We will be starting another feature here at Fantastic Schools, which will probably run on Saturdays. It is: Which school of magic is for you? Each week, we will look at a different school of magic, from Hogwarts to Durmstrang, from Roke to Jude’s Academy. Today we will start with:
Jude’s Sorcery Academy
Found in Christopher G. Nuttall’s Zero Enigma series, Jude’s Sorcerous Academy is the foremost magical academy in the kingdom of Tintagel (which I have always thought was an excellent word for a magical kingdom. I think I use it in some story as well. While I am on my aside, I might mention that I keep wanting to say St. Jude’s rather than just Judes, because I have long been fond of St. Jude, ever since college, when I heard a story, possibly from Ripley’s Believe It or Not, about a man who had the hiccups for 32 years. He tried every remedy under the sun, but the thing that finally ended his discomfort was a prayer to St. Jude the Patron Saint of Lost Causes. But, I digress.)
In seeking out more about this august institution, we find this on Mr. Nuttall’s blog:
Jude’s Sorcerous Academy – more commonly called simply Jude’s – is the largest school of magic within the Kingdom of Tintagel and one of the largest on the continent of Maxima.
Jude’s was founded as a basic school of magic shortly after Shallot was incorporated as a city within the Thousand-Year Empire, a place designed to train magicians and identify students who might benefit from a scholarship to the Eternal City. It was considerably smaller in those days, although the school purchased vast tracts lands around the original building (accounting for its presence within South Shallot). It wasn’t until the civil war that put an end to the Thousand-Year Empire that Jude’s started to take on the character we know today; one of the premier magic schools within the continent.
The original building was relatively small. However, as the school grew, more and more wings and buildings were added to the mix, giving the school a somewhat chaotic appearance. Other buildings were swallowed up by the expanding school or pressed down and used as the base for other buildings. The interior of the school is a maze, an absolute headache for new students who find it hard to navigate. Now, vast swathes of the school are disused and, technically, sealed off. However, bright students can and do find ways to explore the disused sections of the building.
Technically, the school is run by the Triad; three magicians, appointed by Magus Court, who make up the school board. Practically, the school is administered by the Castellan, who generally has the final say in everything from class timetables to discipline. Below him, each subject has two to four teachers, who sort out their own pecking order.
Students generally enter Jude’s at twelve, after they pay the admission fees (or win a scholarship). Upon arrival, they are sorted into single-sex dorms – roughly ten students to a dorm – which will be their home for the next year. (Jude’s does not admit day pupils.) The students will be resorted every year, ensuring that each student will know nearly everyone of consequence within his or her year. Most students will remain friends with their dormmates even after they are separated by the resort.
Socially, students are divided into lowerclassmen (12-16) and upperclassmen (17-19). The upperclassmen are expected to keep an eye on the lowerclassmen, teach them how to be students and maintain discipline, although some upperclassmen take the duties more seriously than others. Fifth Years are often assigned to supervise First Year dorms, at least for the first five months. After that, the students are expected to elect their own dorm supervisors (although the elected student can be stripped of position by the staff, if they prove to be a bad choice). Upperclassmen have authority to order the younger students about (sending them to fetch or carry, for example) or administer punishments – writing lines, detentions, etc – at will, though it must be noted that abuse of this power draws serious consequences. It’s generally agreed that drawing the attention of the teachers – particularly the Castellan – is a bad idea.
Most social groups congregate around the children of the aristocracy, mimicking the patron-client relationships that shape the city outside the walls. Aristocratic children often trade help and support to common-born children in exchange for their service, although such patterns don’t always continue once the students have graduated. It’s rare for a patronage network to include older or younger students, which can be a shock to the leader when he/she graduates and discovers that he/she is back at the bottom (although someone with the right birth is already quite high up the ladder.)
Friendships between the years are rare and friendships between upperclassmen and lowerclassmen are almost unknown. Even older siblings will generally ignore their younger siblings at school.
The typical weekday starts with breakfast, which is held between 0700 and 0830. Classes start at 0900, each one normally an hour or two long. Lowerclassmen take their lunch at 1200; upperclassmen have theirs at 1300. Classes end for the day at 1630, followed by homework, private study and afterschool detentions. Students generally take their dinner between 1700 and 1900; Lights Out is at 2100, whereupon all lowerclassmen are expected to be in their dorms. Sneaking out after Lights Out is an old tradition, but so is unpleasant detentions if caught.
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