I know, I know, what is this, 1998? Yes, I filled out a lengthy question sheet online and got allotted into categories as a result. Still, I liked this one. Decent insight into me, perhaps… though I am rather surprised at how very, very un-monk-like and un-paladin-esque I am! What do you think: is this an accurate assessment of me? And who are you?
I Am A: Neutral Good Elf Cleric/Sorcerer (2nd/1st Level)
Alignment: Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.
Race: Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.
Primary Class: Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron’s vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity’s domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric’s Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.
Secondary Class: Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.
(I wrote this piece originally a month ago for a competition in The Ring, the University of Victoria’s self-published vanity newspaper. The competition asked for visions of what campus might look like in fifty years’ time. Predicting the future is always fun!
It wasn’t chosen as one of their winners.)
The UVic of 2063.
The UVic of 2063 focuses on the strengths of the university system. Acknowledging the value of social and career connections made while at university, almost every building on campus comes equipped with cafes serving free coffee and tea for students (with charges for treats and fancier drinks). Large seating areas are the norm, rather than the exception.
Within classrooms, this atmosphere of shared experiences continues, with most courses focusing on in-community projectwork and small group discussions. One perhaps startling transformation has been the elimination of lecture classes, whose material is now almost exclusively packaged as digital ‘pre-homework’ to be accessed before classes even officially begin. As a result, most lecture halls on campus have been converted into performance spaces or renovated to accomodate multiple smaller classes. Esteemed ‘celebrity’ professors occasionally holographically lead classes from the comfort of their own homes.
Also within the classroom, there has been a near-complete transition from chairs to standing desks (save for those with physical difficulties). Standing desks have even now been proven to boost acuity, productivity, and health. And in a world where most students have wearable computers and implanted enhancements powered by the sugars and pulses of their wearers’ bloodstreams, the institution can hardly ask students to set aside their technology before entering the classroom. Instead, classes encourage the use of in-the-moment digital research techniques not only for projects, but also for use while contributing to conversations.
All around campus, building on UVic’s identity as an eco-conscious campus, after decades spent eliminating wildlife on campus – first with the rabbits, which in turn removed the owls and hawks, and then later removing deer after two high-profile car accidents – the university administration has pulled an aboutface and diligently worked to reintroduce as many species to the campus environment as possible. This has included a healthy rabbit population, once architectural improvements were made to secure building foundations from the burrowing animals.
With sustainability in mind, most trees, plants, and bushes on campus now produce edible crops, with students encouraged to snack on apples, plums, pears, blackberries, and raspberries – or even a dandelion leaf or stalk of kale – between classes. While grassy fields still exist outside the main library and as fields for sporting events, all other formerly non-functional lawnspace on university land has been allowed to grow into natural landscapes.
In an effort to promote higher education, the provincial and federal governments have set up two student loan systems, one similar to our current model, and another aimed at making education more accessible, which instead deducts a percentage of the student’s earnings for ten years post-graduation, effectively functioning as an income tax.
One misstep was the construction of a new intestine-inspired building, found to be even more confusing to navigate than Cornett. On the whole, however, the UVic of 2063 is a vibrant, active learning community treasured for its education experience.
(Not too bad, eh? A few neat extrapolations based on current trends, a few in-jokes for UVicers… well, I like it, anyway.)
A month ago, my brother and I submitted for the Canadian version of The Amazing Race. While we haven’t been chosen, we had a fun time ‘training’ at Science World (where I work), and I thought you might get a kick out of the video.
Also: Video editing is still as fun as ever… but also still as time-consuming as ever! Sheesh.
Sorry for the radio silence, but being in a hush-hush secretive National Voice Intensive doesn’t allow much time (or ability to add content). Still, what I can share with you is the audio recording of me (with Henry Beasley and Max Friesen) performing The Trapper Song with a RIDICULOUS French accent as part of Rock Theatre Co.’s A Shpadoinkle Musical: A Tribute To The Music Of Matt Stone And Trey Parker, at the Backstage Lounge on Granville Island. That was a TON of fun.
Also, I believe this may be the first time I’ve ever had anything I’ve sung be professionally-ish recorded. Gotta say – I’d love to sing some more to hear how I sound after going through a good mic and sound system. Maybe even without a silly accent one of these days. 🙂
How to be labeled a Renaissance Man? Follow every opportunity, and then agree to be profiled for University publicity, apparently.
Let’s pick up a copy of the University of Victoria’s 2012-2013 Canadian Viewbook and see what’s inside!
Aaand… head over to page 10…
Or for a closer look…
Here’s the text (based on my responses to their questions):
A Renaissance man in the purest sense, Andrew is a little bit of everything. He’s an actor, writer, director, student senator, peer helper, faux physicist, editor, study group leader, part-time lab supervisor and rare sleeper. And he’s been to enough cast parties to fill up three memory cards with photos. Spy him volunteering in every nook and cranny of campus when he’s not churning out yet another five-star performance on the main stage of UVic’s Phoenix Theatre.
“Go join clubs, get into politics, volunteer, audition if that’s your thing; make an effort to connect in every way you can. When I became engaged with everything happening around me, that’s when campus came alive.”
They even included a link to this blog! How kind.
And now that I have graduated, and have since been an actor, science facilitator, playwright, stage manager, tutor, director, pirate, extra, web assistant, improv workshop leader and more (as can be seen on my photographic wrap-up of 2011, found here), I’m happy to not be proving them wrong.