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Coach Leonel Dakin
Physical Education Department
Oyster Bay Junior Academy
Rivelo Dagento Freeport


Mrs. Emmaline Toler
Letterbox 217, Fairfield Couriers
Rivelo Dagento Freeport


Mrs. Toler,

I am pleased to report that since my prior letter Miss Mika's participation in class has been much improved. She had been reporting to class on time and listened to instruction. Miss Mika's performance in the recent gymnastics unit was impressive and I would be pleased to see her in next term's gymnastics class. You may wish to discuss the possibility of an Academy gymnastics scholarship as I believe she could earn one if she continues to put in the same effort shown recently in General Physical Education.

I am less confident about her desire to enroll in introductory swordsmanship. Miss Mika did not treat the swordsmanship unit earlier this year with the seriousness she has shown gymnastics and appeared more interested in talking with her friends or recklessly swinging her wood sword around in the so-called style of the stage. Neither attitude would be acceptable in introductory swordsmanship and in a non-mandatory class would likely lead to her being removed from the class. This would affect Miss Mika's overall score for the year and would not be helpful with her academy applications.

Given Miss Mika's improved conduct in class I am not requiring a parent-teacher meeting at this time. If you wish to discuss scholarship possibilities or any aspect of Miss Mika's progress I will be available on parent-teacher night or you may contact the school office to schedule an appointment another evening.


Sincerely,

Leonel Dakin
Sr. Staff Physical Education





Mika felt her stomach sink when she realized which room Mister Graolagin was heading for next. At least coach Dakin had agreed she was doing better. Mister Ehrlich had had it in for her from the first day.

"The Language Arts building is right over here. Miss Carina would probably like to talk about my papers."

"Indeed? Then we shall return after speaking with Civics instructor Ehrlich."

Then they were through the door and she had nothing left to do but follow quietly behind him. Ehrlich looked at them for a moment before giving a slight smile.

"Miss Tolar, we have talked about respect repeatedly. If you could fetch your mother and then wait until after Sho Graolagin has finished."

"That will not be necessary. Mrs. Tolar is not available tonight, you may speak with me regarding young miss Tolar's progress."

Mika did not snicker at the surprise widening Mister Ehrlich's eyes. No one snickered in this classroom, not unless they were Mister Ehrlich. She coughed. Why else would she have covered her mouth with her hand and invoked a health blessing?

"Well. An employee of yours?" He shook off the surprise and brought back that almost smile. "Well, there is plenty to discuss. I have sent a few notes before, however Mrs. Tolar hasn't seen fit to provide a proper home address for the school records."

"That would be company policy for staff residing in one of the towers. All personal mail is handled through courier letterbox."

"Oh. I see. Well so long as Mika hasn't been stopping them from reaching her mother. Given her common displays of disrespect for important members of our community I would not be surprised to see it extend to her family."

"Indeed?"

"She has finally stopped speaking inappropriately in class, but as I mention in my last letter she has simply taken to speaking even further out of turn in her assignments. Her statements about respectable members of the council in her essay that I just graded are simply unacceptable."

"Truly? Might I have a look?"

The smile that appeared on Mister Erhlich's face, not the sneering almost grin he usually bore but a full smile, set Mika's stomach sinking into her legs. If her teacher hadn't turned his gaze on her after handing over the essay she'd be tempted to try slipping from the room. She hadn't kept her insults to just the council. Her barbs at the cities elite might strike a little to close too her mom's boss. Graolagin accepted the pages and flipped through them reading quickly before speaking again.

"It's a shame, young miss Tolar's skill at writing is certainly adequate. However her grasp of events within the council is certainly blinded by youth."

"I have been trying to explain to her all year that saying such things will only harm her. But she just hasn't listened."

"She is young. I am sure she believes what she has written in this paper, but she has the excuse of youth. If we had spoken before tonight perhaps I could have explained why an act that sounds right and proper on the surface would have hurt those it claimed to help. We will most certainly be speaking about the advantages of being polite in public."

Because it would have hurt... that wasn't why she'd expected to hear he'd opposed it. From the fading smile on Mister Erhlich's face it seemed it was not what he expected to hear either."

"As for you Mister Erlich, you do not have the excuse of youth and inexperience. I had doubts when I saw your letter which was in fact waiting in Mrs. Tolar's box. I must thank you for clearing them. I believe young miss Tolar and I will be seeing the principal before speaking with her language arts instructor."

"I do not care to be threatened in my own classroom." Erhlich stared at them then stood up. "Very well, if you wish to bother Principal Branlin I shall be there to defend myself from whatever baseless claims you might make."

Mika had only heard the same tone that Mister Graolagin's reply was spoken in a few times from her mother, and none of those times were pleasant memories.

"Mister Erhlich, I save threats for those who are more than unpleasant pests. If I threaten you there will be no doubt in anyone's mind that I have done so. As for baseless accusations, you have spoken to me regarding one of your students without once inquiring whether I had any right to hear what you revealed. What you revealed included grading young Tolar's work on the basis of her opinions rather than her ability to articulate or defend them. I am further bothered by your apparent desire to have access to her home. Not half an hour ago I was explaining to one of your colleagues that I am quite concerned with the safety and security of my employees and their kin. Of course I was praising Mister Dakin for refusing to speak without first being shown that I had any right to stand in for young Tolar's mother. So indeed, do please come along with us to see the principal."
This past week I've been doing demifiction and this is a revised version of what I posted last Monday on my DW/LJ pages. The letter and scene are a followup to a brief seed of an idea I posted last November inspired by some of what Sir-Talen had been posting at the time. At the moment it's still mostly a seed of a setting idea. Poor Mika's discovering that her mother's boss is a bit more than she'd expected.

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August 18, 2014
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