To begin the story at the beginning, read "Part 1: Post 1: Beginning Again," published in January, 2013. To consult a description of the campus, read "Part 1: Post 14: The Greening of Campus," published in March, 2013.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Mastery Year 1: Part 4: Post 4: For the Sake of a Good Time

I don't know why June still has classes this semester, given that she's now working full time as the director of a large summer camp. I've asked her, and she points out that she is in school, so taking classes is important, and I can see that, but still, it does look like a whole lot of work.

She's continuing her policy of taking all of Allen's classes. This summer, that means The Psychology of Magic and The Art of Listening and Love, the second of which was one of Greg's classes when I took it, but now that Greg's retired, he's given it to Allen. She's even taking Tricks of the Trade, Allen's technical course on stage magic, which means she now has access to his how and wherefore and has been sworn to secrecy. I can ask "what did you do in school today, dear?" and she can't tell me.

Meanwhile, campus has been taken over by children. I have not counted, but I think there are more of them than us--let's see, three age groupings, roughly twenty campers in each, so, no, probably not more, but there are a lot of them, and while we hardly ever speak with them, their presence changes how we live on a daily basis. They take up physical space, they take up auditory space (the shrieking!), and we can't wear our uniforms anymore, lest the oddness of our appearance trigger questions. Not that we really want to wear uniforms right now, because it's too hot.

Except, of course, when night comes and a few of us gather, cowls raised, to recite poetry in the grape arbor among those few children daring enough to sneak out and spend an evening with the Elven King.

I mean our Dead Poet's Society, of course. I've talked about it here before, though not in a while. It's pretty much like what you see in the movie. Charlie leads it. It's not against the rules, but it is secret unless you get invited. In the summer, we encourage the campers to sneak out and join us. It's not against the rules, but they don't know that.

June has not gotten an invitation--she's not friends with Charlie, and I didn't think it sounded like her kind of thing, anyway--but we let her in on the secret because she's the camp director. She had to know about the imaginary rule and why it's there. One kid already has gotten "caught," and was duly assigned to shadow Charlie for a day as "punishment" (it's no punishment at all, of course), so she had to figure out how to tell the kid's parents about the infraction without blowing the cover of the whole game or getting the kid in real trouble at home. I didn't envy her that task.

In fact, this coming Wednesday--the day when Dead Poet's Society meets--will be July 4th, so the campers will stay up late and walk down to the lake to watch fireworks, and none of them will be available to sneak out for poetry. I'll have to choose whether to watch the explosions myself, or attend to poetry. It's a decision that is no decision. Everyone who knows me knows what I will do.

Just as I know without asking that Charlie will not cancel poetry among vines and fireflies for the sake of mere colored gunpowder.

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