Practical Exercise continued

“Construction?” he suggested.

I shook my head. Construction is the major application of General Magic, setting up spells to build things, notably things that we trade with unmen in other places.   Setting the spells to make really good lenses sounds interesting, but after a while it gets very dull.  I should know.  I’d spent hours a day doing precision spellwork, preparing to pay for my stay here.  It’s amazing how many places think font blocks are valuable. Admittedly, learning to replicate accurately type faces for odd syllabaries took a lot of work, sharpening both your skills and your power levels, especially when the individual type pieces were to be formed from starsteel, used to form moulds for cast lead type, but it was still dull.   

 “No,” I said, “I’m actually interested in General Magic. I had a schedule laid out.” I pulled from my satchel a sheet listing subjects for this year and later directions. Construction spells, after all, I could perfectly well learn at home.   Some House member would occasionally visit Dorrance to find out if anyone had created something really new, an event that had not happened in several millennia. 

Jackson looked at my chart, nodded politely to himself, then compared with a checklist.  “You’re certainly well organized,” he finally said. “Much more so than most students.  Half of them wouldn’t know a degree requirement if it bit them in the ass.” I decided to ignore his language. “There aren’t many students headed for General Magic.” He looked at a schedule.  “Indeed, most of you share a table at Miller’s Refectory, a not extremely large table, often with a General Magic faculty member.  That’s about two hours from now.” He wrote a couple of notes on a scrap of paper.  “That’s the refectory and table.  You may or may not be interested in an Eating House, but House Way is a reasonable path to reach Miller’s.  Oh, yes, don’t forget the Practical Exercise requirement, Campus Martius. You’ll get a schedule for your appearance.”

I bowed myself out of his office.

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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