11 September 2010


Locus Focus: Take Eighteen!

This week I continue the School Settings theme. =) Speaking very personally now, I find it very soothing--if only in an escapist sort of way--to read about such wonderful learning environments. But I'll admit that has less to do with the settings themselves than with the students one finds in them.

And yes, I know I'm kind of late this week. Those of you who remember when my CPU went on strike and my keyboard went crazy will not be surprised to hear that it was the monitor's fault this week. Sigh!

Metron Ariston
A Wind in the Door
by Madeleine L'Engle

"What's Metron Ariston? Is it a planet?"

"No. It's an idea, a postulatum. I find it easier to posit when I'm in my home galaxy, so we are near the Mondrion solar system of the Veganuel galaxy. The stars I see are those I know, those which I see from my home planet."

"Why are we here?"

"The postulatum Metron Ariston makes it possible for all sizes to become relative. Within Metron Ariston you may be sized so that you are able to converse with a giant star or a tiny farandola."

While we're on the subject of dream classrooms, let's look at one which defies the very concept of a room. In our age of cyber classrooms, I suppose we can see Metron Ariston as the first (or one of the first) virtual classrooms in literature--one in which the students' and teacher's age, size and distance from each other don't matter in the least.

Indeed, the immateriality of such factors is the first lesson--made clear when the first two human students meet their more unusual classmates. The first, a cherubim (yes, plural, although there is only one of him), gripes a little about being in "a class with such immature earthlings." Although he himself is, "in cherubic terms, still a child," he is also several light-years older than the two earthling pre-teens. Later, the class is completed by a farandola, so small that he is microscopic to things which are microscopic to us. He has no trouble admitting that he "was born only yesterday." The teacher himself is from another galaxy.

Such "diversity" (to borrow another term from our own jargon) is only possible in a classroom where time and space don't matter. And such a classroom is necessary when beings as varied as a young cherubim, a dried up school principal, and a snotty farandola need to learn the same lessons about naming, deepening, and loving.

But Metron Ariston is only the first stop, necessary to orient our characters to the realities of space and time. Only then can they proceed to a world so tiny that, where our human technology is concerned, it is only a theory--as much of a postulatum as Metron Ariston itself.

Now it's your turn!
Leave the link to your Locus Focus post in the linky
and take some time to check out and comment on those of others.
I can't wait to read what everyone has to say! =D

Quick Link to This Week's Other Locus Focus

Evelyn Waugh's Oxford University @ Birdie's Nest

Image Source: A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle


antiaphrodite said...

I offer my deep sympathy and empathy regarding your computer problems. I mean, srsly.

Birdie said...

*waving cheerily*
I'm glad to see you, though I am so sorry about your computer difficulties.
I was afraid there would be no Locus Focus this week and that made me a sad Birdie :)
But here we are!

Enbrethiliel said...


Antiaphrodite: Thank you! It seems to want to fall apart piece by piece. The mouse might go next. =S

Birdie: I think all Internet cafes within a ten mile radius of my home would have to be underwater for me to miss a Locus Focus!

Thanks for contributing something again this week. =)

Sibylle said...

Excellent focus! I have to admit I'm completely obsessed with boarding schools in fiction. I think it goes back to my obsessive extensive love of Harry Potter which started it all, I've no idea where to find more of them, I've read the Chalet School stories are good but have yet to give them a try. As for university, I have bitter-sweet memories of Oxford myself but it's always a pleasant feeling to recognize it in fiction.

Birdie said...

heheh So glad there ARE internet cafes in the vicinity!
Locus Focus actually seems to be the most consistent thing in my life atm, so I'm more than happy to keep up with it. XD

Enbrethiliel said...


Sibylle: Oh, I love boarding schools as well! =D All throughout high school, I wished I could go to one instead of my day school--and preferably one in a place with snowy winters (LOL!).

Thanks for visiting! I'll look into the Chalet School books.

Birdie: Locus Focus as the most consistent thing in someone's life? I think that's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about my blogging. ;-)

*big bear hug in return*