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Old November 28, 2018, 06:10 PM   #1
Sliucha Sindosa
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[ZA] We're black lilies, we'll grow without the sun [Moss]

Autumn, Era XXV Post Fractum

At the root of it, understanding the reasoning behind the High Prince's aversion towards organized religion probably wasn't too difficult to figure out. Well, anything involving that man probably wasn't actually the case, but at least Sliucha could form her own interpretations of it. It was a matter of loyalty, and it was a matter of control. Religion and faith were distractions towards the absolute loyalty to the state that the High Prince demanded. They were potential candidates for trouble, for outside powers to be able to influence the citizenry in ways that didn't align with the views of provincial leadership.

It made sense in that regard. It was just another way to prevent others from messing with what was going on. The issue was that those outside powers could hold something quite important hostage in exchange: education.

The Church of Faith controlled everything. Education-wise, anyway, when it came to the basics. Higher education eventually wound up pulling away from it, but when it came to the young children learning the basics of grammar and maths, then it was the Church who operated it. And Moonstone, without the Church, was rapidly headed towards an education crisis. At least as far as Sliucha was concerned. It might have been tenable should Ziel Aerca remained the stronghold of Ars Sanctorum, the organization that had formed around the High Prince, but now they were growing and developing. Now they were the provincial capital of Moonstone - and now Sliucha had an entire rest of the province to actually have to worry about.

Fair enough, yes, it was probably easier to control an uneducated population, but in the balance between developing the province properly and being able to fully control the populace? Sliucha was the sort to personally lean more towards the former. She didn't have the charisma, in her personal opinion, to really pull off the latter, not like Shei'yein was capable of doing. Perhaps it would be a temporary measure, but there was an ease of mind in knowing that your people were... actually being properly educated.

Think of the future and all that.

The very least she could do, however, was explore alternative opportunities. Moonstone, at least for now, was a fledgling province. She didn't have to worry about too massive a population, for despite Moonstone's vast size, it didn't hold nearly as many people as, say, Centripax, or Prime. If it were possible to pull off building something organically from the ground up anywhere, it would be in Moonstone.

Time to do some studies and surveys. First things first? Sliucha wanted some investigations done. How feasible would it be to set up an education system that was independent of the Church? Was there any precedent for this sort of secular teaching? Tutors, for instance, who didn't work for the Church.
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Old December 8, 2018, 11:45 PM   #2
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It was there in black and white. The Articles of Imperium had, from the moment the ink had dried and the quill had been placed down, promised a free education for all citizens of the Aelyrian Empire.

As such, Sliucha was merely performing her civic duty in ensuring that the citizens of Moonstone received what was rightfully there. The fact that the Church of Faith usually provided such education, and said providers were presently banned from the province, was merely a complication...surely?

Staff and letters were sent; books studied; scholars sought.

But in the end, it was an unexpected arrival who made his presence known.

Dan Sing was sweating before he even arrived to speak with Sliucha. The middle-aged human's usually red, blotchy skin did little to conceal the man's out of breath state. His suspenders strained against his bulging stomach with each strained inhalation.

"My name is Dan Sing, Your Excellency," he introduced himself, pausing every few words to catch another breath. "I am Assistant Aedile in Port Alyxandrya."

He put up a hand to silence any perceived objections, then offered his audience an exaggerated wink.

"I am also, as you can probably tell, something of an entertainer!"

Thumbs hooked into his suspenders as he proudly paced the room for a few moments, before he spun to face Sliucha once more.

"But first things first: you might wonder why I, a citizen of Maeve, am gracing your court?"

A pause, then, for an over-the-top bow, before he continued his pacing.

"I am merely Assistant Aedile," he continued, "and my lighter than usual workload has enabled me to help you out with this great endeavour!"

Another pause, as if the man was expecting gratitude. When nothing immediately came, he pushed on.

"I can picture it now," he beamed, his eyes showing a distant look as his arms stretched out in the air as if he was straightening out a vertical bedsheet. "Moonstone receiving the finest education in all the land!"

One hand moved to sit on his hip, while the other rubbed his chin as if he hadn't already planned this routine ahead of time.

"But you'll need to find the right teachers!"

Dan paused for dramatic effect, before eventually sneaking a glance to Sliucha, and it soon seemed clear that the portly human was hoping the Governor might have the answer.

The fact that the Church of Faith had a monopoly on the best teachers was certainly a fly in the ointment. That wasnt to say that there weren't competent teachers who weren't part of the organised religion of the Aelyrian Empire. But finding them would be a challenge, and learning their intentions would be another. Most likely, anyone who taught outside the Church of Faith did so for one reason or another.
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Old December 10, 2018, 02:16 AM   #3
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So, to summarize: yes, it was going to be difficult and a pain in the butt. Was it entirely impossible, though? No.

...but it was going to be a pain in the butt.

What exactly were the circumstances of Dan Sing coming to meet with Sliucha, anyway? Was he somebody who had been approached as part of the investigations and had decided to stop by? Had he perhaps overheard interviews of other individuals? Had he scheduled an appointment for this? Was he literally just walking in the door?

Well, presumably an Assistant Aedile would know the proper procedure for this sort of thing. He gave himself a grandiose introduction but Sliucha wasn't quite following what exactly he was offering.

"And you'd be able to... help find them?" Sliucha was trying to figure out how exactly Dan planned on assisting. "What kind of help, exactly, do you plan on providing?"
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Old January 9, 2019, 03:28 PM   #4
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Dan Sing held his pose as long as he could, as the room fell into an awkward silence. If Sliucha had been expecting instant answers, the Assistant Aedile certainly hadn't provided them in his introduction.

He blinked awkwardly when the Governor spoke, though he recovered quickly enough, turning to face the Alithean in an effort to answer her questions.

"Yes," he replied unconvincingly. "Well..."

Hand rubbed chin as the the man's sweat glistened in the light of the room.

"Presumably you have records, yes?" he asked, one eyebrow raising as he pointed to the ceiling as if in a moment of triumph. "A census of sorts, which lists names and occupations?"

It was a simple starting point, and Dan Sing was sure - or, at least hoped - that someone in Sliucha's position would know how to make use of it.
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Old January 9, 2019, 07:28 PM   #5
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Presumably, that would have been part of the "studies and surveys" that Sliucha had requested to see how feasible this entire endeavor was going to be. After all, if there were a massive amount of people who did tutoring or teaching available in Moonstone, then there was obviously a population of educators to draw upon to serve as the foundation of a new education system. Otherwise, there was going to need to be an investigation as to where the manpower for such a system would come from.

"That is part of our currently ongoing investigation, yes," Sliucha put it simply. She assumed her subordinates were competent enough to go through the census information, although to be fair, it was hard to say how up to date it was. There had been, and still was, quite the influx of refugees and immigrants from other provinces as of late.

"Do you have any other suggestions?"
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Old January 17, 2019, 08:06 PM   #6
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Dan Sing cocked his head slightly at Sliucha's response, the hand on his chin still rubbing it in thought. Surely, it was the governor's role to figure out a solution? But then, that was the entire point of having advisers, was it not?

"I don't mean the most recent census on its own," the sweaty man continued, his oily hair glistening in the light of the room. "I mean the last census before the Church left Moonstone."

The man leaned forward, as if doing so might have an effect, despite standing some distance from the governor. His thumbs worked their way under his suspenders at his chest height, where his palms ended up as they were trapped by the material.

"I would hazard a guess," he continued, slowly pacing to one side of the room and then back to the middle, "that there were good teachers who left the Church's employ because they didn't want to leave your fine province. Then it's simply a matter of finding out where they are now..."

The Assistant Aedile let his words hang in the air as he once again raised an eyebrow and watched for Sliucha's reaction. If the teachers had felt a greater sense of loyalty to Moonstone than to the Church of Faith, they might show an interest in educating the province's youngest inhabitants.
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Old January 20, 2019, 06:02 PM   #7
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The problem was that there hadn't been a time 'before' the Church left Moonstone.

When Shei'yein had founded Ziel Aerca and it had merely been a humble city within Centripax, he had already been quite firm in his beliefs. As it was a fortress town that he had raised from the ground up on his own, naturally it was within his power to ensure that the Church had no particular power within it. And then the city had somehow been moved to Moonstone - which in and of itself had been an entirely desolate province with Ziel Aerca as its only settlement. Slowly refugees had trickled in from the east, but from the beginning, Shei'yein had always been adamant about refusing the Church a place in the province.

"The Church has never had a presence in Moonstone," Sliucha explained to the assistant Aedile - not that the man could be blamed for not knowing the history of another province. One could quiz Sliucha on Northumbrian history and she'd have no idea at all. Although to be fair, there was a lot more Northumbrian history than there was Moonstone history. "Not since the founding of the new province. It is however, possible that some of the refugees who migrated may have an educational background."

Presumably, the people she had delegated this task to would have looked into this. It seemed an extremely obvious way to determine whether a secular education system was feasible: if there were lots of former teachers or tutors loitering about, then at least they had a base of manpower to draw from.
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Old January 24, 2019, 04:32 PM   #8
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"Ah yes...of course...well, this is..."

...awkward!

Dan let out a nervous laugh, a bead of sweat running down one temple as he looked to either side of the room, as if exiting stage left was actually an option.

It was just as the Assistant Aedile from Port Alyxandrya was about the panic that there was a knock on the door, and once it swung open, a large scroll with feet walked in. Well, that was what it looked like, but as the long piece of parchment moved into the room, a balding and bespectacled cether could eventually be seen. His nose was buried in the paper and its writings, which immediately called into question the effectiveness of his glasses, but that didn't appear to bother him in the slightest. Nor did Dan Sing, who he walked past without appearing to even notice him, as he turned around to face Sliucha.

"Our surveys are ongoing, Your Excellency," he spoke in a fast and monotone mutter, not once lifting his gaze from the parchment, "but the initial results are promising. We have found a dozen former tutors in Ziel Aerca itself, and we're hopeful that there will be others further afield. If we can hire these people, we will no longer be in breach of Article 125 of the Articles Of Imperium."

The bespectacled man paused for a moment, took a large and audible breath, then continued.

"We will need to consider these people's backgrounds, Your Excellency. If they are no longer employed by the Church of Faith, it must be for a reason. Hopefully it isn't because they are incompetent."

The cether paused, then, and looked up at Sliucha for the first time, patiently awaiting a response, if one was to come. Dan Sing, meanwhile, stood at the back and remained uncharacteristically quiet, a guilty expression on his face like that of a naughty schoolchild.
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Old January 25, 2019, 05:13 PM   #9
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It seemed the unfortunate assistant Aedile was at a loss for words. Sliucha wasn't entirely sure what else there was to do about that, but luckily, a distraction was provided. It seemed that there had been some results to come out of the research she'd asked to be done on the matter.

A dozen was admittedly not a lot to work with, but it was a start. It probably wasn't good for Sliucha to be too greedy about this, after all. The inevitable dream would be the possibility of allowing for the education of all of Moonstone - with perhaps the more short-term goal merely being able to set up an education system in Ziel Aerca. But before any of that could happen, what was needed was a core foundation. Small steps. They were building from scratch and starting from nothing, after all. Twelve wasn't enough, but it was something.

"Mr. Sing," Sliucha announced, ever a bleeding heart. "It would be a shame if you came all this way without being able to contribute. Would you be willing to help us look into this - investigate some of the tutors our surveys have turned up? It is as my friend here has said. Experience is good, but that it not sufficient to make a judgement call."

For instance, you know, if somebody had gotten fired because they beat the schoolchildren, Sliucha couldn't really condone hiring them, even if they were the smartest smarty-pants of a tutor you could get.
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Old February 9, 2019, 04:15 PM   #10
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Dan Sing's relief had been palpable when the clerk entered the room, and it did not immediately abate when Sliucha invited him to look into the teachers that had been identified. He nodded quickly when the Governess made her offer, but he recovered after that, regaining his composure.

The cether didn't look up from his parchment as the Assistant Aedile and part time performer struck a pose, then strode out the door, nose pointed to the ceiling as if he deserved to be proud of what he had brought to the table thus far. The bespectacled clerk was only then aware of what had just happened, and had to scurry after the ruddy-faced man from the City of Queens to ensure he actually knew who he was supposed to be investigating.

[hr][/hr]

A handful of brightenings passed.

Ziel Aerca may have been one of Aelyria's smaller provincial capitals, but it still took time to locate people and start asking questions.

In that time, the cether clerk had visited, and the number of identified tutors had fluctuated. At one point, it had almost grown to thirty, before a combination of clerical errors and preliminary investigations ruled out more than a dozen.

There had been those who beat children, just as Sliucha had feared, but also a handful of criminals who had simply lied about their occupations for the purpose of the census.

By the time Dan Sing returned, with a spring in his step from having performed (in his own view) admirably, the parchment of names - with many crossed out and scribbled notes next to the rest - numbered sixteen.

That small a group would not be sufficient to teach Ziel Aerca's youth, let alone all of Moonstone's, but it was better than nothing, and could prove useful, depending on how the Governess chose to make use of it.
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Old February 15, 2019, 05:50 PM   #11
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Sliucha, with the task delegated out, focused her attention on the usual: trying to make sure everything didn't blow up in her face.

Unless it was a sex thing.

Eventually, her people (did that include Dan Sing now?) got back to her on that whole education thing, and she looked through the report that they'd put together. The numbers hadn't looked good to begin with, and had only been trimmed down even further in the search for viable candidates. Obviously the criminals would need to be dealt with properly. And there were the ones who didn't seem to have quite the sort of attitude that Sliucha was looking for. Which meant that at best approximation they had... hm, not even a dozen and a half.

But it was something.

She'd see about getting into contact with them and seeing who out of the sixteen were even interested in an opportunity to work with the province. No point in making plans without knowing who would actually be onboard with her initiative. The numbers obviously weren't enough, which was why Sliucha's current plan was to focus less on establishing an education system and more on creating yet another school.

A school for educators. Teaching people how to teach, that sort of thing. Not that they could devote all of their resources to it - not every teacher was capable of actually teaching other teachers - but those who could be spared towards that effort would be, and the rest could be diverted into the actual teaching of students.

In summary: contact would be made with the sixteen candidates. Of the ones interested, a further split would be made between those who were interested in teaching others in their profession, and those who preferred to simply teach students instead. Sliucha wanted to get those numbers first before proceeding.
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Old March 11, 2019, 08:13 PM   #12
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All of the clerks - yes, even Dan Sing - spent the next few brightenings poring over the details of the sixteen teachers that they had identified, and set about creating a shortlist of potential candidates to take on the demanding role of educating the Principality of Moonstone's educators.

Some of the decisions took care of themselves: not every teacher they had identified lived in or near Ziel Aerca, and Moonstone's geography was such that one could live almost on the opposite coast of the empire from his friend, and yet both would call the same province their home. And some simply didn't want to teach other teachers, content to instruct children, but not their peers.

But after a handful of brightenings, and thrice as many robust discussions - during which time Dan Sing politely excused himself from Sliucha's offices so he could return to his regular duties in Port Alyxandrya - two candidates found themselves standing out from the rest. Ultimately, though, it would be up to Sliucha to decide, and so missives were sent for the pair to meet with the Governess.

[hr][/hr]

The young elfess stepped into the room so elegantly that it seemed as if she were gliding across the floor rather than walking, for her steps went unseen beneath the hem of her long, flowing, garment. It was coloured emerald green, and covered her from neck to wrist. Pale, delicate skin met her neckline and the ends of her sleeves, and the dress - the colour of which matched the maiden's eyes - did nothing to hide the willowy form within.

"Serale, Your Grace," she spoke, her voice soft, if a little cold, though her smile seemed polite enough. "I am Liluth Imra, and I am here for the interview."

Green eyes politely watched Sliucha for a few moments, before she turned her head, apparently looking for somewhere to sit down.

[hr][/hr]

The grey beard seemed to enter the room before the rest of its owner did, for he had a slight stoop and the longest of the follicles hung well below his chin. The staff was next to make its way through the doorway, held in a strong grip as the figure stepped in, the wood making a solid thud that echoed quietly through the room each time it met the floor. The rest of the figure followed, revealing himself to be a human, wearing a threadbare and faded brown robe that swirled around his feet as he made his way forwards with smalls steps. The man clearly had more Eras behind him than ahead of him, but his eyes - pale blue in colour - showed a liveliness that belied his age.

His smile was warm, too, despite the gap where one of his teeth used to be, his lips parted in polite greeting and revealing the dental absence.

"Elias Pahlor at your service, Your Grace," he introduced himself, before bowing almost as deeply as the gravitas of his voice, the hand on his staff holding firm. "I would be honoured to apply for the education position."

And then he looked up from his lowered position, keen eyes awaiting Sliucha's response.
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Old March 12, 2019, 01:42 AM   #13
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Sliucha made sure that the results of the investigation were catalogued as accurately as possible. While their current search were for people who could be interested in their program on the education of teachers themselves, that didn't mean they had to just throw away all of the others. After all, they needed to think further into the future. One day, they'd need proper teachers for children! And some of these candidates might resurface to be useful once more.

The clerks had done good work regardless. Sliucha left it to their expertise to wean out the candidates, and Dan Sing was thrown a nice farewell party for his efforts and assistance, provided a modest stipend for his time and had a carriage paid for him to return to Port Alyxandrya. An eccentric man but, having a task set before him, he had contributed a fair share. Work was to be recognized. Now it was just a matter of placing her trust in the candidates presented to her and using her own personal touch to figure out who would be best in regards to leading this new educational initiative.

-----

Sliucha managed to stop herself from whistling at the elf as she entered the room, instead converting that energy into the warmest of smiles at her guest. Liluth, was it? Polite and professional, although it seemed the warmth Sliucha radiated wasn't one that was reciprocated by her counterpart. It was a shame, but that wasn't the end of the world for the candidate.

The governor waved at a chair across from her table, offering Liluth the seat. Once she was settled in, they could start. Might as well go with a broad, generic sort of question, which could hopefully let Sliucha get a better gauge of the person she was dealing with.

"Let's get right to the point, shall we?" she began. "What makes you..." She balled her hand into a fist, gently shaking it in front of her face. "...passionate, about all this? What makes you interested in this position to begin with?"

-----

Hey! This guy totally looked the part of educational... director... whatever it was that it was going to be. Sliucha had never been the best at naming those kinds of offices. Hadn't she suffered enough trying to figure out the new courier postal service in Moonstone? Maybe it was for the best that somebody came up with all the new acronyms and organization and position names or something. Either way, though, in terms of aesthetic, Sliucha was going to give him points. What was the point of a personal interview if arbitrary metrics unique to Sliucha couldn't be used?

Warm smiles were shared between the two of them.

"And should I not find you wanting, I would be honored to grant you the position," she responded with a wave of her hand, gesturing for Elias to sit on the chair across from her. "But, a few questions first, if you wouldn't mind." He seemed a good enough fellow, but Sliucha wanted to burrow a bit deeper into his personality, and try to find out what sort of person she was. Hence, the question.

"Let's get right to the point, shall we?" she began. "What makes you..." She gave off an apologetic shrug, as if sorry for hesitating on the word to use. "...excited about what we're doing here? What about the offer that was presented to you made you think 'this is something that I want to do?'"
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Old March 13, 2019, 07:27 PM   #14
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Liluth nodded demurely at the offered chair, and she almost seemed to float down into it until it bore her weight, and she crossed her legs, then placed her palms on her uppermost knee. Her green eyes studied Sliucha as much as the Governess did likewise. It was as much her opportunity to weigh up her potential employer as it was the other way around, of course.

A soft smile teased at her lips at the initial line of questioning, and the hardness in her professional gaze seemed to ease away.

"I believe children need an education," she spoke, her tone soft and gentle, "so that they might reach their full potential."

She shifted slightly in her seat, but the air of grace that hung around her never dissipated.

"A child deserves to believe they can rule the empire, no matter how far that might be from the truth," she continued. "When I taught in Medonia, I treated the children as if they were my own, and I would be happy to show that love to other teachers. Everyone deserves to feel loved, wouldn't you say?"

And then the green eyes watched patiently, her smile lingering.

[hr][/hr]

Elias' warm smile grew when Sliucha responded to his greeting. The old man was certainly fond of compliments, but he wasn't foolish enough to think that the job was already his.

"Your Grace, I have taught in many cities across these lands," he began his response to Sliucha's question, "and I saw many different teaching styles, some more effective than others."

The man appeared wistful as he reminisced, but his gaze hardened slightly as his attention returned to the present.

"The Church of Faith may have its faults," he added, one wrinkled hand almost waving the objection away before gripping his staff once more, "but the education it brings to students across the empire is something that shouldn't be overlooked. If I can play my part in ensuring the youngsters of Moonstone don't get left behind, then it would be my greatest achievement."

The aged figure scrunched his nose, as if trying to scratch an itch without lifting a hand, seemingly satisfied with the answer he had given.
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Old March 13, 2019, 11:18 PM   #15
Sliucha Sindosa
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The two staaaaaared at each other, or rather, Sliucha noticed that Liluth was studying her, which had the curious side-effect of stopping the governor's eyes from wandering too much. Maintain eye contact, be professional, smile! Without knowing the temperament of the person in question, it might not be a good idea to so obviously ogle them, after all. So less admiring from Sliucha, more professional interview business stuff.

For once.

Sliucha liked the response that was given, smile only widening as she nodded in approval. Well, uh, she wasn't so sure about all the stuff thrown in there about 'love' or whatever - maybe that was going a bit far - but educating the next generation so that they could contribute their full potential to the future was definitely in line with the way the governor saw things. And in order to do that they had to be able to create teachers who were capable of doing that, and surely this could be imparted during the teaching of the teachers themselves?

"You are an Olsyrean, I take it?" Sliucha hazarded, trying to throw out the question as casually as possible. The more she thought about it, the more she sat on it, the more ostentatious Liluth's particular wording became. It was just something she was a little curious on. Being an Olsyrean wouldn't necessarily disqualify Liluth, but it would be good to know. Especially since the very laws that prevented the presence of the Church of Faith in Moonstone would also be very stern about Liluth trying to use her religious affiliation to affect policy in the province.

"You've worked with children before, but the position would have you educating teachers, not schoolchildren," Sliucha continued, not wanting to dwell too long on the Olsyrean point and make it seem like a big deal. "How do you think the position would be different? What would you do differently? I can't imagine you'd treat adults the same as children."

-----

So he had experience in many different teaching styles. Sliucha wasn't sure whether that was a good or a bad thing. Was it better to try and standardize education? But she figured that different children learned in different ways, so perhaps variations could be made to account for such things. As somebody who had not received an official education - having only actually learned to read and write after becoming Aedile - she wasn't sure what the usual ways of doing these things was.

"It is a shame that the Church of Faith is unable to bring its wealth of educational knowledge into Moonstone, but such is the tradition of the province and I am loathe to change it," Sliucha noted with a nod, not wanting to seem too harsh to the Church to a stranger. There was no need to underestimate such a monolithic entity that still wielded a great deal of power in the Empire, even if the far reaches of Moonstone saw but a shadow of that influence. Why be unnecessarily hostile? "It is indeed my hope that despite this setback, we can allow for the future generations behind us to acquire the knowledge necessary to improve their prospects and better all our futures."

"Might I ask, with all your experience, how you would plan on applying it to our school of education?" she continued. "Would you expect each teacher to be able to pick up a multitude of styles and be able to switch between them depending on the student? Have teachers who are firmly used to one style, and distribute students accordingly?"
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