Magical School of Vale / Vale Magic School
If someone were to look up the word, "Magic", "Vale" would be listed as a related topic. Vale was the first magical school founded (which was 5 AS/2007 AD), and as a whole, has worked to provide a solid environment for students to achieve magical mastery.
As anyone who has had to interview prospective employees can tell you, "qualified to teach" and "good at teaching" aren't always the same thing.
Being the oldest school has had its ups and downs, and being the forerunner of any art or skill often means that, whether they wanted to or not, Vale has become something of a hybrid, both acting as a school to teach magic, and as a resource for various Leagues to ask for aid.
While many Leagues have since established their own magical school within their borders, and despite its rather harrowing crash into the ocean off the eastern coast of Maycia, Vale remains something of a consultant and/or magical problem solver for many organizations.
As curriculum goes, a student is allowed to pursue any subject, but they must get a passing grade in at least one subject in order to progress with their studies. Various teachers, tutors and work‑study students are available at all hours to assist students who are struggling with their studies, so the only reason to fail is because the student utterly lacks any talent in all subjects.
There are a wide variety of fields that one can study at Vale, even ones that do not require any magical skill whatsoever (such as the History of Magic or Potions), and students who have graduated may remain behind to study another field, provided they can either afford to continue paying or have joined the work‑study program.
The Work-Study program is open to all students and typically operates on from 5 PM to 8 PM Monday through Friday, and 12 PM to 6 PM on Saturday and Sunday. The students are typically assigned chores or jobs that are fairly mundane, such as restocking shelves in the school store, helping cafeteria workers organize the kitchen, helping teachers prepare for the next class, etc.
Vale's aptitude tests have varied at times, especially when dealing with single applicants, but for the most part, the potential students pick up fourteen enchanted objects, one at a time, which show the student's potential in a particular field.
Students that show low or no aptitude in all fields, yet were approached by Vale, are rare and tend to have slower development. Such students are typically given far more leeway in terms of passing Alpha Year. It should be noted that Vale had never approached someone who lacks magical aptitude of some kind, and the parents of such students typically pay to have the kid in Vale.
Vale does try to dissuade such thinking in parents, but there have been rare occasions when such students do show some magical talent (even if it's hardly what the parent was expecting) and they can arrange for a normal non-magical education.
The typical entrance age is between 10 and 14, though exceptions are always allowed. To officially graduate requires seven years.
It should also be noted that any student who has little to no magical aptitude will not have to complete the magic‑based requirements for graduation, but instead will have to pass specially prepared exams based on their fields of study.
That said, Vale doesn't discriminate when it comes to gender or even species. If a human of either gender or a pokegirl has potential for magic and wants to attend, Vale will accept them and will arrange means to help them cope with the financial costs of attending.
When it comes to instruction, teachers are largely given free reign on the method (provided they behave within guidelines laid out for them prior to being hired or be punished accordingly), and the students can actually LEARN. There are means for students to get alternate instructors if they have issues with a teacher that cannot be easily resolved.
Teacher guidelines on behavior is pretty much what you'd want out any actual teacher: don't be an abrasive dick, don't try to pick fights, don't attempt to attack or sexually assault students, don't taunt or put down students, etc.
Teachers all know magical means to restrain aggressive students and nearly every classroom has a means to send a student to a magical detention hall if they attempt to attack the teacher or fellow students; but Vale's administration also monitors every square inch of the school and no amount of whispering or attempting to hide actions will prevent Vale from punishing any teacher who attempts to abuse their authority.
Likewise, belligerent students are not well tolerated. Vale can and WILL boot even promising students if they do not behave under the same guidelines as teachers.
Alpha Year is often referred to as the "Easy Boring Year". Its light course schedule is generally to allow students to mingle and get used to the campus.
Many of the brighter students who can breeze through books easily may attempt to skip the year, provided they can prove they can do so. As they'll be starting later than most Beta Students, they'll have to work hard to compensate, but it's hardly impossible to do.
If they've joined the work‑study program, Alpha students will typically be asked to help teachers clean up classrooms, sort or prepare materials and do other minor tasks. It's not hard, but Alpha Year tends to be the cheapest year for families to pay for anyway.
Graduating from Alpha Year to Beta Year simply requires the student to be able to cast one spell. Most students typically use the Light Spell, as it is one of the easiest to cast and the handiest for studying late at night.
However, given that many of the Beta Year classes build upon what the Alpha Year has established, it's typically a very good idea to have a firm grasp of all of the Alpha Year books.
Whereas Alpha Year is considered to be easy, Beta Year has generally been the year that caused students to get burned out, as students who allowed themselves to get too used to the milder Alpha Year suddenly find themselves overwhelmed by how much more is available in Beta Year.
Suffice to say, most students who are competent in multiple subjects are often coached by a faculty member into following fields and/or careers that they're interested in and helping them plan around that.
Beta Year causes a lot of headaches for many students and faculty members as finding out that a student might have aptitude for a subject, but no interest, tends to cause students to swap classes mid‑semester, which while it is allowed, tends to require a lot of catching up on the student's part.
It should not be surprising that most Beta classrooms tend to be enchanted to shift size and add or remove chairs depending on how many students are currently enrolled in that subject.
To complete Beta Year and move onto Theta requires the student pass a rather minor trial that requires the use of magic for at least one of their fields of study, though all of their fields of study have final exams.
The work-study program during Beta tends to be fairly easy going, as most students will likely have enough problems getting used to the significant change in workloads, so it's generally things like taking inventory of various supplies, polishing plaques, and other menial tasks that can be completed, even by mentally exhausted students.
Theta and Delta Years
Typically speaking, while the course work might rise, the transition between Beta to Theta and so on tend to be far easier than from Alpha to Beta. Changing one's scholastic path during these years is almost nonexistent, but far from disallowed.
Graduating from these years requires passing either a small number of tougher trials or a larger number of minor ones for at least one of their fields of study.
Given the number of trials and how long they might take, the last week of the semester is devoted to the final exams for these years.
During the Work-Study Program, students who are willing can be hired to assist in magical research projects for older students or other mages, usually collecting various things for the project. Vale monitors the students who volunteer for these jobs to make sure that they remain safe and that nothing ill happens.
Gamma and Sigma Years
It's during this time that most students are encouraged to think about how they plan to graduate, as there are four different means to go about it.
It's also around this time that most students will be receive letters from various businesses, usually offers to tour facilities and basic preliminary interviews.
Vale will send various faculty members along to supervise and make sure that the business doesn't try to sucker or pressure unsuspecting students into agreeing to sign on with the company in advance.
Graduating from these years requires passing very difficult tasks or a very large number of minor trials for at least one of their fields of study. As the time it might take to complete these exams, two whole weeks are used for the final exams.
These years tend to be the ones that cause students to flounder, as most are of age to apply to be tamers in the Crimson League, and will often have to do a lot of make‑up assignments/exams.
It's during Gamma Year that those in the work-study program might find them with the option to become tutors in any field they are doing well in. If they choose become tutors, they don't have to work nearly as many hours as they would normally, and it has become quite popular. Otherwise, their options will typically vary between tasks that they had been assigned in previous years.
Sometimes considered the "Dicking Around" year.
Though tougher all of the previous years, most students will be used to the various classes and be preparing for graduation and their future careers.
In order to graduate, the student must be able to either A) impress five judges with their skill in one of their fields of study by receiving at least 30 points from the combined panel; B) run a marathon challenge maze; C) create a new spell; or D) present the findings of a self‑made study approved by one of their instructors.
Unlike previous graduation requirements, the student only needs to pass ONE class, though students can push themselves to graduate from multiple classes.
An entire month is devoted to the final exams so that the students can be tested with less pressure.
Upon graduating, students have the equivalent of a Bachelor's Degree. They can opt to stay with Vale to gain a Master's Degree. If they are in the Work-Study program, they have the option of becoming an associate professor or even a replacement teacher. They can also opt to join Vale's task force, which helps various law enforcement groups.
The campus is truly massive. Each year has its own area, complete with separate dorms, cafeterias, classrooms, and even small gardens, ponds and forests.
There are only three places that all of the students can be at one time: 1) The Great Hall, which is in the very center of the campus and was where plays or announcements were made; 2) The Great Library, where virtually every book ever made could be found; 3) The School Store, where students can buy supplies.
There are a few other locations where most students can go, but it's typically restricted for Alpha or Beta year students, which include the Testing Grounds, where upper year students can practice various spells; the Maze, which is a Vale‑sponsored magically shifting labyrinth that contains the few dangers within Vale; and the Dueling Grounds, where students who have a grudge against each other can work it out through conflict. The lattermost is heavily monitored by the faculty and there is always a staff member on‑hand to stop fights that get out of hand.
The faculty is split into four parts:
The first are the Teachers, who actually teach classes.
The second are the Keepers, who are basically the librarians, the janitors, the cafeteria workers, and groundskeepers all rolled into one.
The third group is the Security Division, who largely keep contraband and intruders from getting in, but also stop fights between students.
The fourth is the Administrators, who can fill in for the various other groups, as well as take care of problems that might cross multiple fields, such as pranksters who ruin cafeterias, etc.
While Vale is quite prestigious, it is not without its detractors. Given that Vale goes out of its way to not only stop magical menaces, but also restricts knowledge of things that cause those menaces, there is no small number of people who distrust Vale and those from it. Some groups go out of their way to either avoid or "dispose of" graduates from Vale, believing everyone who's had contact with Vale to be a spy and/or an operative of its non‑academic side.
While it has not been limited to upper students, lower year students don't tend to cause as many problems; but all the same, every student should beware of possible calamities caused by foolish or arrogant students going far beyond what they can control.
There's also the fact that the Maze, which is sometimes used for graduation trials, is filled with a number of magically‑created creatures which can seriously harm unwary students.
Graduating from Vale is akin to graduating from the Pre‑Sukebe colleges of Harvard or Yale. In fact, the prestige of graduating from Vale alone can sometimes guarantee at least job interviews. As such, some parents have been known to pay the otherwise extravagant prices charged for non‑magically apt people to learn at Vale.
Necromancy is taught at Vale, but it is not the kind that animates dead bodies or ensnares souls. Necromancy, or White Necromancy as it's often nicknamed, is largely taught to help students who are following the healing arts how to determine illnesses, injuries, etc., as well as become familiar with the differences between a human body and a pokegirl body.
Vale tends to keep a tab on its graduates, partly to make sure that the graduate is doing well, and partly to make sure that the graduate is not breaking league laws in secret.
Research and various projects are always abound in Vale. There's even a research board that applicants can appeal to for financial assistance in projects.
Perhaps one of the most disconcerting methods for students to earn extra cash is through the Healing department, which needs "victims" for students to learn how to cure various ailments, though it should be noted that teachers will never use a living subject to teach how to cure any potentially fatal ailments.
It is even possible to sell one's own body parts to Vale for use in the Necromancy department, as they have the means to regenerate limbs and even organs, and would rather keep the need to use full medical cadavers for the upper year students.
Given that the limb/organ will be regenerated free of deformities, those who can tolerate being temporarily incapacitated will essentially get a free limb/organ transplant and earn money to boot.
Magical School of Vale
- Written by: CMDRZero
- Category: Magic Schools
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Magical School of Vale / Vale Magic School