Dream Weaver - Book 3 of Wizard - a Love Story
Chapter 3: School Daze

Copyright© 2013 by MisguidedChild

Sean and Megan were very careful when they took their placement tests. There were specific classes that they were interested in taking at the high school. More importantly, they didn't want to waste their time in classes they weren't interested in. Even more importantly, there were a few classes they wanted to avoid at all costs.

Shop classes, wood and automotive, were of no interest to Sean. He had been in the thick of every project on the Gordian Ranch for over seventeen years. He understood mechanical principals and how engines worked. He could do anything he wanted with wood, from scratch.

Liz and Martha had taught Megan everything she wanted to know about Home Economics. She knew how to plan a household budget and had been helping keep the books for the ranch for several years. Megan could plan meals for a week, or a month, and create a grocery list based on what she needed for the list minus what was in the cupboard. Furthermore, she could cook those meals.

Martha managed and directed the 'home education' curriculum and evaluation for Sean and Megan. Her primary focus was English because that impacted everything else they did in the education system.

"Proper English, written and spoken, is the key to success in every field," Martha said over, and over, and over again.

"But, Momma, I'm going to be working with the Council eventually," Sean complained. "That has nothing to do with English."

"Won't you still need to communicate with other Wizards, written and orally?" Martha asked.

"Well, I guess I will," Sean agreed, reluctantly, knowing what came next.

"Then it's my job to make sure that you are proficient in that communication," Martha said sternly. "I can't help you with your Wizardly skills but I can make sure your communication skills are as sharp as they can be."

"Yes, Momma," Sean said in resignation.

Martha had a devious mind and a cruel nature when assigning tasks relating to English. Both of the young Magi had required reading lists as part of their home schooling. The reading lists included authors such as John Steinbeck, John Updike, Jonathan Swift, Jules Vern, and William Shakespeare. Subjects ranged from pure fiction for fun, too hard core history texts. Each book on the reading list required a report, and some of the reports bordered on term papers themselves. They were taught how to organize and document their research for their reports, often painfully. The reports caused both of the young Magi problems in more ways than grammar, punctuation and format.

"But, Aunt Martha, that isn't what happened," Megan had complained. Her twenty page, double spaced, type written report on the history of China had just been given back to be redone.

Actually, this particular paper wasn't as painful to redo as some of the previous papers. This was the first report that Megan had typed on her new IBM Selectric. Her previous reports had been typed on a manual typewriter.

"Lian was only 86 years old when they had that rebellion," Megan continued reasonably. "She was there so she knows what really happened. How can I write a report that I know is wrong," the girl explained.

It could have been called whining.

"It doesn't matter, young lady," Martha scolded her. "Lian is not on the list of acceptable references. Even if she was, you didn't reference her in your paper. The references that you did use do not support the 'facts' in your paper, nor the 'conclusions' you draw from those facts."

Martha sighed in sympathy with her frustrated student. She knew that it was hard for Megan, and Sean too for that matter. They had to live in a world where Wizards and Warlocks were realities. They had both faced the harshest evil their world had to offer and survived. But, they also had to live and function, unnoticed, in the mundane world where their reality was a myth. She sat down beside Megan and sighed again.

"Megan, I'm not saying that your paper is wrong. I'm not saying your conclusions are wrong, either," Martha said, patting Megan's hand. "I'm only saying that you need to use proper, documented references. Redo your paper over the next week. You can either find documentation to support your paper ... and annotate your references correctly ... or, redo the report with the references that you have listed. I'm not asking you to write a report that is wrong. I am simply saying that you need to use conventional references to build your case and prove your point."

Sean and Megan both had many reports that had to be redone over the years in their efforts to meet Martha's standards, using conventional means. Both Magi considered her standards to be way too high for home school reports. Reports could be on a book from the reading list, a history lesson, current events, or even a particular field in math or science. A report could be a one page report on an Edgar Rice Burroughs book about Tarzan or a ten page report on Steinbeck's influence on the Industrial Age. Neither Sean nor Megan were interested in taking more English classes. English wasn't nearly as easy or as much fun as Physics or Geology. An unexpected byproduct of Martha's English lessons, was the elevation of Sean's and Megan's standards in their Wizardly studies and their mundane studies.

Fortunately, most of Sean's, Megan's and their Second's classes were together. Their first period class was Home Room and History, taught by Mrs. Gloria McCann. Second period was Physics taught by Mr. George Mallory. Both classes were ninety minutes in length and they had lunch during the third period. Fourth period was Geology, taught by Mr. Rafael Rosella. The fifth and last period of the day was Physical Education. The football coach, Mr. William (Bill) Strom taught the boys. Miss Maria Hastings taught the girls.

First period was pretty uneventful. Sean and Megan had been cautioned, again, to only use information from their text books and from authorized references during school. They had already read the history book so knew the class would be pretty straight forward. The only reason they had decided to take the class was on Scott's recommendation.

"Believe me, you'll like her class," Scott had assured them. "She grades hard and expects a lot, but her classes are fun too."

"How can you make a history class fun," Megan had asked with a groan.

"Because, she doesn't stick to the lesson plan," Scott explained with a grin. He wouldn't explain his statement though.

The first period class on that first day began about the way they had expected. Gloria McCann was the epitome of the little old school teacher that loved her work. She was a just a few inches over five foot tall and had a very slender build. Her iron gray hair was in a bun that would have given her a severe look if not for her smile and flashing blue eyes. Her mannerisms were bird like in the way she flitted back and forth from the text book opened on her desk, the chalk board, and the students in the class room. The lesson on the first day of school began on the scope of the history class for the year and morphed into the history of England during the middle ages.

AJ raised his hand about thirty minutes before the class was over. Mrs. McCann had been speaking about how some of the locations in England had got their names. She saw the raised hand and, after a glance at the seating chart asked, "Yes, AJ?"

"All of those places have a reason for their names," AJ answered. "Why do we call an English Bulldog a English Bulldog? I mean, why not a French Bulldog or a Spanish Bulldog, or why even associate them with a country?"

Mrs. McCann considered him for a moment before she answered. "They are called English Bulldogs because they fought bulls in England. They weren't used for fighting bulls in France or Spain."

She looked around the classroom briefly before saying, "For those of you that haven't taken one of my classes, there is something you should know. I don't always stick with the approved lesson plan. I go off on tangents occasionally, and I enjoy it."

Mrs. McCann looked over the class considering before continuing. She leaned back against the front of her desk and said, "I enjoy going off on tangents because, I don't believe history is simply the cold, hard facts of dates and places in your history books. Those facts are important, but, history consists of the actions of men and women that struggled to make a better life for their children, just like your parents. There are good people and bad people in your history books. There are tragedies in your history books and great achievements but, the thing to remember is, good or bad, they were accomplished by men and women interacting with other men and women around them. Whatever they accomplished, they did for a reason."

The teacher took a breath and standing, began pacing back and forth in front of her desk as she continued.

"The Magna Carta that King John was forced to sign in 1215 wasn't just so it could be included in our history books. There was a reason his Barons insisted that he sign that document. Did Columbus decide that 1492 was a good year to sail into the unknown, at least unknown to his culture. There was a reason the Queen of Spain financed his voyage. There are great events and significant actions throughout our history. Many of them changed the world but always remember that, they are all accomplished by men and women with dreams they were striving for, good or bad. Also, please remember that, when I do go on a tangent, the information in that tangent will be included in future tests."

Mrs. McCann's eyes unfocused for a moment as she ordered her thoughts before continuing. "Bulldogs were used as sporting dogs during the middle ages. They were big, vicious animals and were good for fighting bulls, although many of the dogs were killed by the bulls, and not all bulls were subdued by the dogs. The name "bull" was applied because of the dog's use in the sport of bull baiting. This entailed the setting of dogs (after placing wagers on each dog) onto a tethered bull. The dog that grabbed the bull by the nose and pinned it to the ground would be the victor. It seems that mankind, as a species, is a gambler. Men and women throughout history have found things to wager on. Bull and dog fights were simply the popular sport during that time. Animals rights activists managed to get bull fighting outlawed by passing the Cruelty to Animals Act, in 1835. The bulldogs were too vicious to be used for anything else. There was an unintended consequence of the law passing. The breed nearly died out before dog breeders, saw beyond the viciousness of the breed and..."

Sean and Megan smiled at each other as they walked to the next class.

Sean thought, {That was fun. Maybe we should have tried this school stuff earlier.}

{Maybe you're right, } Megan thought back, with a smile. She looped her arm in Scott's and said, "You have good ideas, Scott."

"What?" Scott asked. His face brightened at the attention.

"Taking that history class," Megan explained. "That was fun."

{Maybe we should trade Seconds, } Sean thought to Megan, not for the first time.

The current arrangement of Seconds had been suggested by Brennan, but he had also said the position of a Second was not a life-time commitment. It was a choice made by the Second and accepted by the Wizard, or Sorceress.

{Maybe, } Megan thought back doubtfully as they entered another classroom. {Somehow, the current association doesn't feel right. It doesn't quite feel right to switch either. I'm not sure of the solution but I think it's important to get it figured out before we leave the ranch.}

Sean nodded and silently asked, {You've had that Dream, too?}

Megan nodded and her smile faded as she replied. {If you mean the one that keeps repeating with different combinations of Seconds and they all die, yes.} Megan shivered at the memory.

{Do you also get a message at the end that says there's another way that lets them live?} Sean asked.

Megan only nodded this time and didn't reply. Her eyes were bright with unshed tears. Unpleasant memories flitted through her mind as she walked towards her next class, guided by Scott and Sean.

The Dream had haunted Megan's nights since she was four years old, when she had rescued Sean. The power that had coursed through her young body during the rescue had changed her. Her mental changes were primarily centered around her terror at loosing Sean. Her physical changes weren't as obvious. Her body had grown during the encounter. That was clear enough when she had to buy new clothes after the rescue. The changes inside the girl were more profound. Her bones were denser than normal. Lian had discovered that during exercises. Sean had discovered the way her brain had gained an extra thick layer of blood vessels. The ability to handle additional power was the most obvious result of the extra blood flow to her brain. Megan Dreaming wasn't obvious, but was the most traumatic.

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