Jahx Oh, must be nearing four hundred years now.
That’s a very long time.
Jahx I suppose, although I am considered one of the young ones. Anyone under four hundred is considered fairly new to the Circle. Anyone under one hundred is basically a child.
I see. How long have you been a teacher?
Jahx Very nearly as long. I began my training and apprenticeship shortly after joining the Circle. I was a Magicker Master under my father at Grace Academy in Rowan Capital for about ten years before opening the school at Vespith. Since then, we’ve built our magicker’s program into the finest program in Rowan, including Grace Academy’s.
What is a Magicker Master?
Jahx A Magicker Master is a specialized teacher. I had to teach for two years before I took my exam. We teach magickers, but more than that, we basically end up raising them, since they often end up living at the school.
How sad! Why is that?
Jahx Magicker training is intensive. They are quite dangerous until they’ve been fully trained, and their ignorance and inability to control their magick can cause chaos. It’s our job to train them and keep them out of trouble, while teaching them to be responsible with their power and guiding them toward a productive role in society. Most parents are ill-equipped to deal with them. Many families at least keep in touch, but a fair number of parents can’t cope and abandon them at the school, so it falls to us to become their family.
You sound very devoted.
Jahx Oh yes. Teaching is my life, as it was my father’s.
Your father must have been very proud of you.
Jahx Yes, although I think he envisioned me taking over the Headmastership of Grace from him eventually. But he never discouraged me in my endeavors… ever, and he supported my project with Vespith, and did what he could to help me make a success of it. I don’t think I could have done it without him.
Sounds like you had a very good relationship with him. I understand you were adopted.
Jahx Yes, Da Otto and Mum Gretchen adopted me when I was seven. They were great people and great parents. It’s a pity they couldn’t have children of their own. I’m very fortunate they were willing to take me in.
And what was your life like prior to that?
Jahx … … …
Don’t you remember?
Jahx No, not really. It was a very long time ago.
Jahx … … … Not really. Da Otto and Mum Gretchen were the only family I ever knew, and I loved them.
OK. I get the sense you don’t really want to talk about it.
Jahx … … …
And I’d be right. So moving on… what was your transition into the Circle like?
Jahx I’d always known about the Circle and I’d been introduced to them fairly early. I knew Nathan was a mage, and I really always saw myself being one of them. Nathan hated the idea and gave me hell about it, but I just accepted that I’d be part of the Circle eventually. So it really wasn’t much of a shock to me.
What was the hardest part?
Jahx The hardest part was the actual maging process. Coubirigh are not nice! The attack was terrifying and extremely painful, and I honestly felt like death would have been more comfortable afterward. But it didn’t last long and then I was up and about, getting on with my life. Nathan was furious and refused to speak to me, until Cristov appointed him my main advisor through my novitiate. The guys, too, gave me a hard time, but I took it in stride and just kept going.
They give you a hard time about being so good-natured a lot, don’t they?
Jahx They do, but I take that in stride as well. They don’t understand that because I’m an influencer, I feel bad moods a lot more than most people. It’s actually easier for me to be cheerful and good-natured than to be in a foul temper. It’s so contrary to what I am, it’s easier to deal with things good-naturedly than to get angry about them. I believe that’s contrary to what most people experience.
That must give you a unique perspective in teaching.
Jahx It does. I feel I’m better equipped to deal with my students than the other teachers are. Whereas they get impatient and annoyed, I find it easier to remain calm, and to listen to them objectively because their tempers and whimsies and difficulties in learning don’t annoy me. As a result, I think I’m more approachable than many Headmasters and a great number of the teachers. I spend a lot of time counseling the children.
That must make it difficult to perform your Headmaster responsibilities.
Jahx Teaching is my life. It’s what I love. It doesn’t bother me that I spend the lion’s share of my days working at the school. I’m always telling my students, when you do what you love, it isn’t a chore. So it’s important to find out what that is and pursue it.
And do they?
Jahx Not always. I can only do so much for them. They ultimately have to make these decisions on their own. I would be doing them no favors in trying to force them into paths they don’t choose for themselves, even if I think it’s for the better.
It must be heartbreaking to see them going awry and not be able to do anything about it.
Jahx It comes with the territory, I’m afraid. I can counsel and counsel and counsel, but sometimes experience is the only teacher a child will listen to. Until they decide for themselves, we are powerless to do anything but try and be the best influence we can be, and hope it comes out right in the end.
You’ve had more than one difficult student, haven’t you?
Jahx I’ve had plenty.
What about Arinda? You tried to counsel her, didn’t you?
Jahx I… that’s a difficult subject for me to discuss. Arinda was a student at my school, and I’m still absolutely mortified about the whole situation.
But it wasn’t your fault. Surely you see that.
Jahx Fault is not the point. I have different responsibilities outside of the Circle than within. Parents entrust their children to me, they expect me to keep them safe. I failed Arinda. I failed her miserably.
Nathan Oh, good lord! Don’t let him go on and on about that! He’ll nurse it for weeks if you let him!
Jahx Shut up, Nathan! Who asked you?
Nathan, this is Jahx’s time to talk. Please don’t interrupt.
Nathan Fine, but I’d advise you to steer him away from that particular subject. He loves wallowing in his grief over it a little too much.
Noted. Let’s talk about your relationship with her, Jahx.
Jahx I did fail her, no matter what anyone says. It’s the ultimate line that you don’t even approach, much less cross as a teacher.
Nathan You were never her teacher! Knock it off!
Jahx I tried to work with her, but she was one of those cases where it was clear she simply refused to cooperate. In retrospect, we can certainly understand why, but I had no idea at the time or I wouldn’t have been able to get away from her fast enough.
Nathan And, once again, it would have made no difference.
NATHAN, FOR THE LAST TIME! GO AWAY!!!
Nathan I’m going! Sheesh!
Jahx I’ve got to get back to school – I have a class in ten minutes. I will say, however, that once Arinda did make the decision to open herself up to her education, she’s made an incredible impression on everyone. I wish I’d been able to influence her when she was a student here. She truly is an amazing magicker.
She’s immune to your influence, isn’t she? That must have been frustrating for you.
Jahx At first it was, while she was at Vespith. But, in the end, I’m grateful for her immunity. I never feel I have to question her motivations in our relationship. It’s a bit embarrassing, but I actually love it when she gets angry with me. Not that many people in my life are able to shout at me to my face.
Thank you for talking with us today, Jahx!
Jahx My pleasure!