teacher quest (summer 1222)

Though this adventure begins with your journey to Patras to interview prospective teachers, I would like to start with a typical letter you would have written to recruit these potential instructors.

bumping this to try and gain Cristopheros' participation....

I haven't forgotten about it. Just need to sit down at my computer to compose a decent sample letter to potential teachers. Still under a heavy load from my renovations. My brother is a bit better but will need months of physical therapy.

A sample letter from Christophoros to contacts in academic circles. It would be adapted based on how skilled the person his, and whether that person has students of his own.

Christophoros will attempt to hire at least 3 additional teachers. He will not necessarily be looking for those with the greatest skills as teachers, or the most knowledgeable in academia, but rather younger academics who are eager to prove themselves and/or who are looking for some stability. They should also look at him with proper awe due to his title as Magister.

How many interviews in Patras do you want to set up for the few days you will rent a room there?

Depends. How many answers does he get to his letters?

He'd probably split the interviews in 2 sets, one early July and a second set early August. But if he only receives 2 or 3 letters of interest, he'd try to group them all in the same week.

BTW, he'd send follow-up letters to check references and stuff, for all candidates that were not directly part of his contacts. So if a candidate is supposed to be student of one of his contacts, he'd make sure that it is so, as well as getting the impressions of that contact.

He would receive scores of letters. A few could be eliminated quickly due to poor writing- apparently some people got ahold of your information ho felt the ability to write a letter was sufficient, or else had highly elevated opinions of their abilities. Several more were not who they claimed to be when you began checking references, and a few more simply had no references to check. I will start a thread of reference letters for you to peruse and decide whom to interview.

Christophoros will sort candidates into basically 3 categories:

  1. Those with references he knows and can check, and which have something positive to say about the candidate
    He will certainly want to interview, if it is possible within the proposed time frame.
  2. Those with no references, but admits so and would still like to apply for a position
    He will write back to them, to learn more about them and try to ascertain how they knew about the school. He may decide to interview a few of those, if time permits.
  3. Those who lied, or whose letters are poorly written, etc.
    He will not reply to them, but will pass along the name of those who lied to his contacts, so that they are aware of the individuals and their shady character.

At this time, Christophoros would invite Niketas, Dositheos and Zacharius (from the applicants thread) for interviews.

Niketas shows up for his interview and instantly you see what the letter was referring to. For half a second you think the man to be some sort of northerner with his pale skin, but the skin is too pale, and his eyes are pink. Then he speaks "Thank you thir, for theeing me..."

"Please, sit. Would you like some wine?" Provided Niketas acquiesces, Christophoros will gesture the servant who showed Niketas in to serves them a cup before leaving them alone.

"Could you tell me more about yourself? My friend Isais, who recommended you, said you showed good potential as an academic. But I'd like you to tell me, in your own words, how you would approach a position as a teacher here."

Throughout the interview, Christophoros will act normally towards Niketas' appearance. He has seen far stranger amongst magi and their associates. The lisp is a bit more worrying, as it may detract from his ability to tutor children properly. He plans on broaching the subject later in the interview. For now he wants to learn more about the young man's qualifications.

(Decided to use colored text for Christophoros as well. Let me know if you feel that color reduces lisibility too much.)

"I bewieve a mixthure of thtorieth and pwactice, both to entithe and ethtablith a thtwong pattewn of wowk. I pwefew the cwathics, Pwato'th Fableth, The Iwwiad, depending on how adwanced the thtudenths awe."

Christophoros wait a few moments to see if Niketas will provide more substance to his vision of a teaching posiiton, but when nothing more is forthcoming, devides to take a different approach.

"What kind of previous teaching experience do you have?" If the answer is yes, Christophoros will try to get some additional details about these, including, "Could you tell me what made that experience positive to you and your students? Also, what were the negative situations you found yourself in and how did you learn from them?"

Christophoros will try to evaluate the motivation and reaction of Niketas to those questions. (Folk Ken 2 + stress die 9, I'm assuming this is based on Perception so the total would be 11)

He would also check for the depth and extend of Niketas knowledge of the classics (checking to see how advanced he is in his studies of Artes Liberales, Philosophiae and Classical Grrek). This would also include questions about any other miscellaneous knowledge he might possess (such as Cicil and Canon Law, Medicine and Theology, but also more esoteric knowledge).

Two more question would conclude the interview.

First, adressing the elephant in the room: "I noticed you speech impediment. How will that affect your teaching? Considering that youths are often blunt and even cruel, how will you react if they make fun of you and refuse to take you seriously?" (This may be formulated a bit bluntly; no doubt Christophoros would be able to ask it more nicely than I, since he has Com 2 + Etiquette 3.)

Second, a potential alternative: "If there was an alternative position as a research assistant, a scribe, or another position less directly involved with the students, would you be interested in this?"

"I'm thowy, I hawve jutht fwinithed my bacawlaweat, I hwve not thaught befow. If thudenth get unwuly thew ith dithipline, but if thew ith a pothithon wif leth thpeaking, wesewth athithtant, I would wike thith."

When you examine him you find he is very well versed in the classics and speech impediment aside his familiarity with ancient Greek seems to be comparable to many magi, and he is equally well grounded in Latin.

Christophoros concludes the interview with Niketas, "I will see what I can do, and will let you know by the end of July."

He is considering Niketas for a support position. He might serve the school well as a translator, author, research assistant and perhaps eventually a teacher for more advanced/older students. I assume that the Afflicted Tongue would reduce the SQ by 2 if he were to teach directly?

While you are waiting for your next interviewee, an unexpected visitor arrives, one who is well dressed and carries papers. He introduces himself as Dionysios, and explains he is on state business "It has come to our attention that you are opening a school in or near Patras, I wished to make sure you are aware that, under the terms of a recent resolution with the Vatican, we would like to offer you the services of a priest in helping to provide for the education of the youth involved, including lessons in Latin and Theology."

Christophoros examines the papers presented. While doing so, he thinks about the matter presented by Dionysios and how to best answer his claim. For sure, the magi will not be happy if there is a resident priest at the school.

Is Christophoros aware of anything regarding this resolution by the Vatican? Is this the way things are normally done?

Relevant abilities would be Civil and Canon Law 2, I assume. With Int 2 and a stress roll of 5, that would make for a total of 9.

Looking at TSE p.61, regarding Morea and the current ruler's relationship with the church, I read the following:

This seems to imply that what Dionysios is trying to push would not be something that the current ruler of the Principality of Achaea would support. The question being, is Christophoros aware of this? Considering his abilities (Profession: Schoolmaster 5), I think this is an area he would have looked into (Int 2 + Profession 5 + stress die 6 = 13) and be up to date on.

The quote is in 1220, this is 1222, by which time the Pope had excommunicated Geoffrey the second then reversed the excommunication after some negotiations. in Saga (and in the papers presented) Geoffrey has agreed to promote Latin as the primary language of education and to allow entrance of Western Clergy into the schools. there is in fact nothing in the paperwork which would indicate that you are compelled to accept this offer, but the state is offering to fund the inclusion of a priest as an educator at your school. It is, as far as you can tell, an open ended offer.

*note: in histories of this period Geoffrey argued that the taxes on the Latin churches were necessary to fund infrastructure which would contribute to later crusades. Exact details of the negotiations between Geoffrey and the Vatican are not available, this is a detail I have introduced to make the plot a teensy bit thicker.

"An interesting offer," says Christophoros after reading the papers that Dionysios presented to him. "I had heard of the initiative to promote the use of Latin in schools. We are still in the process of hiring tutors and preparing a detailed curriculum, so your visit is well-timed indeed. One thing is certain, both Latin and Theology will have a place in the curriculum." The schoolmaster's face is smiling as he continues, "I will, of course, consider your offer when completing those plans. Where should we contact you, should we decide to avail ourselves of this opportunity?"

P.S. Are any of the current candidates affiliated with the Orthodox Church in some way? It is not unusual for academics to be monks or priests in the rest of Europe, but I must admit my ignorance where Thebes is concerned. TSE was not specific on that subject.

None I have created yet, but I am not finished.

He nods and hands you a sheet of vellum with his address and a letter to grant you entrance to his offices.

Shortly afterwards your next interviewee, Dositheos, arrives. Dositheos appears to be frail, and with no facial hair yet appearing on the face. Their clothes are oversized, and a bit baggy, and you notice the face is at once narrower and rounder somehow than you would have expected. The voice also is rather high pitched, though not unnaturally so. "Greetings Master Christophoros, I am pleased you were able to make time for me in your busy schedule. I understand this school is located in something of an experimental community, so I have only the barest of ideas what you are looking for."