re drifting further apart, further into our own individual courses of study. We're still yearlings, technically, because we're in our first year, but from here on in that doesn't matter much, practically. A shift has taken place.
This semester is also the longest, at ten weeks. That’s still not very long—all the classes this time are three credits, so that’s twelve class meetings, and the extra meetings have to take turns occupying Wednesday. But it’s long enough. When it’s over, so will the school year be, and all this riotous green will be gone.
[Next Post: Friday, August 9th: Day of Transformation]