Dec 07, 2021 1:55 AM
group therapy on Wednesdays
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The one thing I really learned, and learned well, in group therapy was that you don’t die if someone doesn’t like you.

Julia bounces over to the nurse's office as soon as she'd made herself eat lunch, which is tuna melts and brisket and corn on the cob. She feels that the Scholomance should not pretend to serve fish because fish that tastes vaguely suspect is more nauseating than, like, bread that tastes vaguely suspect. 

 

"Marian?"

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"Hi Julia!" Marian says brightly. Today is a good day and she is in a good mood! The Holden kid made his morning announcement as requested, and her little infirmary clinic has been doing brisk business, all of it easy and straightforward and deeply rewarding; she's given like thirty people medications from the void (and added their names to her notebook) and she's traded more of her meal packets for even more wards, and a few minor magic items. She has a ring that gives her better dexterity, which is INCREDIBLY COOL. Magic is neat, it turns out! 

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"Have you asked the Void for stuff for therapy? I made a list of things that I think would be therapeutic!"

plush stuffed animals

floor pillows for sitting on

Scharffen Berger semisweet chocolate squares (for making hot chocolate)

whole milk (for making hot chocolate)

powdered cocoa, Dutch-processed (for making hot chocolate)

assorted chocolates

scented candles

essential oils+defuser

ice cream

Girl Scout cookies

thread for making friendship bracelets

 

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"I did get scented candles! And I got some scented massage oil that fixes muscle soreness - uh, not from the void, that's one of the things I traded food packets for. And I asked for chocolate but I think the void got confused, it gave me chocolate flavored Boost brand diabetic-friendly meal shakes? Uh, I don't know if there's a way to use magic to make those actually good?" 

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"You can use magic to make anything taste good but it's not a good use of magic, you won't save any for graduation if you make a habit of that. And things that started out chocolate flavored aren't going to be any easier to turn into candy than a plateful of cafeteria Brussels sprouts. We want a box of assorted chocolates,"  she tells the Void sternly. "Like Godiva or something."

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Julia is not the school nurse and the void is not going to give her anything for that request. 

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"....I think it usually helps if I say why I need the thing? So chocolates are, like, therapeutic because they....taste good and people associate them with comfort? Do you have any other ideas for what I can say about that?" 

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"They'll make people feel comfortable coming to therapy! Because they've internalized that needing support or friendship is shameful, but that doing things because they provide concrete material benefits is respectable. So if they come to therapy and get chocolates, then they'll be able to tell their friends, 'I go to therapy for the chocolates', but while they're there, they'll be getting therapy."

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"....I. guess that's fair? I can try it and see what the void thinks." 

Marian will try including this along with her own spiel and the usual flattery and praise about how incredibly helpful the void has been today. (Which is entirely genuine! It's honestly getting to the point where the void is better than the worst-stocked 10% of days in the ICU med room, and nevermind if the void keeps giving her things labeled in Russian or Hebrew or Chinese.) 

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Chocolate Meditation Experience 

Our Chocolate Meditation experience is a collection of exotic truffles specifically chosen for their alchemical properties. Each truffle is paired with a corresponding crystal and a deck of affirmation cards. 

This collection is an indulgent way to tap into your intuition. Whether you are searching the spiritual realm or practical day-to-day matters, this deck can assist. As you close your eyes and shuffle the deck, tap into your intuition, thinking carefully about the area in your life in which you'd like more clarity. Then select your card. The card will provide an intention, paired with which chocolate to eat, and the crystal to hold as an aid for achieving your intention. Meditate using this collection daily for 40 days to encourage your manifestation!  This is a meaningful experience to practice alone or with a group of friends. A perfect gift for the yogi or healer friend in your crew.

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Marian reads this and makes a wide variety of faces. 

"I...uh....sure, I guess...?" 

She offers the box of chocolates to Julia. 

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"Amazing! Yeah, this is perfect! Spiritual clarity chocolate! All right, that's enough for today, as one of the group therapy exercises we're gonna brainstorm more things to ask the Void for next week."

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"Cool! Okay, so, I don't have thread for making friendship bracelets, and I also don't have...floor pillows? whatever those are? And I don't have stuffed animals either. But, um, I was trying to ask the void for more bedsheets and blankets and stuff for the infirmary and I kept getting....well, have a look." 

 

Marian opens her bedroom door to reveal a substantial pile on the floor. Most of the blankets appear to be very colorful, either knitted or quilted or with loud animal-print patterns. There's one rolled-up flannel blanket which very clearly has toy trucks printed on it. 

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"Holy shit, nice! And I'll be able to tell my rug that they're all hideous next to her, because they are." Julia scoops up an armful of blankets. "I bet we can make my dorm plenty cozy with these."

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"Yeah!"

Marian scoops up her box of scented aromatherapy candles (scents include 'Alpine Forest', 'Mountain Spring', 'Ocean Beach', and 'Cottage Hearth'), and her precious bottle of magical massage oil, and she follows Julia out. Hopefully Julia has mal-watching covered, or has someone else recruited to do that, because Marian's hands are sort of full and she can't hold her knife at the same time. 

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They're going from the cafeteria to a freshman dorm during lunch period in the first week of school, Julia's not that fussed. But when they pass New York's table she calls "hey Orion! Help us set up for therapy!"

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"How do you do that?" Orion asks.

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"We carry these blankets and scented candles and chocolates over to my room - and realistically we're gonna spill out into the hallway - while you make sure no one eats us."

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"Okay!" He takes an armful of blankets.

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Then they can go to Julia's beautiful spaceship room and start arranging the blankets on the floor so there are cozy spots for people to sit. "Take your shoes off, my rug doesn't like shoes," she warns them. "And put the candles up on the shelves but don't disturb my zen rock garden."

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Marian will take her shoes off, then! ....And then also takes off her socks and hastily shoves them into the shoes and shoves the shoes into a corner, because she hasn't prioritized getting more pairs of socks OR washing her initial pair since she arrived, and it's now been almost a week, and she has a terrible sense of smell so it's not bothering her but probably they smell objectively awful. 

 

 

".....Oh. Wow. Julia, your room is - really classy?" 

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"Thank you!!! I think it's transcending the very limiting conditions it was produced under. I'm going for a Buddhist spaceship sort of vibe. Star Trek, if they did a remake in Korea, and it wasn't incredibly depressing like all Korean movies are."

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"- Huh, are Korean movies depressing? I don't think I've actually seen any. That I can remember." ....Oh no is this letting slip that she's racist or something? Marian has very little idea how teenagers these days think about social justice things, except for what she vaguely knows from Tumblr, and Tumblr is kind of concerning. 

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Rebecca tagged along when Orion was buttonholed; she de-shoes herself and pets the rug very respectfully. She helps fold blankets up into cushionlike squares.

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"They're so incredibly depressing! They're all like, this family has been living in desperate poverty to put their son through school, but then he's shot dead by a mugger, so the father goes to shoot the mugger, but kills another innocent person, and then himself, and then it turns out the mugger was actually the son's neglected brother who the parents abandoned in desperation fifteen years earlier. They're all like that."

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