[Certificate 1] Certified Lies

1st of Vhalar 721

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Perdita Westcott
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[Certificate 1] Certified Lies

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Certified Lies
1st Vhalar, 721
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erdita had been rather surprised to find out that she had, in fact, passed her Letter of Humanities in History. Despite that quiet voice in the back of her mind being quite insistent that it was, it had not been a lie or a joke. No one had jumped out and screamed "Fooled you!" when she went to pick up her certificate, and there on the parchment in very fancy writing was her name. Her name, and her now-certified qualification.

Had it been a practical joke, she really would not have been surprised. That it wasn't one had shocked her quite significantly.

And then, there was the idea of progressing onward. After everything that had happened to her over the last few seasons, Perdita knew that no one would blame her for simply saying no. But that wasn't her way. She'd made a decision that she would pursue this qualification - both of them, History and Art - as far as she could and so she would. But she was faced with the reality that she was not a fraud, she wasn't there by mistake and no, they were not just being kind. So, she had to simply get on with it.

Which was what she did.

So it was that, with notebook and pencils at the ready, Perdita sat in the lecture hall in the Scalvoris Campus, waiting for her first lecture in her Certificate of Humanities in History. While she waited, she went through a mental checklist. Her mouth was dry, she was shaking slightly, eye contact with anyone was impossible and she wanted to run or hide or run and hide. Tapping her pencil gently so that it was exactly lined up, she internally nodded to herself. Yes. Situation normal. She had, however, prepared herself this time. At the back of her notebook were some small reeds. Perdita took them and began to weave them together, making what could end up as the base of a bag or bowl, or maybe even a woven coaster. She made sure to focus on that while she waited, keeping her gaze there. She keep the woven joins tight, in order to ensure that the thing didn't fall apart . She wasn't good, and it was rough, but she sat and made a small square coaster and it did the trick. It kept her mind off things.

Just then, Professor Deadnut walked into the room. Perdita was pleased that he was still going to be teaching her, she liked him very much and got on well with his teaching style. So, she was rather surprised when he turned and wrote in large letters on the chalkboard behind his desk. It wasn't surprising at all that he went and wrote something, but when he wrote "History is a Lie", Perdita had to admit to some level of surprise.

"Welcome!" Professor Deadnut said, looking around at them. "I hope and trust that you are all prepared. The step from Letter to Certificate is a large one and many of you will not make it. So, take notes, remain focused and keep up. Or, of course, leave." Perdita watched him carefully, her neat handwriting transcribing his words as much as possible.

"We are going to begin," Professor Deadnut said, gesturing to the board, "with a consideration of this quote. You have two bits to write down five arguments for, and five against, this statement. Begin."

Lowering her head to her notebook, Perdita considered that when he said that it was a big jump, he really wasn't joking. Still, she didn't have time to think, so she started the task.


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History is a set of lies agreed upon
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Last edited by Perdita Westcott on Mon Jul 03, 2023 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 624
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Perdita Westcott
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Re: [Certificate 1] Certified Lies

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Certified Lies
1st Vhalar, 721
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ith only two bits to complete the task, Perdita did not take any time to mess around or over think. Instead, she lowered her head to her notebook and started her lists.

It was important, she knew, that she got on with doing exactly what was asked - that was part of it at Certificate level, she had to make sure that she was fully addressing titles of essays or papers she had to write - she had to be precise. So. She started by writing down the quote and then put her two lists underneath it.

Or, she wrote down the quote and then tried to. But her mind went completely blank.

Perdita felt panic start to rise in her, the feeling of butterflies in her stomach all taking off at once and fluttering around inside her. She felt her mouth go dry and she could hear her own heart beat counting down the trills until time was up. Her hands were shaking, suddenly, and she felt a slightly clammy sensation as she gripped her pencil too tightly. There were words, she knew there were words somewhere, but she didn't know them. There were answers, she was quite sure of it, but they had fled from her. She had no means of escape, because everyone was there and working and so she looked down at her notebook.

It looked back at her, the blank page where there should be ten points written glaring at her accusingly. Was this what it was going to be like, now she was in a Certificate level class? Would she be doomed to failing this because she hit panic? Perdita didn't know but, for just a moment, she thought so.

"Perdita, what have you written?" Professor Deadnut asked. She didn't question why he went to her first on this particular trial. Because of course he went to her first. She looked down at her book and she felt her throat tighten. Blushing furiously, she lifted her gaze and looked at him. "Nothing." Looking back down at it, she added. "The question." He stopped, looking at her. "Why?" Professor Deadnut seemed surprised and that made things oh so much worse. She felt the heat in her cheeks and she had never once wished so hard for the world to simply swallow her whole. She looked at him and realised that he was still looking at her, expecting her to speak. She couldn't though, so she remained quiet.

Maybe, she reasoned, he'd go away.

"Why?" Professor Deadnut repeated and Perdita spoke again, quietly, though.

"I went blank," she said. He raised an eyebrow. "I did." He seemed to want more than that, but she had no more to give and so he turned his attention to the rest of the room. "And did anyone manage it without going blank?" He asked the question and hands raised. Perdita breathed out and waited for the feeling she had to subside. But it didn't and she found herself fighting against herself for the rest of the class. Thankfully, Professor Deadnut didn't ask her any more questions - she assumed it was because she hadn't answered the first one, rather than out of sympathy - but she found herself growing more and more frustrated with herself as she simply couldn't settle down.

For the first time since she'd started studying, the end of the lecture arrived and Perdita had made no notes. Sighing, she closed up her book and started to pack up her things as the bell rang signifying the end of the session. As she scurried out, she skidded to a halt as she heard the words. "Perdita. A moment, please?" from Professor Deadnut.

She sighed, inwardly, and waited for everyone else to leave.

"I understand shyness," he said. There was no preamble to him. "I want you to know that. But you just sabotaged yourself and, what's more, you did so for the whole lesson. You need to overcome that, Perdita, or you will sabotage your whole academic career."

She looked at him, cheeks flaming and she nodded. "I understand," she said. "I just don't know how."

He smiled at her. "For me," he said, "I had a small band I wore on my wrist. When I felt the inability to speak or function come upon me, I flicked the band. I've always been good at following rules, so I had a rule - when the band gets flicked I have to answer or write or study. Whatever is needed in the moment. It worked for me." She listened to him intently and considered it. "I like that idea," she said softly and his smile widened. "I expect better from you, Miss Westcott. I'll go further and say I demand it. I want you to demand it of yourself, too." She nodded. "I'll try, Professor."

If she thought that was it though, she was mistaken. "So, what would your answer have been?" Deadnut asked. She breathed in slightly and then answered.

"I would argue that it is lies, because history is a story told through the eyes of others - often many others. I would also argue that it is a viewpoint of those who can afford to write books, which is a closed and small group. It's also true that it's agreed upon, because writing what we consider to be historical sources takes collaboration and time. But to call it a lie is .. harsh, I think." He raised an eyebrow but said nothing as she spoke. "It's as accurate to say it's a set of agreed upon truths or beliefs. To use the word lie is to imply a deliberation that ignores the fact that a lot of history is just a best guess or putting together what we have. If I write down my viewpoint, I'm not lying. But I am biased."

She stopped talking then and gave a slight smile. He nodded. "Good points. Excellent ones. You'll be fine here, just don't self-sabotage. Alright?"

"Thank you, Professor. Can I go now?"

With a smile, he nodded and that smile turned to a grin as the young woman turned and fled from the room.



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History is a set of lies agreed upon
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Re: [Certificate 1] Certified Lies

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Re: [Certificate 1] Certified Lies

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Perdita Westcott

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Perdita! Fiddling with her basketweaving while she should be studying for the class that's about to commence... for shame.

But no, she couldn't be prepared for the strange assignment he gave them, that History is nothing but lies. It's true in a way, and of course PErdita when she settled down had an adequate answer to the problem, but he's right that she needs to learn to settle herself and not sabotage.

Good writing here! Enjoy the basket weaving.

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  • Basketweaving: Making a small item from reeds
  • Basketweaving: Tighten the join, especially at the beginning
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