Education And Entertainment


Ahnika.jpg Kestian.jpg Uveline.jpg

Date: July 11, 2010
Location: Eastern Weyr - Living Cavern
Synopsis: Uveline and Kestian plan their duties while Uveline is teaching in the cavern; Kestian seeks the Headwoman to update records. Ahnika and Uveline clash over handling children.
Rating: G
Logger: Uveline

Mid-afternoon has come at Eastern Weyr, and with it a lull in the normal food-related activity in the living caverns. But it is by no means quiet - instead of people seeking food, there are children clustered in groups, apparently by age, at the many round tables. The children appear to be sorting plantlife, ranging form the very familiar, if larger, fronds of edible plants, to the plants unique to the Southern Continent. Uveline walks between the tables, pausing here and there to speak with the clustered children, her melodic voice calmly repeating instructions to the groups. "Remember, we have to learn to recognize all of the plants in our new home, so we know what is safe to eat. We will have to gather most of our food for a while, so it is important that all of you know what to collect when you are helping with the gathering."

Since Uveline arrived, Kestian's mostly seemed relieved to let her handle a larger share of the teaching duties, though he's offered to keep on with the history and politics aspects of the Weyr's education programme. Looking a bit distracted, the older comes through with an armload of hides and comes to a halt, focuses on the kids, then on Uveline. He waits for a moment, observing, then steps over when it seems like it's the best moment to interrupt. "Good afternoon, Uveline," he says politely. "How are they coming along with that?" a nod of his chin toward 'plant-life'. "And you?" With a little friendly smile.

Uveline answers a few questions from one of the mid-aged groups before Kestian speaks, and she turns her attention to him with a smile. Taking a few steps away from the nearest bunch, she responds, "Good afternoon, Kestian. They are doing fairly well, given how little time there is for schooling right now. Most of them are very fast learners, and willing to help each other." She hesitates a moment, then, shrugging, answers the second half of his query. "This is a bit different from what we get trained for, when it comes to schooling, but it's also very rewarding, so I'm doing alright. How are you doing?"

"Yes, yes it is," Kestian says with a little sigh and looks across the group of children, shuffles the hides and papers under his arm into a neater pile. "Things will get into a groove soon I hope though. And well, there's value in practical learning of course," he adds after a moment, smiles again. "I'm … re-cataloguing the population again since we got that influx of new people. Hopefully the Weyrwoman will find the information useful and I need to catch up with the Headwoman today if possible. So I suppose 'busy' is a good word for things," Kestian concludes with a laugh.

Uveline nods, tucking a loose strand of hair back as she listens. "It will, I'm sure. Construction will slow down and the children will be able to spend more time in class, and it will be a bit more normal." She tilts her head, regarding the hides with sympathy. "And they'll be outdated in no time, with how many people are earnest to join us. Let me know if you need help with those? I have a fine enough hand to keep clear records, and not a lot of workload of my own, with how little time I have the younglings right now."

"Eventually," Kestian agrees about normalcy settling in. He grins down at the mixed batch of hides and papers tucked under his arm and nods. "So it goes. Best to keep on top of it now rather than letting it pile up for later," he remarks philosophically. "And if I get behind, I surely will. Speaking of sharing duties, we should work out our entertainment schedule as well," and he lets his voice drop. "You're a much better singer than I am, so any time you'd rather do the singing bits, they're all yours."

"Well enough. You know where to find me," Uveline replies, still smiling. "Don't underscore yourself too harshly there. I've been singing since before I could talk, and my father was schooling me in it almost as long. Not everyone gets that kind of attention. But I do enjoy it, so if you'd prefer to play versus sing, I won't argue. That said, you're the senior crafter, so you're in charge, remember?"

"I do indeed," Kestian says cheerily and rocks back on his heels a bit, then laughs. "Shells. That's something to get used to as well. Senior crafter." He gives a little shake of his head. "Of course there weren't any other harpers at my last posting, so it's nice actually to be able to share duties." Breath out. "It's not that I don't /like/ to sing, really. But it's for the best. There just wasn't that much that Mother could ever do with my voice or the Voice Master either."

Uveline nods to Kestian, keeping an eye on the groups of children studying local plantlife this afternoon. "I doubt a master will be coming out any time soon. Not enough people in place yet to merit the posting. Maybe in a few Turns, as we grow," she says with a shrug. "I've not heard you sing often enough to give a real opinion on that, but since I'd rate myself the same way when it comes to instruments, it sounds like you playing and me singing is a sound plan."

"Perhaps," Kestian agrees with a nod. "Until then, it's ours to succeed or fail at and to leave our mark on," the harper says quietly, a little smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "If you /really/ want to get the measure of my singing, I'll sing for you and then you can be the judge," he jokes a little. "I won't break any glass at least."

Uveline looks solemn for a moment, thinking about the implications of Kestian's statement, before shaking her head slightly. "We'll do well enough. They wouldn't have posted us here if we didn't have the skills, after all." She tilts her head again, regarding Kestian. "If you find a moment where you feel like singing, I'll listen," she says. "I'll play for you in return, so we can both feel awkward, hmm?"

"No they wouldn't have," Kestian agrees. "And I'm looking forward to being able to take advantage to being so close to Landing." A gleam in his eyes there, then he nods. "If we can't play and sing for each other, what kind of harpers are we?" A little joking and Kestian's smile widens once more. "Most evenings after supper seem to work out well for a little bit of down time."

"I keep forgetting how useful that can be," Uveline admits with a faint blush. "I'm still not used to living with dragonriders willing to provide transport all the time. I never had much reason to make use of the Hall's posted dragon." A pause, then, "After supper should work fairly well. Also a good chance for us to update each other on anything we learn during the day."

"Weyrs can take a bit of getting used to if you've not spent much time in one," Kestian agrees diplomatically, voice lowered slightly and then nods. "Actually … perhaps we should make that a regular habit? Every other day, maybe? Or once a week?" He considers the idea for a moment, expression thoughtful.

Uveline nods in return. "It does," she says simply. "I think every other day for now would be a good idea, and lessening as things stabilize. Once the influx of people eases there should be less to review." She excuses herself for a moment, turning to answer a query from one of the children.

Wandering out from the kitchens with a purpose to her step, Ahnika pauses near the entrance and looks about the room at all of the workers helping keep the food and beverage tables filled and the dirty dishes bin not overfilled, and looking out for spills that could pose a danger, et cetera. She rubs a forearm across her brow briefly — the kitchen can be very hot, after all — before spotting Kestian and giving him a smile and a wave.

"That sounds like a sound strategy," Kestian agrees. "Let's start doing that tomorrow evening then," the older harper decides and takes a little half-step back as Uveline addresses the children. Movement out of the corner of his eye turns his gaze toward Ahnika and the harper inclines his head once, politely.

Uveline is nodding as she steps away, turning her attention to the child's query. "How to tell when what is ripe?" she asks the boy, and he leads her over to his table, and group of friends. She spends the next several minutes going over the differences in color and texture of local fruits at different stages of ripeness with the children, hands moving in descriptive gestures.

Ahnika wanders over to the beverage table, pouring herself something to drink, and starts to head in Kestian and Uveline's direction. As a younger teen deposits some dirty dishes in the appropriate bin while she is passing him, a couple of pieces fall out and onto the floor. She waits to see if he will pick them up, and when it is clear he is about to walk away, she sets her jaw and adjusts her direction to intercept, pinching the top of his ear hard with two fingers of her free hand until he surrenders to her and bends to pick up the dishes that had fallen. Only when she is satisfied the offense is corrected, does she return to her original direction of heading to meet the two harpers. She smiles politely on her approach and sips from her cup until she is within hearing range, and then she greets simply, "Good day, is it not, Journeymen?" taking in Uveline with the greeting as well.

Kestian smiles a little at the question from the child to Uveline and re-arranges his papers again, blinks in surprise at Ahnika's treatment of that lad there. "Tolerably good," is Kestian's answer to Ahnika. "That's quite a pinch you have on you, Ahnika." He mimes pinching ear.

Her attention still focused on her students, Uveline does not immediately realize that Ahnika is present. It is only when one of the children snickers at the disciplined boy's discomfiture that she shifts her attention to watch the event. One brow rises at the treatment, and she shakes her head slightly. "Well, does that answer your questions?" she asks the group. When agreement is given she leaves the table, moving to rejoin Kestian a few feet away. She lets him speak first, before adding her own greeting. "Afternoon, Ahnika," she says a bit coldly, disapproval for her action chilling her normally warm voice.

"Too many a turn helping Seren to mind the other fosterlings at the cothold, I'm afraid," Ahnika grins at Kestian, "You pick up all sorts of odd, but entirely necessary, skills." She sips her drink again, looking over her shoulder to seek the boy whose behavior she corrected, and not immediately finding him, she looks back at Kestian and then Uveline as she speaks. Ahni dips her head politely, "Afternoon." Then she takes them both in, and the children in their lessons close-by, adding, "Are you finding everything well and in order? Anything you need?" she asks, seeming genuinely interested in making sure they do. If she senses any chilliness in Uveline's tone, she doesn't show it.

"Some would argue … that's not necessary," Kestian points out diplomatically, perhaps trying to smooth the waters between the two young women. "Nothing out of order here," the older harper answers with a shake of his head. "Uveline is guiding the children in a lesson on plant life and I am updating the census of current Eastern Weyr residents." Pause. "Again."

Uveline's graceful brow arches again at Ahnika's words, but as Kestian speaks she takes a slow breath, letting it out just as slowly. "Everything is in order, as best it can be when dealing with children. If one asks something of them, they are usually quite willing to listen." A veiled jibe, given in an even tone. "They'll be done in the next half hour or so, and we'll be out of the way before dinner is due to be set out," she adds. "I don't think anything they've been learning with will be edible when they are done, so I might be needing a hand getting it to the compost bins. They have chores after, or I would have them all take their own batches in."

"Some would," Ahnika nods in reply to Kestian, seeming thoughtful, "But likely only those who don't know what they're about or who haven't dealt much with children at all to know any better." Spoken as if she is a woman of mature years who is wiser than anyone else in the room, perhaps even the whole weyr. She smirks faintly before taking another sip of her drink and looking at Uveline as Kestian refers to her work with the children conducting lessons, and then back to him as he refers to his own work. "Well, I won't impose long then, Journeymen." She lapses quiet as Uveline speaks, politely giving the other harper her attention. "Some can be good listeners when they set their mind to it and aren't distracted or lazabouts," Ahnika agrees amicably enough. "Glad to hear you have a good lot of pupils then." Another pause and another sip of her drink before she nods once more, saying breezily, "Surely, Journeyman, I'll see to it you have some help after, then. If I'm not already involved in helping elsewhere when you're ready, I'll make sure to get someone else for you." She smiles politely once more. "Anything else?" She looks from Uveline to Kestian and back again, "I shouldn't be idle long." Even though she obviously needed a break and some hydration. Ahnika is just not one for sitting still.

"Not necessarily," is Kestian's remark in return and ends talk of discipline there. "I need to track down the headwoman actually, sometime this afternoon, before the evening meal and the usual entertainment," the elder journeyman relates to Ahnika. "Are you aware of her schedule for the day?"

"Well, aren't you quite the expert on child behavior?" Uveline remarks, voice chill again. "You're what, sixteen? Seventeen? So of course you know everything there is to know about how to handle children." Shaking her head, Uveline turns to Kestian. "I'll catch up with you later, after dinner. I need to get back to my students." She nods to him, igores Ahnika entirely, and moves back to begin circulating among the tables of children again.

"I regret not," Ahnika says to Kestian, looking genuinely regretful about it, "Unfortunately, as things are still in a state of being settled around here, schedules change rather quickly to be kept up with. But I can go looking for her for you when I'm done in the kitchens, if you like, Kestian?" Another smile. She seems to have already forgotten the discussion on child rearing and discipline, that is until Uveline launches into her diatribe. That seems to actually catch Ahnika off-guard, and she looks back at Uveline like the harper suddenly grew horns, spun her head around, and spat pea soup. The red-head looks entirely incredulous. She stares, bewildered, at Uveline for a few moments as the harper goes back to her lessons, and then Ahnika goes back to drinking her beverage before looking back at Kestian and jerking her head toward the angry harper, "So, do you think she'll still be wanting some assistance after the lessons are over then?" To say she is calm and unruffled would be overstating it, but she seems more interested in whether or not she needs to add another task to her to-do list than whatever had stoked the harper's ire. 'Business' first, it seems for Ahni.

Quietly, calmly: "Uveline," Kestian attempts to ease the younger harper's pique but inclines his head as she states her intentions. "Until later," he agrees simply then shakes his head. "No that's all right, I can look for her myself," the harper states with a little smile. A look back toward Uveline. "Likely. The composting will still need to be done he points out." In a lower tone of voice: "You might want to … go easy on claims that corporal punishment is the only way," he advises helpfully. "It doesn't sit well with many professional teachers." His papers are shuffled again and he takes a breath. "If you'll excuse me though, I should be carrying on with this."

Uveline continues to work with the children, answering questions and assigning follow up tasks to those old enough to search out specific plants. She tunes out the others, simply focusing on her students and making sure they have all learned their material for the day.

Nodding with Kestian's intentions to look for her himself, Ahnika remains quiet, enjoying the cool drink some more. Another nod is given about the composting, and a mental note added to her to-do list. She seems thoughtful for a time, eyeing the stalactites as she contemplates something, and then she looks back at Kestian with a small smile, not sheepish, but not tight with restraint either, just muted. She doesn't respond verbally to his comment about professional teachers not approving her philosphy on child-rearing, but there is a small roll of the eyes, and a resigned sigh. Then she nods, and adds, "Of course. If I'm not out or haven't sent anyone out to help with the composting by the time she needs it, wave down one of the kitchen helpers out here for assistance. Otherwise, I'll see to it directly." Ahnika dips her head a bit in farewell, and turns to do the same to Uveline, then changes her mind and shakes her head, "Waste of precious time," she murmurs, moving back to the dirty dish bin to deposit her now empty cup before heading back into the kitchens proper.

Again, Kestian smiles, nods at Ahnika. "Thank you," he says simply and then turns to move on to keep up with his own work.

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