The professor smiled at her students and meandered across the front of the classroom, "This is such a wonderfully small class, we can really talk to each other, have discussions and those kinds of things, so," she moved to the blackboard and reached for a piece of chalk, dragging it across the surface with great sweeping arm motions as white lettering danced from beneath the tips of her fingers, "That'll be really great..." she underlined her name and turned, still beaming, "If you don't mind, just say your name, maybe something about what your focus is. Your major or minor qualification. Your profession. What brought you into this class, which is such an esoteric subject, you know, not many people would even know what it is. So, if you don't mind..."
The professor, Dareen Clearwater, glided to stand in front of a mousy brunette with a pointed nose and delicate neck. Yeva looked up from her journal and the book that certainly was not related to linguistics and shuffled the papers on her desk so that when it was her turn down the line, her inattention wouldn't be put to the forefront of focus.
"My name's Reina," the girl responded, "I'm enrolled for my certificate in language, letter in creative writing-"
Yeva began to tune out, half-listening, as she roamed her eyes back to the book on the desk. The Legend of Enri Smooglenuff was stuffed beneath her academia and she browsed its pages, searching for... something. Since her return to Scalvoris, the medic had been plagued by an itch. The need to move, to act. She hadn't pinpointed her exact frustration. Maybe it was the fact that another war was on the horizon whereas the last one she had been involved in had killed her. Maybe she was just apprehensive about being called a hero again. Hero of Faldrass, Yeva of Rharne. Yeva the Dead. The rumors, the stories, they had picked up in her absence whereas, in Rharne, only a handful had known of the first moniker, but in Scalvoris... something must have happened while she was away. It seemed everywhere she went on the island, people were taking notice. Attention was a heavy thing.
Did Enri ever have doubts?
The boy next to her stood and her back straightened as she once again slide the text beneath a fresh stack of pressed paper. He introduced himself as another writing focused individual, apparently curious about the evolution of language. He drummed his fingers on the table and looked expectantly towards the redhead.
Deep breath in, she stood, "Hello..."
Did they know who she was too? Did they care? "My name's Yeva of Rharne, I-"
A classmate in the back leaned in to whisper into her friend's ear and the flick of the wrist motioned towards the blue cloak draped across the back of her chair. A coincidence? She pretended not to notice lest her insecurities get the best of her. She had faced scarier things than flippant gossipers, "Next semester, or next season depending," on my schedule,
she almost added. Fates, what if she died again? It might be best not to plan, "I intend to enroll for a diploma with a focus on the subject of medicine. I am involved in the Order of Adunih and research in my spare time for the Intelligentsia. I-"
"Are you the Hero of Faldrass?" someone blurted.
Then in an almost whisper, another voice chimed in, "I thought she died?"
"Yeva," the instructor said her name clearly, refocusing the classes attention before the class could lose its focus, "Welcome. Why have you chosen this course? It must be quite different than your usual line of work." Her eyes were kind and she waited patiently.
"Well... I've always like languages." Especially cryptography.
She paused, "I've managed to learn some to varying degrees... Um... It's something I do for fun, which might not inspire everyone. But, I'm always interested in how things work, and language has always seemed to differ in the cities I've traveled. Sometimes even between the social classes. So... It's... sometimes very much integral to the culture of those places and... the people who live there. I was curious about how that worked and... I thought I'd shadow a class before...."
Her hesitancy did not go unnoticed, "Before?"
Yeva had said too much and felt her cheeks warming. Time for a bit of boldness, "Before I requested your recommendation."
There was a beat of silence, which she quickly filled, "I want to take my exam for a certificate in language. Socio-linguistics specifically."
No one appeared to know what to say.
"Have you ever taken a linguistics course before?"
"No. I have not."
"And you believe your life experience has taught you enough to pass a second tier qualification at a prestigious university?"
"Well... I mean..."
Yeva started to blush in earnest, unable to tell if there was awe in the professors voice at the medic's sheer gall, or if there was fascination, "I've done some reading."
"Some reading!" the woman laughed and then shook her head. The tension seemed to dissipate to a wry amusement, "Miss Yeva, why don't you take your seat? If after our lecture you still feel so confident in your knowledge, meet me after class. I'll walk you to the registrar myself."
Despite Clearwater's rather soft voice and genuine reception to the idea, Yeva couldn't help but feel a bit chastised. As if she had accidentally shared a secret to only have a subtle mockery enacted by a professional. Whether or not anyone in the room believed in her, she now felt a strong urge to prove her capabilities. Who ever said you needed a formal education to become intelligent? She would take that exam and surprise them all.
Now, wouldn't that give them something new to talk about?
Yeva smoothed her hair, a nervous tick that had evolved largely after the Mummer's Ball and returned to the storybook. When the whispers reignited again, she smiled and waited for the break to pass.
Yeva received ooc permission (Pegasus) to pursue her letter/certificate in language (sociolinguistics) exam and is listed in-progress here