Author Topic:  A Great Teacher is a Great Artist | Gauvain & Vivianne  (Read 566 times)

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24 Posts 51 hétérosexuel he/him/his played by Taed
A Great Teacher is a Great Artist | Gauvain & Vivianne
« on: April 13, 2022, 01:42:37 PM »
 
mssr. améliore's office | samedi 25 septembre 2004

"I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great
artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit."
? John Steinbeck

It was Saturday, and Saturday usually meant grading Friday quizzes, fine-tuning next week's lesson plans, and office hours for N.E.W.T. students. Fortunately Mssr. Améliore was already nearly finished with the short quizzes he had given our yesterday, his lesson plans for the first month were always roughly the same for each year of students, and none of the seventh-years had signed up for a slot this weekend.

However, one of his peers had signed up.

Gauvain was pleasantly surprised and slightly concerned that Professor @Vivianne Courtois had indeed taken him up on his offer to chat and express any concerns that she had, just joining the Beauxbatons teaching staff as she was. He hoped sincerely that she was not already getting overwhelmed, although if anyone was going to this year it would certainly be the Professeur d'Arts Creatifs. She had been given a great deal of responsibility, even if she hadn't been brand new to the school system. As a teacher, that is.

Despite maintaining his residence in Chateoil, Gauvain only really stayed there one weekend each month during the academic year. However, his https://rs-rooms-cdn.floorplanner.com/rooms/images/Eixi_RXWL46klEqU.jpg' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>private office was set up quite similar to his study on Rue Giroux. The door to his office came in off of a tower stairwell and so was set in a corner; a large window on one of the walls opposite let in plenty of light, which served to cheer up the watercolour birds that flitted around his lavender-grey wallpaper and perched on the woven stems of pivoines and carottes. On the other wall opposite the door was his workstation, an 1800s writing desk with bronze handles and leather top; just above the upper drawers sat a black baroque wall clock, ticking politely and quietly. The writing desk was framed on either side by a candle sconce, a floor plant, and another candle sconce. Against each wall aside from the writing desk was an extra seat Gauvain kept in his office, each an oval back upholstered chair that matched the one he was currently sitting in. In the corner between the window and the entry sat the only somewhat incongruous part of Gauvain's orderly office, a pink cat tree tower condo, currently unoccupied by Leon who was being stubborn and sitting on the floor next to it. The olive wood moulding along the ceiling and the similar 10-centimetre olive wood panelling along the floor provided a rustic, homey touch, as did the dark Byzantine blue carpet. In the center of the room was a moderate tea table, pot atop it currently on a low boil from no apparent source of heat, next to a plate of chicken spinach artichoke canapes; above all this was a ring chandelier with six more candles flickering cozily.

https://i.ibb.co/9rgCZTQ/ameliore-office-large.jpg' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>

The clock atop his desk gently chimed the Westminster Quarters and then a single low bell, telling Gauvain that it was one o'clock and Vivianne should be along any moment. He victoriously wrote a "+10" on the last of his papers, and stood up to turn his seat around and look at the door (and the tea table), waiting for his company to arrive.


31 Posts 35
A Great Teacher is a Great Artist | Gauvain & Vivianne
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2022, 05:32:39 AM »
 Vivianne was still getting used to being a professor. When she was addressed as such she sometimes needed a second to comprehend that someone was talking to her. Just a few months ago the idea of her as a teacher would have made her laugh out loud. If anyone would have looked at a crystal ball and told her that she’d be a member of the Beauxbatons staff, she’d suggested that they better polish their crystal ball and refresh their knowledge of crystallomancy again.

Now she was here, though, walking through the corridors of Beauxbatons again that she hadn’t seen since her student days. Most of the kids at school were nice enough. Vivianne found that they were not giving her a particularly hard time.

Although Vivianne thought that she knew a whole lot about visual arts and literature, she felt that, in order to teach, she needed to be almost omniscient. It felt strange to talk about something and know that an inquisitive student might come up with a question that she could not answer satisfactorily. What was she supposed to do then? Admit that she didn’t know the correct answer? Distract from the topic? Just say something that felt right?

At the beginning of term Gauvain Améliore had been rather welcoming and had offered advice should she need it. The older and much more experienced professor could surely help her with her struggles. He had the experience that she still lacked. However, Vivianne was not going to admit that she was having slight trouble adapting. She had asked him if he had time for her, suggesting she just wanted to have a chat and socialise. They were bound to talk about teaching anyway.

It was Saturday and the weather was lovely. From her office Vivianne had observed the students filling the grounds. The arts initiative had already started but as singing was the first month’s topic, Vivianne had little to do with it yet. Professeur Böhme, however, seemed more than just a little busy and had admitted to her during dinner the previous day that he hadn’t expected that much additional work. Truth be told, the stressed and tired look on her colleague’s face made Vivianne wonder how she’d deal with her new job and the arts initiative as the cherry on top of an overlarge work cake.

She knocked politely on the door and waited for a response to open the door. As she stepped into Gauvain’s office, Vivianne smiled. The office was beautifully decorated, the wallpaper especially caught the artist’s interest. The watercolour birds were really nicely done and their movements looked quite natural. “Bonjour,” she said softly as her gaze rested on the fellow professor. She was wearing a light flowery summer dress and strappy sandals, her hair and make up were, as usual, perfectly done.

“Thank you for taking the time for a chat although you’re surely busy.” She nodded at the parchments on his desk and then briefly glanced out of the window. The view was different from the one she got out of her window but at Beauxbatons there was probably not a single window that revealed a sight that was not pretty.
 

24 Posts 51 hétérosexuel he/him/his played by Taed
A Great Teacher is a Great Artist | Gauvain & Vivianne
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2022, 02:36:36 PM »
 

"Entrez," Gauvain said in his soft but carrying voice at the sound of the knock on his office door. As Vivianne entered the room, his wallpaper birds whistled almost inappropriately and he had the faintest urge to slap the wall and tell them to behave. She was done up very nicely today, much more like this was a social call than a mutual consultation. Perhaps she supposed it was, he mused. A new teacher wanted to save face and look competent, not display weakness. Especially so soon into the term.

"Bonjour, mon collègue," he responded with a warm smile, gesturing to any of the other three chairs around the tea table, although Leon immediately hopped into the one beneath the window and curled up under the sunbeam. He himself was still in one of his trademark https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/710lVFhJekL._AC_UY550_.jpg' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>Gothic Victorian wizard's robes, this one in mauve taupe with a gold-embroidered white cravat peeking out above his waistcoat.

"Ah," he waved off her concerns about being busy, "I had exactly enough time to finish. The beginning of the term is not nearly so heavy a workload as the end of the term." He slid his wand out from his sleeve into his grip in a practised manoeuvre, reached behind him and tapped the list of papers with the tip, and they cascaded from the flat of his desk into his fabric briefcase on the floor by the bamboo plant, corners of the quiz sheets dancing a flawless can-can as they left the stage. "I no longer have to think about those until Monday," he jested calmly, while conjuring up two teacups onto the table and then sliding his wand back down his sleeve.

"But now you are here!" he announced more cordially. "And we can't discuss anything heavy until we sate our appetites at least a little, non?" He picked up the kettle and spun a ring around the end of the spout before pouring out a deep purple tea into his own cup. Then he lifted his eyes back to Vivianne and glanced at the plate of finger foods. "Canapes? And do you have a preference on your tea flavour? This is my weakness - a chocolate-dipped raspberry black tea - but I have most of the standards on the dial here."

As much as he was settled into the academic world and environment of Beauxbatons, certain things held over from his years in Italy. Most of them were security- and safety-oriented, but some was simply people-reading. In which chair would Professor Courtois sit - next to him or across from him - and what did that say about her social practices? What type of tea did she like, and what did it say about her tastes? Would she take a canape, and how many, and what did that say about her behaviour and her upbringing?


31 Posts 35
A Great Teacher is a Great Artist | Gauvain & Vivianne
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2022, 10:03:28 AM »
 Vivianne had her eye on the chair by the window but her colleague's cat was faster. She chose the chair opposite the cat and flattened her dress as she sat down. Gauvain looked elegant and professional and Vivianne wondered if she was not looking enough like a professor herself.

He spoke of work and how the workload was less at the beginning of term than at the end of it. “I wouldn’t know… yet,” Vivianne said with a smile. She wondered if there was a lot of a difference when it came to the workload of various subjects but assumed that it depended less on the subject but more on the tasks they set for the students.

She smiled as his papers were tidied up in a very French fashion. Magic could be so beautiful and useful. Two teacups settled down on the table and Vivianne gave a grateful nod in response to the service.

“That sounds like a very interesting tea flavour. I’m happy to try it out. Thank you,” Vivianne said as he asked which flavour she liked. “As for the canapes -  I might pass for now but might try some a little later.” She wasn’t hungry and Vivianne did not usually eat anything between the official mealtimes.

“How long have you been teaching here?” Vivianne asked him. Depending on how much experience he already had, she’d have some more questions for him. She was only just starting her life as a teacher and while the start hadn’t been too bad, she was not quite sure whether or not she’d do this job for a long time to come.

24 Posts 51 hétérosexuel he/him/his played by Taed
A Great Teacher is a Great Artist | Gauvain & Vivianne
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2022, 04:13:53 PM »
 

Pleased with her willingness to try new things and listen to new ideas, including https://www.fusionteas.com/chocolate-dipped-raspberry-black-tea/' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>his tea, Gauvain went ahead and poured into her cup without having spin the dial for a different blend, and then set the pot back on his table and settled comfortably into his seat.

Vivianne's selection, the one to his right and facing the window, gave him additional insight into the type of witch and the type of person that she was. She was collaborative, not aggressive, and she preferred to be on the same page as her peers from the very beginning rather than meeting in the middle later on and trying to mesh ideas.

Slightly conscious of her appearance, but not so much as to feel inferior or underdressed - she had her own method of doing things, which nevertheless were both comfortable and socially understandable - and her polite refusal of hors d'oeuvres suggested she was meticulous in following her established patterns as well, likely only eating at prescribed mealtimes. A little surprising for someone teaching in a right-brain field of study, but not unheard of.

"Ah, well," he took a quiet sip of his beverage and leaned back. "Seven years, here at least; this is my eighth starting term at Beauxbatons. I applied for this post in 1997, following that unusual elemental incident at the school in the spring. Prior to that however I had served as a private Metamorphose tutor in Oricourt for almost nine years. So I suppose I've been in education for quite some time, considering I am not an actual professor.

"The job is... both easier and harder than my former career, however," he chuckled, folding his hands on his knee. "I was a member of corporate security in Italy for over a decade, and there I was using my spellwork much more actively, but my mind had far fewer gymnastics to go through. I suppose I would describe working as Neroli as strength training for magic, while being an educator is more like stamina training. If that makes sense," he motioned to his cohort with a questioning hand.


31 Posts 35
A Great Teacher is a Great Artist | Gauvain & Vivianne
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2022, 09:42:11 AM »
 Vivianne was curious to get to know her colleagues a little better. It was hard to tell if any of them was going to turn from a mere colleague to a friend at some point but Vivianne was open and happy to give everybody a fair chance to win her friendship. Although from a rich pureblood family, Vivianne wasn’t really a snob or tried not to be snobbish anyway. She liked to help and be kind because she thought that this would earn her kindness in return and that was surely better than animosity.

“That’s already quite a while. You must know the castle and the curriculum by heart now.” Vivianne smiled and then lifted the cup to her lips to try the blend Gauvain had poured her.

“Mmh,” she licked her lips and nodded, “this is a very nice taste. A little exotic in a way, but I like it.”

She had listened carefully as the older wizard told her about his career steps and how his jobs differed. It was interesting to hear him talk like that but it also made her feel a little unaccomplished because she had so little to offer herself.

“Yes, I think it does make sense,” she agreed with him. “I’m curious how I will feel about teaching once I’m a little more into it. I’m still at the beginning.” She paused and then looked at him curiously.

"You know what? I really struggle to remember all the names of the students. How do you do it? I mean, of course, you know six sevenths of the students by now and only have to remember the names of the new first years but still… It’s so tough and I feel they’re taking it badly if I mistake one with the other. I know I expected the teachers to know my name quite quickly when I was a student here.”

24 Posts 51 hétérosexuel he/him/his played by Taed
A Great Teacher is a Great Artist | Gauvain & Vivianne
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2022, 11:18:29 AM »
 

"There is nothing at all wrong with a beginning," Gauvain declared, in response to Vivianne's seemingly innocuous comment, though he suspected there was some insecurity behind the statement. "You have the limitless potential to do whatever you want, to discover your passions, or to grow the passions you've already discovered. I promise you, over time as you continue teaching, you will also learn more about yourself. It's a beautiful thing, to be quite frank," he reassured her.

He took a sip of his tea and noticed over the rim of his teacup that she was giving him an inquisitive look, but determined that he would allow her to ask whatever questions she had in her own time. It did not take long. The question was not one that he had expected, however.

"Do you know, I've never really thought about it," Gauvain replied honestly, thinking about all of the students in his Metamorphosis classes. "I suppose I've always had a rather organized mind. Possibly a reason I performed less successfully in the Arts."

He thought for a moment, then went on, "That is not to say that I get every new year's student names correct right away, of course. You are not alone in that regard. I personally seat them in alphabetical order -- again, I prefer to be organized, but I know some people chafe under rigid structures. Perhaps there are mnemonics you could use, or each class period you spend a little extra time with a different student of your choosing to familiarize yourself with them?"

Gauvain set his teacup back on the tiny charger on his table, and folded his hands on his lap again. "It is, I hope you know, perfectly reasonable to doubt one's self and one's capability when they first begin a new endeavour. But I've heard nothing but good things about your classes and your lessons. I hope nothing is discouraging you."


31 Posts 35
A Great Teacher is a Great Artist | Gauvain & Vivianne
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2022, 04:00:15 PM »
 “Oui,” Vivianne said, smiling slightly, “nothing is wrong with a beginning. In fact, it’s the most exciting time, isn’t it? Starting something new is always an adventure and you grow with the experience.”

She really believed this and yet, she was a little insecure about this job. It wasn’t like Vivianne had a lot of job experience. She had, so far, avoided long term employment. Her family was rich, so rich that a generation or more could easily just live off the fortune. However, that wasn’t her parents’ plan. They demanded that she’d work in order to keep having access to all the money.

“I hope that I’ll grow to be a good teacher,” she added after a brief pause during which she had sipped some tea. Admittedly she had never dreamed of becoming a teacher at all and she wasn’t sure she was made for the job. Nonetheless, it did seem like a decent option compared to some other jobs she could take on. Teaching young witches and wizards about art and literature was indefinitely better than doing the accounting for the cruise line, for example.
   
Nodding along as Gauvain spoke, Vivianne agreed with him wholeheartedly. “I guess the arts require more spontaneity and creativity than thorough organisation. Don’t get me wrong, though, there are things that I like organised as well. Maybe seating the students in alphabetical order could be an option for me, too,” she mused and then shook her head slightly. “I am not sure how well it’ll work for the creative aspects of my class, though. I imagine some students are still shy about their creative ideas and might not go along with them if they’re sitting next to someone they don’t feel comfortable with.”

Gauvain was really being nice and helpful and Vivianne appreciated it. She also liked the fact that he gave her new ideas on how to deal with her students. Him mentioning spending extra time with the students totally struck a chord for her.

“I think through the arts initiative I’ll get to know some students faster than others,” she thought aloud and then, directed at Gauvain added, “thank you for your kind words, by the way. I’m not discouraged,” she paused and smiled, “yet, but it absolutely helps to hear that there are no negative rumours going around about me at this point. I hope I can keep it that way.” She said this in a joking tone but, truth be told, she really meant it.
 

24 Posts 51 hétérosexuel he/him/his played by Taed
A Great Teacher is a Great Artist | Gauvain & Vivianne
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2022, 12:29:59 PM »
 

"You are welcome, of course," Gauvain replied. "Even teachers forget that even teachers need kindness, space to relieve their frustration and concerns, and an occasional tea break. Don't let Olympe work you to the bone," he added with a chuckle. "Take all of your breaks, and reach out to your peers if you need assistance. You may recall I said we pride ourselves on our community here, at the opening feast," Gauvain reminded Vivianne.

Gauvain's face turned a little more sour when she talked about keeping herself at zero negative rumours. "There will, of course, be eventual stories, some with no truth, some with a grain, and some that are spot on," he cautioned her. "Idle students love to gossip, and the more secretive an instructor is, the more material the students have to theorize about. I do not often indulge my students in queries about my personal life, because they are supposed to view me as a professional; as a result I have heard my fair share of interesting, and sometimes insulting, histories of myself. A large part of why I adjust my lesson plans on the fly, to ensure that everyone is keeping their hands and minds busy without being overwhelmed."

Leon caught the attention of his human by opening his mouth wide and stretching his back out. Gauvain used the opportunity to glance out the window at his roses, and at the early autumn atmosphere beyond them. In the southern part of France, late September was still comfortably warm, around 20 degrees, and the well-kept grounds of Beauxbatons Academy were a testament to the region's autumnal beauty.

"I believe it is too nice a day out to continue this conversation indoors, Vivianne," he declared, "or to dwell on such heavy topics. Do you have the time to continue getting to know one another out-of-doors?"


31 Posts 35
A Great Teacher is a Great Artist | Gauvain & Vivianne
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2022, 08:14:52 AM »
 Smiling at her older colleague, Vivianne nodded. He was a nice man, helpful and a good person to talk to. She appreciated his effort to help her have a good start at school and indeed, she was doing alright so far. However, she could hardly say that she did well or bad at her job. Having only just started teaching, everything was still new to her.

“Thank you again for your support,” she said, a sincere gratitude reflected in her voice. “I’m sure it’ll all work out one way or another.” Well, maybe she wasn’t actually sure but she definitely hoped that everything would be alright.

“A little gossip is alright as long as it’s not with malicious intent,” Vivianne said, “I mean, I’d prefer if they did not gossip about me in a negative way at all but I guess what I’m most afraid of is not that they talk about things they dislike about my teaching methods or anything like that but that they make up stories that are not true and reflect badly on me.” She didn't really mind a little gossip. It could be fun, too. Rumours usually spread quickly but there was a difference between some light gossip and things she didn’t want people to think of her.

Gauvain suggested going outside and Vivianne nodded. She was looking forward to get some fresh air herself. “Sounds like a good plan. Maybe you can show me around a little. The grounds probably have changed since I’ve last been here.”
 

24 Posts 51 hétérosexuel he/him/his played by Taed
A Great Teacher is a Great Artist | Gauvain & Vivianne
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2022, 12:49:34 PM »
 

The Metamorphoseur nodded and murmured an agreement to the response of his Artiste Créatif counterpart. Despite his heavy disapproval of chatter and hearsay, he supposed the hollow suppositions of students about his life and past was a favorable alternative to complaints about his classes. Mind you, he had heard plenty of those as well, but they were more about his neutral demeanor and the tight ship that he ran, rather than about the quality of his teaching or his subject's usefulness (or lack thereof).

Although there was a bit of an age gap between the two of them, a mere sixteen years, he had found over the course of the conversation that he was quite fond of Mlle. Courtois. Her positive outlook, demure demeanor, and sincere desire to excel and change her students' lives for the better had made an impression in the brief time they had already enjoyed together.

As usual Gauvain's face showed little emotion other than the vague suggestion of a smile, but secretly he was quite delighted that Vivianne approved of his suggestion to take their discussion out-of-doors. Amidst the beautiful grounds, he was sure their conversation would turn to lighter things.

"I am pleased to hear it. I cannot imagine too much has changed physically, other than what had to rebuilt after l'Aventure Élémentaire, but if you prove me wrong I will be gracious in my defeat," Gauvain quipped with one corner of his beard raised slightly. He stood up and discreetly stretched, and then stepped over to the door to open it, offering an arm to his peer. "Shall we then?" And out they went, already back into conversation just a few steps past the door, which closed behind them but not before allowing Leon to give them the sort of quizzical, knowing grin that only a cat can pull off.

~ fin ~

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