Valerie Hunt, your intrepid girl reporter here, reporting for the Roanoke Glass. Welcome back to my column: “World of the Wise.”
Here, in World of the Wise, I report on various parts of this crazy, magical world that we Unwary have never heard of before. Have you heard of it? I know I haven’t. So I, your intrepid girl reporter, will be going out into the wilds of the Wise to find and report on the truth, because a report must be authentic. Otherwise, it’s just fake news.
In my upcoming series, I will be discussing: The Dormitories of Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts
Poking around, I have been surprised to discover how few people know all seven dorms and their specialties. Thought I would put the information all in one place for you. I will travel around the campus in a circle from the southeast-most dorm to the southwest-most dorm.
Come journey across Roanoke Academy campus with me!
Dee Hall – Everyone knows Dee is the best. This has nothing to do with the fact that I live there. It is just established fact. Dee Hall is the best, everything else is second.
Dee Hall was named for the Elizabethan sorcerer John Dee, personal advisor to the Sorcerous Queen herself. It is the home of the Sorcerous Art of Gnosis. A person who practices Gnosis is called a Scholar. Why? Who knows. No one I have questioned can make sense of it. But there it is. Gnosis consists of two parts: how to do research and omen reading.
Researcher of the Wise – this consists of being familiar enough with the great works and ancient tomes of sorcery that you know where to look for the information you desire. No one’s made these books digital yet, so even a blackbelt in Google Fu won’t help you, folks. You’ve got to turn those pages by hand.
And some of the pages are made of super-thin onion skin paper that crumbles if you touch it wrong. Still, it has one great feature—no magic aptitude needed. A mundane librarian could ace this aspect of the Art.
Omen Reading – on the surface, this requires learning a hundred thousand million signs and symbols and looking for them in the world around you. But, really? Come on, folks. Face it. Omen reading is a magic gift. Some people—like the Odinson family—have it. The rest of us, not so much.
Rachel Griffin’s picture of Dee Hall she kept under her bed
Dee Hall is an impressive-looking stone building with statues of famous sorcerers and philosophers on top. Inside, the dorm is a booklover’s paradise. There are books everywhere. The walls are bookshelves,. The doors have bookshelves. The risers between the stairs are bookshelves. Some of the showers even have special shelves of waterproof books. There are lots of reading nooks set into windows and corners, as well as numerous common rooms for quiet reading, some of which are soundproof to allow uninterrupted study.
Students joke that if the universe should end with a bang, the students reading in the soundproof common rooms will miss it, so quiet are those chambers.
The books are organized by subject with nonfiction starting from the book-lined attics and coming downstairs according to the Dewey Decimal System. The Dewey Decimal System of the Wise, of course, with numbers assigned to all the sorcerous subjects from archiomance to zoomance. Novels are on the bottom floor, organized from A to Z.
This method of organization has its drawbacks. Sometimes you have to knock on someone’s door to get the book you are looking for, but we Deeites—Deese? Deeians?—make it work.
The people who live there are intelligent and scholarly. (The rumor that we are all bookworms and know-it-alls is greatly exaggerated. )
Fun fact: 97% of the Roanoke Academy students who wear glasses live in Dee Hall.
Want to tour the dorms with Rachel Griffin and Sigfried Smith?
I, your intrepid reporter girl, visit all seven dorms along with these two and Lucky the Dragon in “Rachel Griffin and the Missing Laundry” a short story found in:
Have you ever wanted to go to magic school? To cast spells and brew potions and fly on broomsticks and—perhaps—battle threats both common and supernatural? Come with us into worlds of magic, where students become magicians and teachers do everything in their power to ensure the kids survive long enough to graduate. Welcome to … Fantastic Schools.
Follow a mundane teacher striding into a world of magic, a spy on a mission, a guided tour of a magical school, a school dance for monsters, a dangerous reunion … and many more.
Follow us into worlds different, magical …
… And very human.
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