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Tales of Academia

September 15, 2011 by Kiersi

Tales of fantasy academia seduce me because they sound so much less drab than the plain, sterile and generally emotionless education that I received. Harry Potter’s teen opera is legitimized by the uniqueness—or is it imagery, or all of the above?—of the environment and the setting.

Some kids getting together in a library is pretty boring. Some kids getting together in a magic library with magic books is totally awesome.

They also allow for more interesting character appearances than actually occur in real life. I suppose that’s because you’d have to be a little mad to teach young magicians or alchemists or dragon riders, and ol’ third grade Mrs. Fleebe probably wouldn’t have sought such a position.

Magic brings peril to fantasy school settings much more than that grade school a bit down the street. There are no asylums or dungeons or anything of that sort at Capitol Hill Elementary, unless you count a teacher’s lounge buzzing under fluorescent lights. Much less prone to chemical fires and ogre attacks.


3 Comments »

  1. I think that a lot of the drama of education is buried beneath the surface — in a variety of different places. It’s in the high cost of tuition, it’s in the struggle between the ideal education and the pragmatic one most students receive. It’s in the ways that students fail (or succeed) to get all they can from any given text.

    Or, rather, I think that the battles of college life are tiny, and are fought daily — by both students and professors. Tiny battles. Who wins, who loses — that’s harder to say.

    • Kiersi says:

      The tuition drama you mention is an interesting one. It played a big part of the book I just finished reading, “The Name of the Wind.” Since we have free public school in the U.S. (and I went to college with scholarships and parental funding) I hadn’t even considered the drama of tuition.

      And like you say, learning is full of drama in and of itself, isn’t it?

  2. […] in crafting an exciting story. I touched on this before when discussing the allure and power of the academic setting, such as in Harry Potter or The Name of the […]

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