Author Topic:  The Apologist's Worst Enemy (Volya, Birçan)  (Read 155 times)

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The Apologist's Worst Enemy (Volya, Birçan)
« on: August 29, 2017, 05:41:58 PM »
[div style="width:50%;opacity:0.5;font-size:0.85em;border-bottom:1px solid #ffffff;"]FRIDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER 2001, 3:57 PM[/div]

[div style="width:450px;font-family:Abel;font-size:14px;text-align:left;"]“It is never just disagreement but always intellectual dishonesty that is the apologist's worst enemy. And its apprentice is ignorance.”[span style="display:none;"] @Volya Nikolov [/span]
Criss Jami, Killosophy[/div]


One week teaching at Koldovstoretz, over and done with. Birçan was finding more and more that, although she was not particularly fond of people, she had a singular talent for teaching.

This wasn't really a surprise, since she had spent enough time as a "teacher" on Ramazan's family farm. But it was one thing to teach adults, especially the semi-indoctrinated and fervently faithful militants of the Çardaklı Mahallesi Compound... and it was wholly another thing to teach willful, resistant, adolescent miscreants. But Birçan had come down hard the first two days of classes, making sure that nobody misunderstood that she would tolerate no misbehaviour and certainly no slackers: seventeen detentions served to members of the second through seventh year students (the first years having been sufficiently cowed by her presence alone). By today's classes, the students had almost all toed the line nearly to a fault. They may have looked unhappy about being in her class, but they knew better than to let it affect their attention or their classwork. There just might be hope for the Koldovstoretz student body yet.

As the last of her fifth year brood filtered out of her cabin-classroom in a mostly orderly queue, Birçan closed her book and swept her wand in two staircase motions from the middle of the room to each side, silently casting Mobilimaximi and stacking the desks up against either wall to leave a wide open space in the centre. She'd leave the actual sweeping and cleaning to her classroom's domovikha, or "house spirit". Most dwellings and cabins in Russian and Slavic lands had a domovoi, which was also true of Birçan's original classroom. But Birçan had met the male magical creature three days before classes began, and found him inadequate to the task.

She went straight to the new headmistress and insisted that she either have the domovoi, or her classroom, exchanged. The headmistress had, surprisingly and impressively, anticipated this request and relocated Birçan to another cabin a bit further from the mountain caverns that housed most of Koldovstoretz Academy, which had the unique distinction among the school's structures of having a female housekeeping creature. Domovikhy typically lived in henhouses or cellars unless they were the "bad" type, usually called kikimory, but this cabin's claimant seemed to be very much like Birçan herself -- not fond of the male gender but otherwise quite willing to contribute to the wellbeing of all. Birçan had nicknamed her "Mzia," a Georgian name that meant "the sun," since she made the cabin so clean that it sparkled like a star.

A nonchalant smile had graced her face as she thought of Mzia while gathering up the rest of her things, but it fell into an annoyed frown when there was a knock at the door. Her eyes flashed up to the window and her eyebrows drew close and down as she recognised the face of the Water Manipulation professor. Volya Nikolov had been a pain in her side ever since the first day of classes, when he kept asking probing questions about how she taught runes. Stifling a growl, she put her collected paraphernalia back down on the desk in the front of the classroom and strode over to the door, flinging it open wide. "Volya, dear, what a surprise," she said flatly. "How can I help you?"

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