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She Taught Me How to Blind With Science; Tutoring, PM for entry.
Topic Started: Apr 23 2013, 10:22 PM (677 Views)
dmboogie
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((Alice Gilman: Continued from V = - ∫ E · dl))

Alice sat alone in the empty science classroom, idly sketching her surroundings. People never really paid attention to classrooms. Sure, they noticed the teacher, the board, other students, their desks. Remove all life from the room, though, and it changes into something else. Something a bit lonely, but dignified. Worthy of being immortalized in art.

Also, Alice didn't really have anything better to do as she waited for Mirabella to show up. That was a pretty big factor.

Alice had never really considered herself much of a teacher, but other students tended to ask her for help, anyway. She had to admit, it was nice to help others understand the subject she loved, especially when they took a genuine interest. Being able to explain complex subjects in an understandable way was a pretty important skill for scientists, too. Everybody won.

Except the idiots who blatantly asked to copy off of Alice's work, of course. Did they really expect to be able to freeload forever, feeding off the hard work of another? All they were really doing was committing academic suicide when tests came around. Anyone who simply wanted to get their grades higher with no effort had no place in a science classroom, dammit.

Mirabella wasn't like that, thankfully. The girl may not have had an excellent head for science, but she was sincerely interested in learning, and that's all that really mattered.

Alice continued working on her drawing while she waited for her student to appear.

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((Mirabella Strong continued from Not So Quiet Time in the Lunch Room))

Mirabella just didn't understand it.

All of her other subjects came easily to her. Some a little less easier than others, but still...when it came to academics, Mirabella was in love. Academia was to her like a sparkly new dress was to one of the...less intelligent girls at Aurora High, and an excellence grading on a test was a reward in itself. A love of schoolwork had its downside of course. Mirabella still remembered that blasted Geography assignment from ninth grade that just didn't agree with her and ultimately led to her diagnosis and regular intake of anxiolytic medication. Still, that period of darkness in her life was over for the most part, and she had maintained an A average throughout her tenure at high school.

All except for Science.

She didn't know what the problem was, really. While she could rattle off half a hundred obscure Latin phrases easily, or locate the region of Croatia that was once the separate nation of Dalmatia, almost anything to do with Science just...disagreed with her. She recalled nearly bursting into tears in her sophomore year when she saw the C emblazoned upon a Physics test in red ink, and it was only then that she realised that being confident in a subject didn't always translate gradewise.

Chewing on a stick of spearmint flavored gum, she made her way down the empty corridors of the Science block, poorly humming the tune of some French song she was playing last night whilst trying to get into a studious mindset.

Elle me dit...something something.

Stopping outside her classroom, Mirabella opened her satchel to check if she had remembered the textbooks and supplementary notes that might make her tutorial easier. She was incredibly grateful of Alice's help, and knew that she didn't show such gracefulness enough. So, she'd dedicated a free moment a few days ago to sewing a simple clockwork pattern onto a strip of felt as a thank you present, and had tucked it into the relative safety of her Physics workbook.

Gently nudging open the door of the near-vacant classroom, she smiled at Alice, who was engrossed in a sketch of some kind she was doing.

Oh dear...I hope it's not something Science related. It looks kinda complicated.

Such fears were assuaged when Mirabella came closer to the sheet of paper and saw its unthreatening contents. Pulling out one of the clunky chairs, she sat down next to the girl and offered a greeting.

"Hello Alice! How're you?"
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As Alice put the finishing touches on her sketch, she noticed the classroom door opening. Glancing up, she saw Mirabella enter the room. After closing her sketchbook and unceremoniously tossing it in her backpack, Alice greeted her student as she sat next to her. "Uh, heya, Mirabella. Doing fine."

After a brief period of silence, Alice adjusted her glasses and looked straight at Mirabella. Outside of tutoring, Alice didn't really know Mirabella that well, so the few minutes before the session really started tended to be somewhat awkward.

Well, maybe that's just me. Haven't frightened her away or anything. Yet.

"So. Er. What do you need assistance with, today?" Might as well try to get things started. No sense in wasting too much time exchanging pleasantries. Once they started actually discussing science related things during a session, Alice felt a lot more at ease. She just wasn't very good at talking to people when not discussing subjects she was interested in. Small talk in particular was quite painful.
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When Alice looked at her directly, Mirabella thought that her tutor looked quite professional. That was always good to have in the person who your grades relied on. Alice wasn't one to linger upon empty exchanges as well; she didn't seem the type of person to have intricate talks about the weather or things like that, and Mirabella liked that about her, even though it was at odds with her own methodology of conversation.

"Um..."

When posed with the question of what she wished to go over this session, Mirabella paused for a moment. Everything could do with improvement and further focus, in actuality, so there wasn't a lack of possible options. Not wanting to drag out her "Umm..." for too long, she settled on one of the first things that popped into her head.

"Um...I thought that we could go over kinematics again. I've always found them kinda difficult. The formulae and such. I mean...the basics, really. I think I need to make my knowledge of them a bit more solid."

She pulled her books and materials from her satchel and arranging them nearly on the desk in front of her, before flipping to the pages of her notebook that contained the relevant information. Spying the bookmark pressed between two nearby pages, she thought that now was a better time than ever to give it to Alice, before they began too engrossed in the subject at hand.

"Umm...Alice..."

Mirabella slid the sheet of fabric towards the other girl.

"It's a bookmark. You're a fan of steampunk, right? I...I wanted to thank you, for your tutorials and such. I really appreciate it."
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"Kinematics? Alright, we'll start with that." Alice said, turning to the relevant section of her notebook. A relatively simple subject to explain, at least for her. Before Alice could begin talking, however, Mirabella presented the bookmark to her. Alice picked it up, gazing at it in awe.

S-so... cool!

Realizing that she had been staring at the bookmark for about half a minute, Alice slid it into her science textbook for safekeeping and smiled at Mirabella. "T-thank you very much. Er, glad to have been a help. You're a pretty good student, too."

Alice was still somewhat amazed by the gesture. It was a simple thing, but there had obviously been thought put into it. Alice hadn't really ever had someone give her a handmade gift as thanks for something she had done. That what she was doing was actually making a difference, was being appreciated, felt... nice.

After another brief, somewhat awkward silence, Alice adjusted her glasses. "Um. Alright. So, Kinematics..." She proceeded to launch into an explanation.
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"I'm glad you like it!"

Mirabella grinned as Alice accepted her gift and tucked it away. She hoped it would prove useful; the girl seemed like she'd be a voracious reader. She was happy to receive a compliment in return.

"A good student, huh? Really? That's really nice of you to say, Alice. Of course, most of it is due to your brilliant tutoring."

After a pause, Alice began to launch into an explanation of the perpetually confusing branch of mechanics that was kinematics. As she did so Mirabella scrambled to pluck a pen from her embroidered pencilcase in order to scrawl down a few notes. However, just a few words into her hurried transcription, the black ink began to peter out.

Oh, shoot! Ah...I can...uh...do...uh...something to...uh...

"Ack! My pen is running out. I don't suppose you have one I could borrow? Only...I've only got this one black pen, and I like all of my notes to be the same colour."

Bella glanced over at Alice and smiled, hoping that a grin would make her query a more tolerable one.
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Alice blinked, somewhat bothered by being interrupted just as she had begun to pick up steam in her explanation. Mirabella's request for a pen was reasonable, at least, though Alice didn't understand why a unified color of pen in a notebook would be important. She tended to just grab whatever she had lying around. "Oh. Uh, sure, think I have a spare. Probably. One second."

Turning to rummage in her backpack, Alice spent a minute trying to track down an appropriately colored pen, muttering to herself as she did so. "Blue, pencil, blue, pencil, book- oh no, that was due yesterday- blue..." Giving up, she sat back up in her chair and shrugged at Mirabella. "Sorry, only got pencil and blue pens. Guess you'll have to deal with a bit of unbalance."

Trying to regain her lost train of thought, Alice paused for a second, examining her notebook. "Er, okay. Continuing from where we left off..." She said, then proceeded to resume her aborted explanation.
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Mirabella nodded appreciatively as Alice searched, and breathed inwardly when it was revealed to be a fruitless endeavour.

"Oh well. I'll improvise. And...sorry for interrupting."

She pulled a freshly-sharpened pencil from her pencilcase and hurriedly began writing on a fresh page as Alice continued her explanation. The complicated vocabulary and formulae was still a little trying on Mirabella's memory, but she thought it was making more sense to her. Still, maybe she was just fooling herself.

If I write lightly I can just go over it tonight. But I've got all of that other revision to do...uh...I'll just get up earlier. Hopefully it'll still be legible then.

She paused, and rolled her wrist to avoid overworking it, before reading over the current state of her transcription.
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A Couple Hours Later

"...And I think that's all we really need to cover." Alice said, wrapping her lesson up. She exhaled and sunk down into her chair. It'd been a fairly productive session, in her estimation at least. Hopefully Mirabella had gotten something out of it. Alice wasn't too worried. Mirabella was a fairly bright girl, after all, even if science happened to be her weakness.

"So, uh, any last questions? If not, probably safe to say that this session is over. Getting a bit late." There was a Mythbusters marathon that night, too. It simply wouldn't do to miss too much of it. Also, there was the dreaded math assignment she had to finish for the next day. As much as she wanted to forget about it, procrastination wouldn't do her grade any favors.

Scientific explosions will always have priority, though. I don't want to live in a world where they don't.
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Mirabella read over the eight pages of notes that she'd gathered through the tutorial. While she still wasn't entirely confident in the subject matter (something she considered a good thing - confidence led to failure, in her opinion), Mirabella thought that Alice had been able to make it make it a great deal more understandable.

"Oh, no...I don't think there's anything else I could possibly ask. Thank you for your time, Alice. I'm sure you've got plenty of other things to do, and I wouldn't want to hold you up much longer."

She began to deposit her school things back into her satchel and glanced at her watch in the process.

"Oh, cripes! It is quite late, isn't it. Well, I'd best be off. Thank you Alice!"

Mirabella smiled as she pulled her satchel over her shoulder, and gave Alice a small wave before vacating the classroom, returning to the empty hallways beyond. They seemed so unnatural without the hustle and bustle of other school students.

Right. Best start on rewriting those notes, then...

((Mirabella Strong continued in Historically Speaking))
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