People Are Just People Like You [open]

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People Are Just People Like You [open]

Post  Victoria Larkin on Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:08 am

Victoria Larkin was dead determined, and it was not a pretty state to behold. She had spent several sleepless nights evaluating the decisions that had lead her here, and while not all of them were good ones, they had ultimately lead her to the right place. Who was she to abandon these children simply because they were broken, because she was scared? Who was she to give up and retreat and crawl back to Cambridge, to beg for her old job back, to stop struggling and rest on her meagre, wilted laurels? She was angry at herself for even thinking it. It was like giving up on herself fifteen years in the past; she was just as bad as every authority figure in Olney had been. She may as well have been the mayor of the place. Her silent, self-directed rage had spawned three angry poems and a poster proclaiming, 'Victoria is a Cunt' in flowery letters. She would have hung it up, but Nadiya, her housemate, probably wouldn't have appreciated the sentiment.

This morning, Victoria had sat down, drank her requisite six cups of coffee, made her lesson plans, and felt immensely better about everything. Maybe she wasn't such a cunt after all. Then she chastised herself for being thirty one and still using the word 'cunt' in any manner to describe anything. She was a teacher; she should have a more varied and sophisticated vocabulary. After her inner tantrum was over, she felt serene, felt like she could take on anything and anyone, felt like she could hypo a three hundred pound psychopath and then wrestle a rhinoceros. It was just that kind of day. The feeling had declined in intensity after her little caffeine high had ended, but it was still a good day, dammit. She knew that tomorrow and the next day and the next day would be harder, would be terrible sometimes, would be full of conundrums that were hurtful and confusing and frustrating. But she would take it all, take it cheerfully, because Victoria was sick of being a flaky quitter.

She was free at the moment, so she was headed to the library. Firstly, she needed some new reading materials; anything would do, Victoria wasn't picky. Reading had always been a joy for her for as long as she could remember, and now that things had settled down a litte here, she would have time to do so again. Secondly, she wanted to see what their selection of poetry looked like, as she wanted to read some to the class, something that wasn't the canned garbage they filled the literature books with. They always picked the worst examples to stuff the pages of textbooks with, and Victoria wasn't having any of it. She would find her own poetry, thanks. Entering the library, she immediately made a beeline for the poetry section, giving a friendly nod and a smile to the librarian as they passed one another. Better take care of professional obligations first and find the materials for her class. There were few students in the library; that didn't surprise her at all. Most of them weren't really of the recreational reading type. As she browsed the shelves, she thought she felt someone else near and looked up. She'd been correct. There was someone looking at the books on the shelves next to these, and she smiled a complacent, friendly smile at them, gave them a little nod. Nice to see someone else interested in literature.
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Victoria Larkin

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Re: People Are Just People Like You [open]

Post  Miranda Samedi on Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:09 am

Miranda was wandering around the new school, trying to get to know the place. After all, as the receptionist she was supposed to know her way around, know the buildings, get a feel for the place; her job involved showing new students around, and she wouldn't be classed as a credible staff member if she got lost whilst doing so. Her explorations, unfortunately, had ended up getting her lost - there was always the option of asking somebody for directions back to the main building, of course, but she felt too undignified to ask a student for help. For a few minutes she truly got to know the far end of the building, seemingly miles away from the administrative area that she actually knew her way around - well, she knew her desk, and that was enough. After peeking through various doors, Mia finally found one that looked like a safe refuge; the library.

Reading was high on her list of enjoyable activities, up there with knitting and watching Coronation Street - not that she would ever admit to liking the program that seemed designed especially with sad old women in mind. It was her dirty little secret - one of them, anyway. Idly thinking about the next episode, and how she could get away with watching it without her roommate finding out, Mia began to wander through the rows of bookshelves. Secretly pleased to find the place almost completely free of students (she could just imagine them, destroying the precious books in a fit of anger) she stopped occasionally to read the blurb of a certain book, fascinated by the wide range. Many of her favorites were not there, the trashy Joan Collin ones for instance having been replaced with teenage fiction - but there was plenty of new material, much more than enough to last her through at least a year at Highgrove. Her outlook on life suddenly became a whole lot brighter.

Stopping to look at a book that possessed a particularly interesting spine, although the contents appeared less than thrilling, Mia smiled at the woman browsing the poetry section just a shelf away. She looked young, attractive, but quite definitely not one of the students - perhaps in her late twenties, and lacking the sort of desperate, slightly crazy look that she used to tell the younger members of staff and older residents apart. No, Victoria definitely worked at Highgrove - Mia had never seen her around, but seeing as she had been at the home for a grand total of six hours, that wasn't a huge surprise. She had barely been introduced to anybody.

Figuring it was time to make connections with the other members of staff, she stepped a little closer to the other woman. "Hello," she greeted her. "I'm Miranda, Miranda Samedi. I just arrived today, I'm the receptionist." She wondered if Victoria would recognize the surname, or just assume it was a coincidence if she had met the resident doctor. Mia wouldn't have said that she was ashamed of her relationship to Gabriel, just that she wasn't desperate to have people know that whilst he had become a successful doctor, she had become a mere receptionist. "I got a little lost, this place is like a maze, and I'm expected to start showing new children around whenever they start arriving." Laughing a little, she extended her hand to Victoria. "How long have you been at Highgrove?"
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Re: People Are Just People Like You [open]

Post  Victoria Larkin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:44 am

Victoria shook the woman's hand politely and smiled widely at her. She hadn't been expecting actual conversation, but it was a pleasant surprise. The name sounded familiar, but she couldn't place it for some reason...she just wrote it off as a former student or some such lax association. The teacher could never remember names, never stick them to a face, a skill which she probably should have accrued by now. The new receptionist seemed friendly enough, aging a little but sweet. At this point Victoria was glad of any human contact she could acquire besides that of her students -- she had discovered that she liked being around people too much to stop doing it so suddenly. The years of actually having friends had spoiled her.

"Victoria Larkin; I'm a teacher," she replied. "I've been here for about a month and a half, I would say. The place gets less confusing after a while; it's not too hard to catch on once you've been here. I usually manage to make it to my classroom and back, anyway." She laughed a little at her own joke. Victoria couldn't help but wonder how or why the woman had found her way to the library right away; she must really have been lost. Nevertheless, she had been browsing the selection, which meant she was actually interested in the contents of the books upon the shelves. "I was just looking for some good poetry to read to my class. The stuff they put in the lesson books is atrocious, and I think the class deserves a little better. They're a good bunch of kids, really, beneath it all. " She didn't know why she felt that she needed to defend them, but she did. Probably because she assumed that everyone would walk in with much the same prejudice that she had had when she walked in. As a teacher, she was closer to the kids daily on a more emotional level than a lot of the other staffers;Victoria always thought of her class as a family, no matter who or where they were, no matter how corny that was to say. As dumb as she had thought it was to begin with, the growing paper chain on her wall always made her smile whenever she saw it. To distract from the strange protective tone of herlast comment, she said,

"What were you looking at? Um, sorry if that's a bit weird to ask...I don't get a lot of opportunities to talk about novels here. Not a lot of interest, you know." Victoria let out a snorting laugh and smiled apologetically. She knew that she was a bit of a weirdo, and that it would probably alienate every one of her coworkers before it was all said and done, but she could hardly present a facade now. It was too late for that. Remember, take it as it comes, even if it's sour and bad and everyone deserting you because you simply cannot act your age for more than two minutes. Just don't accidentally drop the f-bomb at her and you'll probably be fine.
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