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Broken Pines

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Polisena sighed and rubbed her head. It had been a long day, and after such difficulties in teaching negation to her students, she was too tired to write the phemes that would banish her pains, even though she was sitting at her office's desk.

Not - and here she sighed - that her subject had been the only problem. Though honestly, she would have respected her own pain if it had been gained through teaching her difficult - but useful - subject.

Rather, her class had had a problem. Or rather two problems acting together. Flore Yveuillet and Prudence Cossins, through their constant giggling and whispering, had much disrupted the class. And Cossins had had the nerve to speak to her in Auncestrian when told to be silent, assuming that "Professor Briardi" could not understand the string of words beginning with b.

Polisena hoped that the punishment that she had given both girls - researching the achievements of a professor and giving a report about him or her - would at least allow the girls to use their friendship in productive ways. At least she had not lost her calm about Cossins's insults - and Aaran Ledale, that sweet strange young man, had complimented her for her calmness.

With another sigh, Polisena opened a note book and wrote out an Auncestrian poem.

If I were from stress as free
As students think me to be,
Then you would not repel me,
You lonely broken pine tree.

It would almost be worth it, she thought with a smirk, to show Cossins the poem and make her realize that her insults had been recognized. Almost - but not worth it. Flore would doubtlessly learn about her poem if she were to show it to Cossins, and Flore could more easily understand it, and then - Polisena shuddered thinking about how her reputation would be damaged.

Still, it was a pleasant thought - as was her ability to help Aaran, a young man who deserved and appreciated her help.

Thinking these thoughts, Polisena smiled and opened another student's evaluation document as she began to make notes about how he was doing in her class. She briefly frowned - Magsa Nembo was no bright light of skill - but then smiled. At least Magsa was polite, well-behaved, and trying to learn - which was more than could be said for other students such as Cossins, who was brilliant at negation but had a terrible attitude.