Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sline (Douggy, 5)

"What can I do to get access to more of the world?"

"Prove you deserve it."

"And how am I supposed to do that?"

"Hey, don't look at me. You're the one with all the degrees, I'm just a measly Sec Off. You figure it out."

"I could teach a class."

"Could you? I thought you went into research specifically so you wouldn't have to deal with students."

"Well, yeah, but--"

"And don't you forget all the software and programming that went into the building of all the learning environments already built into TEACH. What new can you bring to the table?"

"What about a lecture?"

"What about it?"

"Not everybody learns best in a physical interaction environment. Give me a lecture hall teaching environment to instruct those who learn best in a lecture setting, or at least supplement their curriculum with a lecture-practical course, where instead of the practical being the extra lab like it used to be in the old days, instead the lecture is the extra lab."

Douggy's gears were spinning now, taking the idea and running with it, like it was wont to do with any idea that crossed his brain waves.

"And what subject would this course be on?"

"My highest degree. Philosophy."

--

Douggy didn't like waiting, but there wasn't exactly much of a waiting list for what he was proposing, or rather, any list at all, since practical labs had long since dominated the curricula run through TEACH. He admitted to himself that those who learned best through lectures and rote instruction were probably few and far between, but through his sporadic tutoring in the guildhall, he slowly drummed up enough curiosity in the students, many of whom had never sat through a lectured course in their life, to get the higher ups to okay a trial.

And then there was the matter of location.

There were no lecture halls in TEACH, for no other reason than they'd never needed one before. The closest thing found was an ancient amphitheatre in the foothills of Utgorar, a region known as Vanaheimr. Unfortunately, this region was far too dangerous for an untrained and inexperienced player such as Douggy. It was a long and hazardous trip from Barri, though with the warm season just ending, the likelihood of the safest route up from the plains flooding was minimal.

In the meantime, he was asked to settle for the main hall of guildhall, though that made a very poor lecture room due to non-interested student popping in for tutoring in subjects of their own.

Finally, one of the more prosperous homeowners in Barri opened their house to the class, inviting them to use his dining room until sufficent merit could be found in the trial class and it was decided worthwhile to not just open up the world to Douggy, but provide him with enough training to survive the trip to Vanaheimr.

--

Thirty players crowded into the dining room, a space designed to seat half that comfortably. Douggy took his place behind a provided table and before a proffered chalkboard, sank down into his chair, and promptly fell asleep.

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