Dec 01, 2021 1:49 PM
Caio, Luna, Virgil, Dennis, Naima, Marcy, Wil, Morty, Teresa
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Caio likes math. He wasn't supposed to get too far ahead in math, and in fact was explicitly encouraged to ignore his school math as much as he felt like once he'd passed Algebra I, because the only thing worse than showing up to the Scholomance with enough math to make it interested in challenging you is showing up with math anxiety; but in fact he likes math fine. He's in the nice potential-trade middle ground too, where he can take on homework to get whatever else, and fob it off on somebody, like Camillo maybe, if he gets swamped. Poor Camillo is probably going to be taking Sadistic Ultra-Calculus VII For Terrence Tao and that's no good.

Who is in here with him, he wonders.

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There are plenty of unremarkable students in the class. This one, for example, who looks to be adjusting poorly to the Scholomance. His head is bowed, but Caio might recognize him from the library; he wasn't radiating quite so much misery then.

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What was his name. ..."Hey? Uh, Virgil, right?"

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A girl walks in wearing dark pants and a jacket with reflective tape on them, carrying two dictionary-sized books in her arms, and looking slightly like she wants to murder someone.

"Hi, Virgil," she says, dully, and then opens one of the books and starts reading, flipping the page every thirty seconds and not really giving the scholomance any desk space to work with for giving her an algebra II textbook.

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Oh good at least if he got the kid's name wrong it's a common error.

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"Hi Caio. Naima."

Names, like most facts, are easy to remember. Being polite to people is much harder to remember. He thinks that probably people shouldn't talk to him because everything is terrible and why would anyone want to talk to anyone else.

"...ready for math?"

Because that's nothing like "You look like Hell froze over" or "Don't talk to me".

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"Yeah, math's nice and straightforward." He looks with some concern at Naima's enormous book.

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"Hopefully it's not mostly memorization."

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"I think algebra mostly isn't? Maybe some formulae but you can bring a cheat sheet to tests."

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"Awesome."

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"Are you... okay?"

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"This book has seven hundred and ninety six simple medicinal substances and their effects, where they are found in nature, how you tell if they're any good, and whether they're hot or cold or wet or dry according to some system that nobody has used in hundreds of years, which represents one fifth of the information needed to pass one of my twelve classes, so yeah, I'm super."

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Teresa (who has totally been here the whole time like the unremarkable students) raises her eyebrows. And then hopes the black guy - Caio - will ask what class that was, so she and everyone else can avoid it.

Though she also jots down Naima's name. A freshman in something that heavy-duty is worth paying attention to. Especially if she survives it.

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"Seven hundred and ninety six sounds like overkill. Let me know if you need help."

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"I will, thanks."

When she turns around she's got an algebra II textbook sitting on top of her open Materia Medica, which she supposes is fair.

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Guess she has to interrupt and do it herself, then.

"What's the class with the enormous books? I'd rather stay well clear of it."

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"Avicenna's Canon of Medicine."

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"Hell of a canon. Thanks. And, good luck! At least you'll be an expert once you've gotten through it." If she gets through it, but no sense being a downer about it.

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"Yep! I will be so good at healing alchemy if I'm still alive in six months."

 

The lights dim, and something starts playing on one of the chalkboards. At this point she's kind of relieved that there's a lecture.

"In this course, you will work with both real and imaginary numbers. But what are the real numbers?" intones a male voice, as the board shows them a picture of whole numbers, situated inside a circle labeled 'integers', inside a circle labeled 'rational numbers', which is next to a circle labeled 'irrational numbers.' "All of the numbers you see here are examples of real numbers."

At least this course doesn't seem to want to kill her. She pulls out a notebook to take notes anyway.

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Caio has heard of imaginary numbers! He is ahead of the game and also at least he isn't Avicenna Girl, poor Avicenna Girl.

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Math. Easy but boring. That's fine. Virgil sits, listens, and occasionally takes notes. He doesn't think about anything except math.

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