Poking her head out of her chambers, Rendra eyed the bit of paper affixed to the wall. Eying the man at the end of the hall, she raised her voice to call out and ask what it said, when he suddenly announced, “Attention all Acolytes! I, Dreadlord Michael, will be starting a class to teach reading and writing for those who have never learned and those who wish to improve. Everyday after breakfast in the North Library I will hold a two hour lesson for those interested. This will be a month long class with a test at the end.”
Blinking at the man, and the flier on the wall, she muttered, “I can only to be hoping that he wasn’t fool enough to put up fliers for a class to learn how to read… who would tell us what they said?!” She went back into her room, and closed the door behind her.
Still, the young Dreadlady-to-be was happy to have caught the announcement; in spite of her extremely common background, Rendra had always thirsted to know more… not that anyone had had the time to teach her, especially not her family! So it was with great pleasure she found herself in the Library the following morning, looking around the room idly. “I… I’ll be able to read all these books, if I did want to be reading them,” she thought with a small smile, somewhat oblivious to the other students filing in.
It wasn’t until several other pupils had settled in that Rendra turned her attention to the man in the front of the room. He was the same possibly daft fool who had put the fliers up in the Acolyte halls – “Thinking we could read them, perhaps… how some people take their skills for granted!” He looked to be a kindly, doddering old fool; sort of how one would stereotype any generic older shopkeep to look. Of course, appearances counted for nothing here – all had sworn their souls in service to the Great Lord, so the only guarantee was that they all had something go ‘wrong’ in their pasts to lead them to this path.
But still, the young Taraboner had to ask the question that was on her mind, “Michael sir,” she called out, her face hardening slightly as all the eyes in the room turned to her, “Why did you put up notes in the quarters if this is for a reading and writing class, if those of us that have come here can’t read yet?!”
19 June 2008
Rendra bit back annoyance when their instructor held her with the Power, but the glower quickly went out the door with his backhanded compliment. ”He has a point though; I really should watch what questions I ask around this bloody madhouse,” she grumped to herself, smoothing down her latest and prettiest dress. It was a lovely deep blue that complimented her skin and was cut in the style of the Tarabon upper classes, and she almost felt nobility in such garb, even if it was only a very fine wool.
Almost yelping at a sudden pinch, Rendra jerked her head up. “Do I need to dance your hands like a puppet, girl? Do as instructed!” She was chagrined to notice that Michael had already started putting shapes on the board. She quickly reached for her quill, almost upsetting the ink pot in her haste and reached for a sheet of parchment. Having dunked the quill in ink, Rendra was having a difficult time figuring out exactly how to hold the bloody thing! Ink dripped from the quill onto a corner of the parchment as her hand hovered; her mind was working to comprehend the shape. Slowly, she started scritching it out; the shapes were very blotty from the excess of ink, and shaky from the woman’s lack of experience, but were kind of close to what was engraved into the board.
Her sullenness over the reprimand faded as the lesson continued; she was still putting either too much or too little ink on the quill, and so the letter-shapes ranged from splotches to hen-scratch and everything between… and all wavery. Michael stopped by several times, and gave her pointers, but it was still very slow going until she had something copied well enough to pass muster. “I think, child, you are going to need a lot of practice,” he said to her with a small smile as she continued her efforts while other students began to leave, “But you’ve already stated that you’re completely new to this, so we shall be patient; take your things back to your chambers as instructed, and make sure to put a few hours into this every night until the next class,” he further instructed, and gestured to the door.
Nodding, Rendra carefully stoppered the ink bottle; she prayed to whomever was listening that it wouldn’t muss up her fine new dress! Once that was done to her satisfaction and stashed in her belt pouch, she quickly gathered everything else and headed off; there was many a thing to do for this student Dreadlady, and now she had to find more time for this!
14 July 2008
Rendra entered the classroom feeling slightly more confident than when she had left it the week prior. Although time had been short, she had practiced as much as she possibly could, even forfeiting sleep to some degree to work on scribing out the letters painfully by wan candlelight.
“It almost is like drawing a bit“, she thought to herself as she settled into her chair. Smoothing down her skirts, she arranged her writing materials and settled in to listen to Michael’s lecture.
“Today we’ll start with simple words then have a quick review of your letters and sounds. I want you all to come up one at a time and sound out each letter from your own writing and then turn in all your papers you wrote on. We shall begin those reviews as soon as I have finished today’s leeson. We will do twenty words today and Rendra, you shall go last.”
She started to open her mouth to protest all this singling out, but some hint of prudence clamored through and kept her silent. The young woman knew very well that she was probably having the hardest time of it, and that perhaps the teacher was only trying to give her a little help by seeing how everyone else in the class handled it.
The review of letters and sounds went well enough, and before the young Taraboner woman knew it, it was her turn to read the words on the board. She had taken special care scribing them out; thinking of it like drawing helped immensely.
Handing the paper to Michael with her work from the week before, she turned her attention to the board and began to sound out the words, “K… Kat… do.. dog… mmm.. maan…”
Rendra felt drenched in sweat from the combination of being the center of attention and the concentration required for her to make the sounds make sense together. By the time she had stammered out the last word (t..t-eee), she was quite ready to sit back down again.