On the Topic of Pain and Life [Single]

Ranging from labs to lecture halls; where the students go to learn and study.
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Professor W B Copperfield
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:58 am
Age: 42
Gender Identity: Male
Race: Human
Aura Color: Transparent light blue
Occupation: Professor of Dust and Semblance Usage, Beacon
Semblance Name: Forzare
Weapon Name: Foci and Rod

"...So that's how I decided to use a cloak to glide to where I wanted to go instead of a broom to fly in any direction." Copperfield drew a line underscoring the words 'IT WORKS BEST FOR MY NEEDS' on the chalkboard.

A student rose their hand but didn't bother getting chosen on before asking her question, "And it had nothing to do with the pains of broken ribs or a cracked neck?"

"Weeeelll..." Copperfield began and the whole class started laughing. He smiled and waited for them to quiet down before continuing. "Pain is..." He took a long look around the room at the faces of his students. He knew some of their backgrounds. "Some of you are hear because of pain. Pain of loved ones, you're own pain, you know. Or you're hear because of a family legacy. Or you're hear because it's the right thing. That's why I'm here, at least. I believe it's the right thing. But even those of you who have had pain, there's something you should know, going forward." He moved and sat on the edge of his desk. He had to stretch his long legs outward to be comfortable. He took a second to think through his words.

"Some of you, probably most of you, don't really know pain. Sure, you've had pains. Maybe you're mentor betrayed you, or you got hurt pretty bad growing up. And while you're all still kids, you're about that age where growing up is a big part of your life. I bet a lot of people have told you that you need to grow up when you made a stupid joke. Or maybe someone has said that you've grown up fast. But what I've learned about growing up is that it's all about getting hurt. And then getting over it."

"You hurt. You recover. You move on. Odds are pretty good you're gonna get hurt again. But each time, you learn something. Each time you come out of it a little stronger. And at some point you learn there are more flavors of pain than..."
He looked around the room, spotted his mug on the desk and picked it up. "More flavors of pain than coffee." There was a gentle giggle that washed over the class as he set it back down. He spoke slowly, thinking over his words as he said them.

"There's the little empty pain of leaving something behind. Graduating. Taking the next step forward, taking the next step out of something familiar and into the great chaotic unknown. There's the big whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There's the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure pains of successes that didn't give you what you thought they would. There's the vicious stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There's the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens. And if you're very, very lucky, there are a very few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection. An instant of triumph or happiness or mirth that which at the same time cannot possibly last. But will remain with you for life.

"Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it. Pain... is for the living. Only the dead don't feel it. Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it's a big part, and sometimes it isn't, but either way it's part of the Big Puzzle. The Deep Music. The Great Game.

"Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you are alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves it's mark. And everything important that will every happen to you in life is going to involve it one degree or another."

He took a breath. "Like for example..." He clasped his hands together. His eyes looked more at the ground and his shoes that up at his students. "Cooking blunders I've had to eat anyway. Equipment and property constantly breaking down and needing attention and maintenance. Tax insanity... Late bills... Unpleasant jobs that give you horribly aching feet. Odd looks from people who didn't know me when something utterly less than normal happened. The occasional night when the lonliness makes you ache so bad it makes you weep. The occasional social gathering during which I wanted to escape to my empty apartment so bad I was willing to go out the bathroom window. Muscle pulls and aches you never had when you were younger. The annoyance as the price of Dust keeps going up to some rediculous degree. The irritation with unruly neighbors, brainless media personalities and various politicians who all seem to fall on the spectrum somewhere between the extremes of 'crook' and 'moron'. "

"You know."


There was silence for a long moment as everything sunk in, though some were giggling at their teacher calling politicians morons. "What were we talking about again?" He turned and look at the board. "Oh right, the gliding cloak. So sure, while maybe the broken bones had something to do with my decision and pain doesn't feel very good, that wasn't the deciding factor. Any other questions?"

[OOC: I cannot take credit for this great lesson, I found it in a book I'm reading by Jim Butcher and thought it would be a great lesson for Copperfield to teach. Feel free to have any and all of your characters have been part of this class period if you want them to have heard it.]
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