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February, 2019
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Tallygarunga: Term One, VMU: Summer Break

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Professor Teaching Staff ☆ Professor of Ancient Rune StudiesGuest
38 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

As she pushed open the broad doors which led into the lecture hall, Professor Lyell felt whatever nervousness migth've still been inside of her all morning slip away, vanishing like distant ghosts in the slips of time. She walked down towards the lectern table with a purposeful, no-nonsense stride, her flats echoing faintly on the tile floor as she scarlet-and-gold professorial robe flowed around her like a eagle protecting its' nest from attack from afar, while atop her head her fedora, the Springbok feather pointing straight up from the brim like a sentinel.

Looking around a little, she counted over 20 students - most looking as though they were in the middle forms - and looking eager to learn; although she had the list of students by name in her hand, rolled up so that she could use it as a pointer, she always used the first one or two class days to get to know her students. It was one thing to know them on paper; it was quite another to tie the name to the face. Walking up onto the broad stage, the professor walked straight over to the table, atop which sat three rune stones, each as large as the textbooks the students had with them. Each one had ancient languages written upon them; it was Professor Lyell's way of introducing them to the study of ancient runes.

After a few moments, she coughed quietly, took off her fedora and set it down on the table next to the runes. "Before you, on the lectern table before you here, are three stones. Ancient runes with a couple ancient languages on them; my question to you this first day is....which of these stones is real and which are fake?" she asked. For several minutes, the students - invited up to the lectern table by Professor Lyell - studied all three runes, examining them with sharp, quizzical eyes and bated breaths. Professor Lyell watched, noting which students took their time examining each of the three rune stones and which didn't...eventually, she called the students back to their seats. "Okay, which of you think its' the first rune stone?" After counting the number of students who answered, she repeated the question for the second and third rune stones, again writing down how many students answered for each of them.

When she had the numbers tallied up, Professor Lyell spoke again. "For those who answered the second rune stone, congratulations! That stone was found near Bunratty Castle in southern Ireland almost two centuries ago and contains both Celtic and Pict language on it, both of which we'll study in this class. The other two....both are fakes; my question to you, ladies and gentlemen, is how do we know their fakes?" Pointing towards one student with her rolled-up paper, she said, "Yes?"

"The languages," he replied.

"And...?" Professor Lyell prompted.

"The lack of languages on the other stones," the student asked, seemingly half-afraid.

"That's right," Professor Lyell explained. "The forgeries contained symbology not regularly used by wizards and witches; the first one contained Egyptian hieroglyphics lifted from the Rosetta Stone, while the third stone contained Cambodian symbology found at the site of Angkor Kol Ker in northwest Cambodia. If these had been legit, they would've both had languages, scripts and symbols on them, not just symbols. But for those who answered one or three, don't fret; we've got all year to learn," bringing a light chuckle to the lecture hall.

After a few moments, Professor Lyell continued. "Since I am new here to Tallygarunga, let me introduce myself. I'm Professor Tamara Lyell and I'll be your instructor in the study of ancient runes; by the end of this year, all of you here today will know just about everything there is to know about runes and their relationship to the wizarding world. But its' not just a classroom study; we'll do plenty of library work and - conditions permitting  and permissions granted ahead of time - we may even go out into the field and search for runes for a couple days. The textbooks you have will provide the baseline for passing the course; how much you learn or choose to learn is up to you." After a few moments, she unfurled the rolled-up papers and began asking which students were which, the year having begun in earnest....

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Sturt ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club CaptainKirupachi
15 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

As usual, Lisa had been one of the first ones in - nay, the first one - for the first Ancient Runes class (or any for that matter) that day. Though that day, she had more of a purpose to it than just ensuring she stayed at the head of the class at all times: she had to put that stupid pen to work on its own. It would usually not be an issue, if not for the very reason she needed to do it in the first place.

Who knew dominant hands played such a role in one's magic execution?

It took the blonde a few tries to enchant the pen sitting on the open notebook before her to take notes without her input. Not only was that unacceptable, it was quite aggravating that she actually had to go as far as verbally reciting the incantation to get the silly little spell to work. Failure wasn't something she took lightly, and now the hovering pen was the gleeful recipient of Lisa Knotley's patented death glare. It was like all her training the night before had been for nothing!

At least she succeeded in the little trick before the classroom was flooded with fellow classmates, sparing her from the humiliation at hand. She had a reputation to maintain. She had no choice but to face the moment of weakness for the sake of her team, but that didn't mean she wanted to have it rubbed on her face by others or have it tarnish her image as the invulnerable individual she had worked so hard on building. Compromise. She couldn't do what she wanted, but she'd have her way in what she had to do.

The class started. The girl leaned back in her seat and gave the teacher (most of) her undivided attention. Lisa was pleasantly surprised by the quick jump into action of the teacher, rather than have everyone sit around and introduce themselves - and herself, as well, of course, and the blonde couldn't care less for either thing -, and was more than eager to indulge. When ordered, she walked up to the lectern table, and inspected the stones to their smallest detail. The ones that she could perceive without touching the objects, at least. Something did catch her eye after a little while of looking them over, however, and a small smirk crossed her lips on instinct. Excusing herself, the girl went back to her seat.

Lisa was reminded of her injury the moment the class was asked which of the three stones was the real one. Having the reflex of raising her hand at the correct choice, the second one (a bit of an easy exercise, in her point of view), excruciating pain shot down her shoulder and all the way to the tip of her fingertips - the perks of having a particularly bad case of a pinched nerve from blunt force trauma, or as she saw it, a little loving kiss from a bludger that she so graciously received during the Sturt Quidditch tryout the day before. For just a second she grimaced, jaw clenching as she struggled not to let out any noise of intense discomfort. Managing to recover without giving away her inconvenience, she raised her left hand instead.

The pen she had enchanted proceeded to take notes as the teacher went on to further explain the reasoning behind the correct answer - a welcome sight for the blonde as her spell had worked, and a nice stroke to her ego over being right. Not everything could be bad news, right? She's earned that little victory out of studying way more than anyone minimally emotionally healthy should have through the break, and it was paying off.

"Here." She actually had the presence of mind to raise the left hand when the teacher went through the quick and painless method of determining who's who. She just needed to get that out of the way so she could tune out everything and dive head deep into the class, pronto.

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Flinders Caz
15 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ He/Him

Hugo felt like he'd been in Tally for about two minutes before he was shoved into a lesson. The systems and curriculum were so different from his old school back in Germany that he felt completely overwhelmed as soon as he step foot into the school. He'd asked so many people on his way to the lecture hall for the right directions, as he'd manage to end up in the completely wrong building multiple times. 

'Ancient Runes'. When he'd picked it a few days ago in a rush to get out of the meeting for his timetable and dorms, he thought it might have been a sit off class. As soon as he sat his butt on a chair and the professor started talking, he realised he was mistaken. Not that that was too bad, Hugo was reasonably smart. It just meant that he'd have to work hard to catch up on this class since he'd never touched it before. 

It came to his turn when he was to walk up to the three blocks on the table, and so he quickly made his way up so he didn't cause someone else to have to wait behind him. Glancing over the objects, all Hugo could notice was that there seemed to be things engraved on them, and that he didn't have a clue what they were. He looked at each of them carefully, as if he was thinking but in reality was internally screaming, before giving the professor a smile and going to sit back down. Hugo raised his hand when the professor asked who thought the first one was the real one out of the trio of blocks, because it was a guess and usually people subconsciously put the one that is correct as the first answer to make people doubt themselves. It's like when some answers to multiple choices for an exam in his old school was 'A', 'A', 'A', as people thought they were incorrect as what were the chances of it being A three times? 

Hugo wasn't too bothered when he got it wrong, since he barely understood why he was wrong. The what and what language? This was going to be a long class. He waved at the teacher when his name was called, before the German boy took a deep breath and tried to focus on her to gain as much information as possible, taking a mental note to research independently after class.

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Spencer ☆ Spencer Quidditch Team ChaserLee
16 year old Halfblood Human ☆ He/Him

Had Keaton attempted to butcher the arcane art of potion-making by blending in different runic arrays again? Oh no, certainly not...lie number one of the day. It wasn't his fault if the simple pepper-up potion had blown up again and had let off quite the acidic stench, and for some reason had turned his hair momentarily green - the calculation had come together wrong. And man, had he been wrong with that math. At least, he had mused in his mind on his way to Ancient Runes, At least it hadn't been a challenging potion. Lest he end up seeing the matron again for something going drastically and hysterically wrong. His uniform was oddly pristine that day...except for the line of soot on his collar. For some reason it just wouldn't come off.

The walk to the Ancient Runes classroom was a familiar one for Keaton Harper and he greeted other students that he knew on the way, stopping to talk to one or two for a few moments. As a result, he managed to slip into the classroom and into a vacant seat next to a Flinders student moments before the bell tolled. At least he hadn't been late, simply almost late - it was a definite improvement. It didn't take Keaton that long to fall into the lecture from the professor at the front and he was paying apt-attention, going up and examining the stones when it was required. Ancient Runes was one of his favourite subjects and his experiments spoke for themselves, Keaton raising his hand almost lazily as Professor Lyell asked if it was the second runestone. He had read over Celtic languages over the summer break, so that topic was fairly recent and familiar to him. Pict, on the other hand...he made a mental note to head to the library that evening. 

As the roll-call begun, Keaton's eyes centered on Knotley and made note of her stiffness, hm. If that was a quidditch injury already.. He snapped out of his thoughts again as his own name was called, raising a hand with a, "Here, Professor."

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Professor Teaching Staff ☆ Professor of Ancient Rune StudiesGuest
38 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

Once she was assured that everyone was present and accounted for - and that she had a name to go with each face - Professor Lyell rolled up the student list and began discussing the syllabus for the Ancient Runes class. "There are three basic areas within the study of ancient runes that we're going to focus on this year, over the course of each term. If you'll indulge my exuberance on the subject, let me explain." It wasn't hyperbole; besides searching for them out on some distant plain in the middle of nowhere, Professor Lyell loved to talk about them the way Australians loved their football most days of the week.

"First, the history of ancient runes...why were they created? What purpose did they offer then and what purpose do they offer us now in 2019? How do we connect," pausing for a moment as she intertwined her fingers together while she walked in-between the student tables, "the past with the present? That is where learning about the history of ancient runes comes in. You should have with you - or be in the process of getting, students - a textbook on the History of Ancient Runes; most of Term 1 will be devoted to that subject.

"But not all of this term will be about history; the study of ancient runes is also a study of languages. Celtic, Pictish, Latin, the various European languages, Native American and Indigenous languages, Egyptian hieroglyphs...all of them have helped contribute to the wizarding world and we're going to learn a bit about them. No, I don't expect you to be able to speak them as we're speaking English here today but I do expect you to have a basic grounding in them. Knowing which languages were predominant in which areas will help immensely in the translation of ancient runes. It also helps weed out fakes; remind me over the course of the class this year to tell you a few stories about some of the fake runes I've come across. You would be surprised at some of them; shocked in a few of them, but a basic grounding in those languages is an immense advantage." Remembering her conversation a few weeks back with Professor Ackers, she added, "By the way, it also helps to have taken beforehand the Dead & Magical Languages course; those here who have, I'm expecting you to help the students who've yet to take that course.

"Finally, the study of ancient runes is also a study in the wizarding world that we are a part of...because," pausing as she walked back to the front of the lectern and turned towards the students, "it is also a study in us. Who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going? and so forth. Since the first wizards and witches walked this great planet we inhabit, those questions have been a part of our world and by studying ancient runes, we hope to gain a little bit of knowledge that'll help us answer those questions...or at the very least, help us get pointed in the right direction."

After a few moments, she continued. "As for textbooks, you should already have both the rune history and Spellman's Syllabus books with you. The three other textbooks which we'll use over the course of the year are Ancient Runes Made Easy, Advanced Rune Translation and Hieroglyphs & Logograms - they should be listed in each of your course syllabuses. As the year goes on, we'll be using all five textbooks - not all at the same time, but a couple here and a couple there. The books dovetail a lot of we'll be learning...." Just as she was about to continue, she heard the ringing of the bells signifying the end of class.... "...and that bell says this first class has, unfortunately, come to an end. Make sure to follow the syllabus you have with you; it lists what we'll be working on for next class. If you've got any questions, don't hesitate to ask; if I'm not here after class I'm over in my office here in Kookynie Hall; just look," pausing to point towards her fedora, "for the fedora here; if its' hanging on the door hook next to the door, then I'm in the office. If not...," Professor Lyell gave a friendly shrug, "I'm usually around somewhere close by..."

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Sturt ☆ Junior RangerJazZay
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ They/Them

Having been delayed by work, Nox walked into the class with freshly,  magically cleaned pants and a shirt that rested against their broad chest just as the professor gestured to a lectern table with stones and asked which were real and fake. Which, having not heard what was said beforehand, sounded a little silly, but Nox stuffed their hands into their pocket, foregoned finding a seat, and walked up to the lectern table. Then their lips formed into an "o" as realization set in.

And then they took only a few seconds to immediately go back on the hunt for a seat before raising their hand for the second stone, despite not knowing a lick of Celtic or Pict. It was the other two stones that gave it away.

For the West Indian, they had studied and read enough logographic languages at Callaloo to know the heiroglyphs weren't anything coherent or useful and that the stone with Cambodian symbols should have had something that looked like sanksrit. The seventh year Sturt also suspected the stones themselves weren't weren't of the same quality as  Cambodian and Egyptian artisanry--neveremind what a pain it is to work with either governments to have something loaned out to another country nowadays. If the professor could have pulled such a feat for an introductory lesson, that'd of been a trip.

Nox sat up straighter at the mention of going out ito the "field" and searching for runes--which maybe wouldn't be an entirely fair endeavor for someone who worked and learned enough from aboriginal rangers they probably already knew where to find local stufff--but it sounded fun at least!

But, after Professor Lyell took attendance with Nox adding a "here" when their name was called, the sturt let their expression stay curious and engaged as they interally counted the minutes until class was over, or until they had another activity to do.

Neither of those things happened but the professor did talk about all the textbooks they'd need for class. Five books, precisely.

While Nox was not a fan of sitting still during a lecture, they loved reading, even if the subject matter could get a bit dull--but there were reading tricks for getting through things like that.

And then just like that the bell rang and class was over. Making a mental note of possibly asking the professor about field trips or going out into the field later, Nox stood up from their seat and got ready to leave.

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