Re: Opportune Conversations Over the Buffet Table ((Attn: Ko'ssen, Valesa))


Valesa nodded, the light coming back into her eyes. She was not one to be down long. Her naturally cheerful nature would always shine through.

"I wasn't exactly having second thoughts," she said, "I was realizing just how much more this job would entail, and it really sounds like a good thing. I do have experience in dragon allergies--Elioth is allergic to fish. She couldn't have any at all when she was a weyrling, now, she can have it like once a month. I know dragon allergies are rare, but this is a good thing to have in a person.

"I doubt there's anything in my file--the worst thing I've done is throw parties. Elioth loves parties--she's so social, so when we chose a weyr she chose one that would be easily accessible to almost anyone. The Feast-Crashers put on the best parties. We even have memorials for those of us who have fallen." She took a moment to take a breath as a wisp of sadness crossed her face. "I think that'll be the hardest part about being a Weyrlingmaster: watching your students die from stupid mistakes. But that's also why you need more of us, because with more teachers, the groups are smaller and you can spend more time with each individual person. Our class was one of the biggest, I think." She giggled. "Or, maybe we thought so. But they did have a harder time with us because it was such a large class.

"So, yes, I'd be willing to shadow someone. Best way to train, probably. Book learning just doesn't always do it--it's getting your hands dirty that gets things through your head." She took a deep breath and a drink of water, and smiled at Ko'ssen.

On Sat, Aug 29, 2020 at 1:25 AM Rosiegirl <rosiegirl872@...> wrote:

Ko’ssen noticed the young woman’s blush as he lowered his hand, and tried to wave it off as if she didn’t need to be embarrassed for not having noticed it. He also noticed that Valesa bit her lip, and wondered if just his questions were making her re-think her decision or if he was making her nervous. *He* didn’t think he was intimidating, but he did recognize that not only being a bronzerider but also the WLM might be intimidating for some people, no matter how friendly he was with them. 

Still, when she began speaking Ko’ssen focused his warm brown eyes on her and gave her his full attention. As she spoke about mentorship for younger riders, newly graduated riders, even Valesa should be able to tell that there was clear interest and consideration on his face as she talked. 

When she finished speaking, Ko’ssen was silent for a long moment, clearly considering her words carefully, her history as well as her suggestion about training up young riders as AWLMs. Finally he began with, a AWLM mentorship is actually something I’d had an idea for, when I first began WLM, but I wasn’t able to fully flesh out that idea with everything else going on. So, you do have some good points, about riders who’d been in the Wings at least 2 turns, to have some experience, who could be good teachers and training them into AWLMs.”

He paused there, still thinking a bit, before continuing with “And what you’d mentioned about yourself, the fact that you impressed at your very first Hatching, means that with having so little time as a Candidate yourself...especially if it was under a full turn as a candidate, that you’d probably have a leg up on relating to any weyrling who, similar to you, impresses after very minimal time as candidates themselves. You could relate to them feeling unprepared and overwhelmed with things they never got a chance to know as a candidate.” Here, just to make sure she didn’t think he was calling her out, Ko’ssen smiled and said “Just like I myself would have that same ability to relate to them, having impressed only a few short months after turning 12 and joining candidacy myself. Although your experiences in weyrlinghood, I dare to say, are *quite* a few turns fresher for you than they are for myself. But I can also certainly relate to weyrlings being stuck in that limbo of ungraduated after the rest of their class has graduated because of being underaged…” He faded off there with a smile at the young woman who looked...just so very young to him before continuing with.

“As to getting bored easily, well there’s not much that’s boring about being an AWLM. You’ve *always* got something different to do: walking the barracks at night, paperworks on incidents or talks you have with weyrlings, coming up with new lessons or teaching strategies if you feel like some subject isn’t getting covered sufficiently when it should be, actually *talking* with weyrlings...believe me, my door could very well be considered a swinging door with how often I have visitors. And beyond that, each class has their own concerns specific to not only that group of weyrlings but hatchlings as well, so being able to think on your feet is a plus as it’s not often that you’re coming up against the same issue twice, as least not the same issues for the same *reason* because everyone feels differently about Impression. The idea that Impression automatically means ultimate love and adoration, yes on the dragon side that’s true, but it’s become clear that’s not a guarantee on the new weyrling’s side, and that feeling their lifemate’s love can cause problems instead of being accepted and embraced wholly by the weyrling.”

Having given himself time to think, as he spoke about her idea and then her history, Ko’ssen then added with a smile at Valesa “I do appreciate the initiative you’ve shown in seeking me out, as I *do* actually need additional AWLMs for this next clutch but haven't put out notice yet. And, while I didn’t have a chance before to iron out all the details about how a mentorship for AWLMs in training should go, the idea isn’t a bad one at all. I’m thinking, getting paired with a longer term AWLM, shadowing them to learn the ropes and see what all the duties of an AWLM are like, for 6 months before the trainee get’s promoted to full AWLM following a review of their mentorship and the trainee not making any colossal mistakes. And, of course, like you mentioned if the trainee feels at any point that they aren’t a good fit as an AWLM, they are free to return to the Wings and whatever craft they were working on before.”

“So, keeping in mind that there’s still details that need to be fleshed out fully about a mentorship program for AWLMs-in-training, I would welcome you as the first trainee if I haven't already put you off completely by the descriptions I've given." Here, Ko'ssen's lips turned up in a small smile before continuing with "That’s, of course, baring getting a chance to look over your file just to see if there’s any issues that would drastically prevent you from joining the WLM team, which if your file accurately reflects you as the motivated young woman sitting in front of me I don’t foresee any problems. It’s just that with this clutch and it’s twin golds I need to make sure I do things by the book, you understand I hope.” 

Ko’ssen’s final words, the offer with the condition of getting a chance to check out her file, he hoped didn’t sound harsh or off-putting to the young woman. As he wanted to be clear that he *was* offering her a position as an ‘AWLM-in-training’. He just also had to follow protocol and couldn’t just accept anyone as an AWLM, especially with 2 gold weyrlings soon to be in the barracks, and that he hoped she understood his explanation.

On Mon, Aug 17, 2020 at 7:27 AM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
The first thing Valesa noticed was Ko'ssen drawing his hand back, and for the first time she blushed in embarrassment. She hadn't even seen him offer his hand! How could she be expected to do anything if she was this un-observant?

Also, his questions had her realizing that maybe she had jumped the gun on this AWLM thing. What did she know, after all? Except...she was good with people. Her Healer training had that down, and she enjoyed it, but she didn't care for having to bandage up her friends and wingmates. Though sending out fresh-faced students into danger wasn't much better...

Dragonriding was dangerous. She was starting to understand why there were so many alcoholics in the Wings. She bit her lip, for the first time feeling unsure of her wants.

"Honestly, I was Searched, came to the Weyr, and Impressed at the first Clutch I Stood at. I barely got a chance to be known in the Infirmary--I was an apprentice Healer. And I don't dislike Healing, and if I'm not right for this, that's what I'll do when I'm not being a dragonrider." She cast her eyes down. "I get bored easily. That's why I didn't go into the Bakercraft like my mother. It's too routine, unless you're trying to make something new. The new is what excites me, and even though there will always be routine in every Craft, this seemed to be something I could really get into."

Crossing her arms, she leaned toward the Weyrling Master. "I know I'm young and inexperienced. But in a way, isn't that what you might be able to work with better? I'm not set in my ways yet.  And maybe I don't become a full AWLM at first. How about an assistant to the assistants? Maybe you should think about a mentorship for those newly graduated riders who have the potential to become good teachers. Grab us while we're young." And now, she wasn't even talking about herself, but about anyone who could be groomed early for this job. Training Weyrlings could be a delicate process, at the very least.

On Sun, Aug 16, 2020 at 5:25 PM Rosiegirl <rosiegirl872@...> wrote:
Seeing her wide eyes and laugh as Ko'ssen asked for her to introduce herself, even though she'd not taken his offered hand of greeting, the WLM couldn't help his own smile widening in response. As she introduced herself, the mention of the 'Feast Crashers' told him (through his study since becoming WLM) that she impressed about 4 and a half turns ago, meaning that unless she'd been held back from graduating Weyrlinghood for whatever reason that she's been a full fledged Rider for only around 3 turns....

Shells, only 3 turns out of Weyrlinghood herself and she wants to be an AWLM? Well, at the very least she'd have it a bit more fresh in her memory than his own Weyrlinghood experiences, and that *could* be helpful. But the other potential problem is...based on how old Ko'ssen thought she looked, some of the potential weyrlings who impress could be *older* than her, so how would she manage a class where she could be younger than some of the weyrlings. But, she also had a point about weyrlings possibly being able to relate to a younger AWLM better...

When she finished speaking Ko'ssen pulled himself out of his musing and said with a smile as he lowered his previously offered hand back to the table "Well Greenrider Valesa, it's a pleasure to meet you." 

With that, Ko'ssen straightened up slightly and turned to the topic of conversation. He gave her a brief nod of acknowledgement as he began with "While you do have a point, that some weyrlings could potentially be able to relate better to a younger AWLM, there's a bit more to being an AWLM than that. Beyond getting them to feel comfortable enough to confide in you about any problems they are having, you need to be observant enough to be able to detect changes in each of the weyrling's behavior that could be indicative of them having some kind of problem that they *havent* confided in one of the WLM team. I'm under no illusions that each weyrling is totally and entirely honest with us when they are struggling, despite the clear emphasis we've put on the fact that issues in Weyrlinghood can possibly cause them some real, possibly even life threatening, trouble down the road. And that's even before the 'teaching, issues & conflict resolution, and even discipline' aspects of the job."

Looking at her for a moment, considering his next words, Ko'ssen continued with "I'm not sure how much you're aware of regarding some of the structuring changes that we've implemented recently, but I'll go ahead and explain. While we *do* still have the large 'class-wide' lessons that you'd be familiar with from your own weyrling training, that's only the beginning part of each lesson now. After one of the WLM team leads the 'class-wide' lesson, then each class breaks up into their small 'mentor groups' for more in depth discussion and questions/answer sessions. Each smaller 'mentor group' is assigned their own specific AWLM, so ideally you get a chance to *really* know and connect with those specific weyrlings who are your mentees, which should help you to be able to see any of those small behavior changes hinting at possible issues that I mentioned before. And it's a bit of an easier system to help the shyer weyrlings actually get a chance to speak up in their smaller 'mentor groups' too, compared to the 'class-wide' lessons. However, I say this because each AWLM does eventually lead one of the 'class-wide' lessons for whichever weyrling class they are assigned to, not just their small mentor group."

Giving her a moment to absorb all that information, Ko'ssen took a sip of the juice in front of him before asking a mostly simple few questions "I know you've not been a full Rider for more than a few turns, based on your weyrling class, but how long were you a candidate before impressing? Have you had a chance, either as a long-term candidate or since joining the Wings, to shadow someone or be their assistant? And just to clarify *why* I'm asking this, I'm not just asking for the paperwork side of being an assistant, but for being able to observe someone in a more 'leading' type position handling the people that fall under them, similar to how an AWLM would be handling the weyrlings under them."

Overall, with his words and attitude Ko'ssen wasn't giving off the impression of declining her request to be an AWLM, he was only trying to not just give *her* more information, but also get more information himself of the rider seeking this AWLM position. He was trying to be *careful*, considering this next weyrling class would have 2 gold weyrlings in it...

On Wed, Aug 5, 2020 at 6:21 PM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
Valesa's eyes widened, and she laughed. It never occurred to her that he didn't know who she was. Not that she considered herself popular, but over the Turns since she'd Impressed she'd made a lot of friends, and it was rare to go anywhere someone didn't know her.

"I'm sorry Weyrl...Ko'ssen. I'm Valesa, rider of green Elioth, of the Feast Crashers." She put her hands on the table and focused on him. "I know that I've only been a rider for four Turns, and I'm probably a bit young for the job, but sometimes people can relate to a younger person." 

{{And you're not shy, and not easily flustered,}} Elioth added. Valesa grinned, mentally shushing her dragon. Elioth was right, but if he didn't know her, he'd find out for himself.

On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 9:15 PM Rosiegirl <rosiegirl872@...> wrote:
Watching the young woman as she slid into the offered seat across from him, when she just started talking without taking the opening he'd left to introduce herself it actually took a second for Ko'ssen to catch up with her unexpected words. 

So, as she rambled before that first breath, Ko'ssen just blinked at her as he tried to listen, probably looking a little more awkward than he had before she had started speaking. 

When she finished the rush with asking about becoming an assistant weyrlingmaster, Ko'ssen sat there for a moment looking her over as he worked through everything she's said in such a rush. She looked young...much younger than any of his current AWLMs, but he wasn't sure how old she really was, and realistically she *could* have impressed very early as a candidate and so could have more years as a rider than he thought, so age wasn't necessarily an issue. 

However, instead of answering her initial question Ko'ssen held his hand out to her and said with a friendly smile "With such a large clutch on the Sands, I appreciate your interest in becoming an assistant weyrlingmaster and we can certainly talk about that. However, I apologize Miss. You know who I am, but I've not had the pleasure of meeting you before. Please, call me Ko'ssen. Even now it's still a little odd to just be called 'Weyrlingmaster.'"

On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 11:15 AM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
That was all she needed, just a way in. Without hesitation she slid into the seat across from him.

"I've been thinking...I need more to do. And even though my training has been mostly Healer, and some meal preparations, I'd rather be out and about with the dragons. Impressing Elioth changed my life--for the better, of course--but I've noticed that not everyone feels that way at first. Sure, they love their dragons, but it's a huge change, even though the Candidatemasters warn us about that change."

She stopped to take a breath, then chuckled. "Usually the most hardheaded ones are the ones Impressed. Probably because they have the mental strength to handle a dragon. So, I was wondering, what would it take to be an assistant weyrlingmaster?"

{{A bit rushed, but not bad.}}

(ooc: Short isn't bad. Some conversations are short, so...)

On Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 1:00 AM Rosiegirl <rosiegirl872@...> wrote:

Sitting there at an out of the way table in the Dining Hall instead of his office, Ko’ssen was actually very surprised that he’d managed *nearly* a full meal without interruption. He was just finishing up the last of the roast herdbeast and steamed tubers when he heard a respectful voice asking after him. 


Pulling his head up, focusing not on the plates in front of him but on the tall, pretty, young woman, a greenrider based on her knots, who had approached the table he was sitting at, Ko’ssen straightened up even as he raised a napkin to wipe off his hands and then wipe at his mouth. It only took a moment cleaning up before he was saying politely as he gave a wave of his hand in silent invitation toward the seat across from him “Yes. How can I help you, Miss..?”

((OOC: Apologies for how short this reply is! Ko'ssen surprised by a random greenrider approaching him and has no idea why she sought him out. Which was the plan. *grins*))


On Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 7:42 PM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:

On Wed, Jul 29, 2020 at 7:38 PM Laurie Hicks <laurie.lynne@...> wrote:
Lately Valesa had been wanting more. More what, she didn't know. While it didn't bring her down, she hadn't been quite as bubbly as normal. 

Maybe it was the eggs on the Sands. Ever Hatching, she remembered hers, where the earth moved, and all the dragons hatched at once. It was scary, but it was wonderful, with Elioth becoming hers. And maybe that was the thing: she wanted others to feel about their dragons the way she felt about hers.

{{Awww. You really like me,}} Elioth said, humor threaded through the words.

[[Well, yeah. It's been too quiet lately. I want to do something.]]

{{There are eggs on the Sands, and a Weyrlingmaster in the dining hall.}}

[[I'm too young. They won't take me seriously.]]

{{We've been together five Turns. Plenty of time to learn how to teach someone. Go. Zelenth's is in there.}}

That was an idea. While she'd rather talk to an assistant, talking to Ko'ssen would speed things up--for good or bad.

He was at an out of the way table. Perfect. She waited until he was almost done before walking up to him.

"Weyrlingmaster?" she said. Not exactly shyly; she wasn't a shy person. But with the right amount of respect.

On Mon, Jul 27, 2020 at 12:30 PM Rosiegirl <rosiegirl872@...> wrote:
It seemed...almost planned that Ko'ssen would run out of klah in his small office klah-pot right around the same time that his stomach rumbled, letting him know that he'd spent *much* too long in the office today. He'd had breakfast, but he'd been so focused he'd worked through lunch and now it was toward the end of dinner time when he unburied himself from his work enough to focus on the world around him. He slowly stretched in his chair, back popping as tense muscles and joints were pulled, and let out a yawn so wide his jaw sounded like it creaked. As he straightened up and let out a sigh of relief at the stretch, Ko'ssen decided he needed to follow his stomach's instructions and go and get some dinner. Then he'd be able to keep working. 

So, with the decision made, Ko'ssen quickly made his way out of the barracks and over to the dining hall. He headed through the large cavernous room to the buffet tables set up for dinner and, having skipped lunch, filled a plate with not just some meatrolls but a thick slab of roast herdbeast, some steamed mixed veggies, and a couple of fresh bread rolls. He'd even scooped into a bowl some thick meat and tuber stew. With that, he left the buffet table and headed to one of the small, back out of the way tables. On his way to the table he'd spotted, he asked one of the passing kitchen staff if they could please bring a small pitcher of chilled juice and a mug to his table, which earned the WLM a brisk nod. 

With that, Ko'ssen reached the table and before he could even tuck into his food the juice he'd asked for had arrived, which he thanked them for. Pouring himself a mug from the provided pitcher, he took a sip of the cold juice, letting it refresh him a bit in the heat, before setting the plate to one side and beginning on his bowl of stew. 


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