• Published 15th Apr 2016
  • 9,828 Views, 93 Comments

The Pursuit of Academic Excellence (and Ice Cream) - Pineta



The events which took place at Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns in the immediate aftermath of Twilight Sparkle's entrance test.

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Part 2: The Sky’s the Limit

The foals who entered Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns came from many different backgrounds. Some were from well-educated upper class families and had been groomed to follow their parents: taught basic thaumatology as foals and enrolled in the best magic kindergartens. They arrived at the school with the confidence of those who had always known this was where they would complete their education.

Other students came from humble backgrounds, but had dreamt of attending the school, and by determination, hard work, and many late nights of private study achieved their ambition. Although often stricken with anxiety, once accepted into the school they soon felt at home in the friendly community.

Let us now consider the entrance into the esteemed seat of learning of the one destined to become known as the Great and Honourable Spike the Brave and Glorious. Born in a unique magical energy burst, the first dragon to enter the institution had literally shattered multiple crystal ceilings before he was a minute old.

His first memories were all very muddled: a series of bright lights and loud noises as he emerged from his shell. He had no time to get to grips with being a baby dragon, before he became a fully grown dragon. His head shot through the roof and he gazed upon the magical landscape of Canterlot. Then he fell back to ground. Things started to calm down and he could make out coloured shapes moving around him. The funny ones floating in the air. The big white one who moved slowly. Then, his favourite, the little purple one who started bouncing up and down. He stuck his tail in his mouth and lay back to watch them.

The moving shapes disappeared. Spike waited for them to return. He sucked happily on his tail. Then after some minutes it occurred to him that they might never come back. He would be left alone in this strange world forever. The terror of cold loneliness gripped him and he let out a mighty cry. Unfortunately heard by nopony as all staff and students were attending to other business, having shamefully neglected the needs of a new-born baby.

Spike cried his eyes out for a few minutes until he forgot he was lonely and became aware of a new sensation. He was hungry. Instinct drove him to experiment. He bit into his tail. Ouch! First lesson learned. Tails are not for eating. He crawled around and found a bit of egg shell. This went into his mouth. Crunch. That was good. What was next? His claws found some pieces of broken wood which had once been a small cart.

The high-fibre organic material had a different effect on the newborn dragon’s metabolism than egg shell. After swallowing Spike felt a bit funny. Then he let out a loud belch. The gas coming out of his mouth ignited into a huge green fireball. Spike blinked, then fell back laughing. That was cool. He could breathe fire!


On the exterior wall of the school, midway between the second and third floor windows, Professor Crystal Clear grasped the ivy vine with her teeth and pulled her body up little by little. I could do this perfectly fine, she said to herself, if only my head would stop spinning, but then if my head was clear, I would just teleport so I wouldn’t have to. Climbing up the ivy covered wall was harder than it looked. Professor Arpeggio, thanks to plenty of practice as a student, raced upwards and disappeared through the third floor window in no time. Apple Polish and Crystal Clear were struggling.

“Next year,” said Apple Polish, who was just a little higher up than Crystal Clear, “I am booking a sabbatical for July and August. I will visit my aunt in Manehattan and do some research at the city library. You will have to manage the admissions exams without me.”

Crystal Clear pulled herself up a little further, first gripping one vine between her hooves and then another in her teeth. Then she released the grip of her jaw and spat out the foul-tasting leaves. “There won’t be any admission tests next year. I’ve had quite enough of them. I’ll make a magical talking hat which we can put on the candidates’ heads and it will tell us what to do with them. Or if that doesn’t work we will write their names on little cards, put them in the hat, and draw them out at random.”

While saying this she became aware that the vine between her hooves was steadily peeling off the brick wall. Letting go, she grabbed another, only to have it snap off. Falling back, she felt the vine she held in her mouth come adrift and she fell down, but the stem was strong and held her weight. However as the other end was attached to a branch overhanging the library window, it left her hanging free, just out of reach of the wall. As she was also unable to look down, she did not know that her tail was hanging in front of the staff room window, visible to anypony looking outside.

“Are you okay?” Apple Polish called down to her colleague. “No—don’t answer!” she hastily added on noticing that the only thing preventing Crystal Clear from falling was the vine she held in the teeth. The professor swung back and forth, unable to open her mouth to reply.


The school library occupied most of the third floor and housed all the books which the students required for their education, as well as those which were not required for the school syllabus, but the professors had ordered for their own private study, and some which the librarian had bought just because they looked vaguely interesting. As the school had a strong reluctance to part with any books, and the number acquired each year greatly exceeded the number lost by careless students, every few years or so the library was expanded by making a hole in a wall and taking over an adjacent classroom. The result was a maze of book filled rooms, filled with row after row of tall shelves, further complicated by the fact that magical libraries almost never follow standard Euclopean geometry. On materializing together in one part of the labyrinth, professors Rhetoric, Square Cap, Empirical Logic and Liberal Art looked around at the array of shelves with no indication if Princess Celestia was nearby.

“Now where is she?” asked Liberal Art.

“We’ll just have to scout around until we find her,” said Empirical Logic. “You two go that way. Square Cap and I will check out the fiction section.” The two mares trotted off down a short flight of steps into another room. Liberal Art and Rhetoric went through an opposite doorway.

Although large, the library should not have taken more than a few minutes to search. Unfortunately, like many libraries, this one possessed a magical property which caused scholars who entered to forget whatever it was they came to do, and get distracted by something else.

“Just a moment,” said Rhetoric. He was reading the titles on the shelf next to them. “I just want to check what Marwari the Maneless wrote about the sonic rainboom. There’s a copy of her book of verse somewhere here.” He levitated a row of books off the top shelves, brought them into his view and scanned the covers. “Where is it? I’ve seen it on this shelf somewhere.”

“You won’t read anything serious in her work,” said Liberal Art. “You should look for something in the early scientific literature from the Cloudsdale Enlightenment. Maybe there’s something in one of Hayhoof’s codexes. They’re somewhere over here.” He started searching on another side of the room. “Oh—here’s something interesting. Commander Easyglider’s Hoofbook of Pegasos Flyte. That was the seminal reference in the sixteenth century. I’ll have a look in the index…”


In another part of the school library, Twilight and Moondancer stood on either side of Princess Celestia, together with Minuette, Lemon Hearts, Lyra Heartstrings and Twinkleshine, looking at the vast array of books in awe.

“H-how many books are there here?” asked Moondancer.

“I don’t really know…” Celestia took a wild guess: “Maybe a hundred thousand…”

“One hundred thousand!” said Twilight. “How long does it take to read one hundred thousand books?”

“Quite a long time,” answered Celestia truthfully.

“If I read four a day, I could do it in sixty-eight years, five months and ten days,” calculated Twilight. “That’s like forever. Maybe I can learn to read two books at the same time… But that would still take thirty years…”

“And don’t forget that you will want to take some days off to play with your friends,” hinted Celestia.

“You’ve got a complete set of the Encyclopaedia Equestriana!” cried Moon Dancer excitedly, looking at a shelf. “Thirty-five volumes—what year is it from?”

“And you’ve got the Daring Do books!” cried Twilight, looking at the ‘Returned Fiction’ shelf.

Before Celestia could say any more, they were distracted by the sound of a window being pushed open. A black hoof appeared on the window sill, followed by a grey leg, and then the rest of Professor Arpeggio. He pulled himself through the opening and fell onto the library floor.

“Is everything alright professor?”

Arpeggio looked up and found himself staring at the ruler of Equestria surrounded by a group of little fillies.

“Oh… err… Yes everything’s fine,” he said. “Could I possibly talk to Your Highness in private?”

“Do you always come in the library by the window?” asked Minuette, paying no attention to what he had said. “Is that a special rule for teachers?” Princess Celestia tittered.

“Oh… I… No… That is…” He gave the princess a pleading look. Why couldn’t young foals just mind their own business? “I was just inspecting the ivy. There’s a particularly interesting snail that lives in the leaves.”

“Really!” said Twilight. “Is it one of the magical gastropoda which turn to stone during the full moon? I’ve been reading about them.”

“Err…”

“Let’s take a look,” cried Minuette. The five fillies ran up the window and stuck their heads over the sill to look down. “Hey, there’s Professor Polish down there, and Professor Clear… Hello!” She waved a hoof at the teachers. “Are you studying the ivy too?”


Pencil Point, the school secretary, sat at the school reception desk awaiting enquiries. She had had a tiring day of directing foals and parents around. After repeating: “The timetable for the admission tests is posted on the wall to your right. The bathroom is down the corridor to the left. The school will send the decision letters early next week,” about forty times, she was just beginning to find it was taking a little extra effort to maintain her personal standards of professional behaviour. She was therefore greatly pleased to meet a visitor who could state her business concisely.

“Good afternoon. Ms. Harshwhinny, Ministry of Education. I am here to inspect the school admissions procedures.” The young earth pony with a brown coat and neatly brushed blond mane held out an MOE identity badge to verify this information.

Pencil Point smiled. “Of course. The admissions tests have now been completed. The examiners will now be in the staffroom.”

She left her desk and set off with Ms. Harshwhinny along the corridor.

“The examiners will now be discussing the test results,” said Pencil Point. “All the candidates are given three practical tests, and the examiners consider their performance in these, together with the score they got on the written test, to decide which students should be offered a place. If there are any large discrepancies between tests, they will pay extra attention to that candidate.”

“I will need to see the paperwork and talk with the examiners,” said Ms. Harshwhinny. “I apologise for not arriving sooner. The train from Trottingham was delayed. Some ridiculous excuse about a cloud of butterflies on the line.”

“I’m sure the examiners will be happy to talk with you Ms. Harshwhinny,” said Pencil Point. “The process will be almost complete. Once they have decided on the final ranking, they give the list of successful candidates to me and I prepare the letters of acceptance and rejection. Professor Crystal Clear will check all these on Monday before they are sent out to the candidates.”

“I am looking forward to talking to Professor Clear. I must say it is a pleasure to visit such a professional school with proper procedures in place. My last inspection was at a school in Baltimare which was—not of the same calibre. I submitted a report with a set of recommendations, and I was disappointed that the ministry was—unable to implement them.”

“Are you new to the Ministry?” asked Pencil Point. “I don’t think you’ve been to our school before.”

Ms. Harshwhinny nodded her head. “I just graduated from the Equestrian Civil Service Top Tier Training Programme last year. My initial assignment was to the Ministry of Education, however—” she paused to find the right way to put things, “—I do not feel my future is with this ministry, so I have applied for transfer to the Department of Sports.”

“Well I can assure you Professor Crystal Clear is a professional unicorn examiner with many years’ experience. She coordinates the test schedule and is meticulously organised. I am sure you will find her paperwork in perfect order.”

They reached the staffroom, where Star Sapphire, Upper Crust and a line of other upper class Canterlot parents were standing.

“Excuse me please,” said Pencil Point, pushing her way to the door.

Ms. Sapphire was not inclined to move away from the door.

“We are waiting to speak to the Chairpony of the Examiners,” she said coldly.

“You too? Well I’m sure she will be happy to speak with you once the examiners have finished their meeting.”

Pencil Point knocked on the door. After pausing for a moment but not hearing any response, she pushed the door. It moved a little, but the handle was stuck against the table which Crystal Clear had pushed in place. Puzzled, the unicorn secretary cast a Clear-the-Way spell—a simple enchantment she had learned to remove obstacles blocking doors left by student pranksters. The table was levitated out of the way, and the door opened.

The ponies walked into the room and stared at the mess of discarded cushions, the smashed drinks cabinet door and the scattered empty sherry bottles. On the far wall, the window looked out at the magnificent view of the blue sky and city towers. In front of this was hanging the light purple pony tail and yellow legs of Professor Crystal Clear.

The secretary rushed over to the window followed by Ms. Harshwhinny and the parents. She pushed it fully open, leant out and looked up at the Chairpony of the Board of Examiners hanging in front of the wall by an ivy vine clasped in her mouth. Above her, she could see Professor Apple Polish clinging to the wall. And above that, at the open third-floor window, a row of smiling little fillies looked down at her.

“Professor—whatever is going on?”


On the other side of the city—several minutes flight away for a fast pegasus—the sun shone brightly onto the white walls and shiny copper-covered roofs of the castle towers. The watch tower of the Canterlot Civil Fire and Rescue Service was one of the tallest in the city, to provide a view across the capital. The on-duty officers sat around the room chatting with friends, playing cards, gazing out of the windows or up at the clock to see how much longer it would be until the end of their shift.

In the centre of the room, a pegasus firemare with a dark red coat and bright orange mane and tail stood next to a grey unicorn stallion. The stripes on her uniform identified her as the chief officer. Next to them was a large circular table onto which was magically projected a plan of the city, enchanted to alert the brigade to any fires, ponies in danger, invading magical creatures, or pet cats stuck up trees. Lines representing the streets and avenues of the royal city criss-crossed the surface, dividing the circles and squares representing the buildings.

“I can’t see anything wrong with it boss,” said the unicorn, with a puzzled expression.

Chief Fire Officer Fireflight listened to the assessment of the Magical Map Maintenance Maintainer with scepticism. “It’s been playing up all afternoon,” she said. “We had danger lights appearing all over the place. I dispatched units across the city. But they just came back saying they were all false alarms.” She looked up at the clock on the wall. Twenty minutes until the end of her shift. It had been a very tiring day.

“There was a report of an anomalous magical shock wave earlier today,” said the technician. “I expect it’s something to do with the hot dry weather.” He lit up his horn and cast a test spell which enveloped the table in a green aura and caused tiny lights to flicker on the representations of the buildings. “That might have triggered a number of false positives. But I’ve done a full system reset and it should be fine now.”

The diagnostic flickering stopped, except at one spot on the map where a red light persistently flashed to demand attention.

“How do you explain that one?” asked Officer Fireflight, pointing at the flashing light at the map symbol representing Princess Celestia’s school.

“Could it be real?” The unicorn made this suggestion cautiously, being aware of the senior rank of the firemare to whom he spoke. She responded with the expected decisiveness.

“I’ve had four units out there this afternoon and they found nothing! I flew out myself and there was just a crazy old mare at the local café saying she’d seen a giant dragon stick its head out of the roof. I inspected the building and there was not a tile out of place.

“Well I can’t explain that boss,” said the technician, regretting that he had spoken up. “Of course this model will soon be obsolete technology, you know? The next generation of emergency response maps under development will identify the appropriate pony to respond to each incident with a symbol of their cutie-mark.”

“We don’t need all those special features,” said the chief. “What we want is reliability.”

“Err—chief?” A junior officer standing by the window with a telescope waved a hoof to get the boss’s attention. “You might want to look at this.” She pointed out the window. The chief walked over and looked where she was pointing. On the horizon, behind the cityscape of parapets and domed towers glittering in the light of the late-afternoon sun, was Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns. A cloud of luminous bright green smoke was drifting from the far side of the building into the cloudless sky. Behind this, coincidentally, was a magnificent rainbow. It was a view with the potential to let anypony with a camera win the Urban Landscape Photographer of the Year award.

Fireflight grabbed the telescope from the young officer and focussed it on the building. To her horror she caught sight of a unicorn mare hanging out of a window. Another mare was clinging to the wall above her. For a split second she froze as she realised the reality of what was happening. Ponies were in danger. She had let everyone down. Young school fillies and colts could suffocate in the smoke or be burnt to death.

For a split second she was too shocked to move. But fireponies were selected [1] to be able to cope with stress and keep their heads in a crisis. She ran across the room to the opposite wall and pushed a hoof against a large button to activate the alarm.

[1] By an admissions process involving multiple practical tests and a written examination.

Bells rang throughout the tower and at other stations across the city. Unicorn and earth pony fire fighters slid down poles, harnessed themselves to horse-drawn fire engines and were soon galloping through the city streets to the sound of wailing sirens. In a simultaneous operation, pegasi firefighters dived out of windows while fiddling with the straps on their bright yellow helmets.

Fireflight followed them into the air and directed the flying team towards the school while shouting instructions.

“It’s a class K magical fire. Victims are already taking desperate measures to escape the building. Put on your breathing apparatus and enter the building immediately on arrival. Evacuate ponies from all floors. Side effects of magical smoke include hallucinations and disorientation. Time is of the essence. If victims appear reluctant to leave, do not waste time trying to explain. The priority is to get everypony out of the building quickly!”

The flying fire ponies sped forwards at a speed to rival the Wonderbolts. Fire Officer Smokejack moved into place next to the chief. “Not Celestia’s school again,” he said. “Remember all the call-outs we had last year due to that student who kept setting the alarms off with her science experiments.”

They reached the school in under ninety seconds and went straight into the well-rehearsed manoeuvre. Flying paramedics seized Crystal Clear from her precarious position and took her down to the ground. Other rescue teams alighted at each level of the building, smashed the windows, pulled masks over their muzzles and dashed inside to find and rescue all the ponies. The ground team pulled the fire engines up outside the school, passing hoses to the pegasi fire ponies. The medical team waited on the grass outside the school.

The first rescue workers emerged from the building carrying foals and adult ponies, in various states of bewilderment, slung over their backs. Star Sapphire, Upper Crust and Jet Set were all wearing serious frowns to express their frustration at their undignified exit.

On alighting on the ground, Star Sapphire walked up to her daughter, who was repeatedly throwing a ball against the school wall and catching it as it bounced off, unaware of the surrounding drama, demonstrating a certain lack of attention which had lost her points in her first test.

“Sapphire Scrum—come! We’re leaving now.”

“What?” The unicorn filly turned around. “Did they say I had a place?”

Her mother scowled. “Doesn’t matter. I do not believe this is a suitable school for you to attend.”

Further fire ponies came out of the building. Those coming from the library were last, having had to navigate the maze of book shelves. Minuette hugged the neck of her pegasus rescuer, wearing a big smile and laughing with glee at the unexpected adventure. Twilight Sparkle clutched a book with a terror of letting it fall, but was otherwise unmoved by the ordeal.

A mildly surprised Princess Celestia managed to extricate herself from the clutches of two determined fire ponies in mid-air and flew down to land beside the chief fire pony. At the sight of the princess, Fireflight’s relief at an apparently successful rescue mission was replaced by guilt of her late response. She would have to explain what had happened. The princess would accuse her of neglect of duty. She would be dismissed from service and sent to the Canterlot Home for Retired Fireponies. She threw herself to the ground at the princess’s hooves.

“Hello Officer,” said Celestia. “I didn’t know you were carrying out a fire practice and educational visit at the school today. I guess that’s the point isn’t it?” She winked. “It’s not a proper drill if we all know it’s going to happen. I like the way you planted that smoke bomb to make it more realistic.”

“You… Yes… What?” stammered Fireflight.

Pencil Point walked up to the fire ponies levitating a clipboard before her.

“I’ve taken the register,” she said. “All ponies present in the school are accounted for,” she said. “Except for Professor Top Marks—does anyone know where he is?”

“He’s hiding behind the door in the staffroom,” said Apple Polish.

On hearing this news, two pegasus fireponies took off immediately on a rescue mission. Fireflight turned back to the princess, but before she could speak they were interrupted again as Fire Officer Smokejack walked out of the school carrying a tiny creature. Everypony rushed forwards to see that it was a new-born baby dragon.

“There’s no fire,” said the officer. “A lot of green smoke, but no damage of property or risk to anypony.” He held out the little hatching, who smiled at everypony and let out a burp. “The little fellow just had a fit of hiccups.”

“Ooo! Isn’t he cute!” Lemon Hearts and Twinkeshine pushed forward to get a closer look. Minuette followed, squeezing between the legs of adult ponies, somewhat encumbered by a large yellow firepony helmet which she had just persuaded one of the fire fighters to let her try on.

As most of the children, parents and teachers crowded around the little dragon, Ms. Harshwhinny spotted Crystal Clear lying on the grass to one side and trotted over to her.

“Professor, I have just been hearing from your secretary about how professional your admissions procedures are. It is also good to see first hoof that your school takes its fire drill and emergency evacuation procedures seriously. I am particularly impressed that you went to the extent of climbing out of the window and allowing the fire service to rescue you as a demonstration to the students. Few teachers show such a level of commitment.”

“Err…” said Crystal Clear.

“You did that for us!” said Minuette. “That’s so cool. I just know this will be the best school ever.”

Crystal Clear was saved from replying by the intervention of a medic pony.

“The professor is suffering from shock. Please allow her to rest.”

“Of course,” said Ms. Harshwhinny smiling, “Please excuse my interruption. I won’t further disrupt the demonstration.”

Princess Celestia walked over to join them.

“I’m very pleased to meet you Ms. Harshwhinny.”

“Y-your Highness…” The civil servant crouched down before the sovereign of Equestria.

“I just approved your application for transfer to the Ministry of Sport this morning…”

“You did!”

Celestia smiled then raised her head and looked around at the crowd of foals and adult ponies.

“You know,” she said to the crowd. “There’s a lovely café just across the street. Why don’t we all go for ice cream?”

“Yay! Ice cream! Let’s go!” cried Minuette. The other foals hopped up and down with equal enthusiasm and the princess lead the group across to the café, followed by the parents, teachers and fire ponies.

“I think that is a splendid idea,” said Professor Rhetoric. “And I believe Professor Square Cap is buying mine.”

“I am?” said Square Cap.

“If you remember,” said Rhetoric smugly, “the terms of our bet were that Twilight Sparkle would spend less than ten minutes trying to hatch the dragon's egg. I believe it was less than three.”

Author's Note:

Thanks to gardrek for pre-reading.

Cover art ponies by: hark9mm, Quanno3, Punzil504, Abealy2, Haylincita, Tardifice, Valadrem, Adcoon.

Comments ( 78 )

Fantastic, just like the predecessor. Clearly this means you need to continue this line of stories. FOREVER.

Loved it. Great squeal to the original one-shot. Great comedy. :rainbowlaugh:

Poor Spike, not enough good fics with baby Spike included. Glad to see he's doing well here, besides the hiccups of course.

...I am disappoint. I liked the previous one, and was hoping for something of a sort. Which it looked like. But you just had to spoil it all with stupid "comedy" about professors evading parents. Why. Just... why.
Why couldn`t have they had reacted like actual professors? As in, ponies tried and proven of their mettle in the fire of generations and generations of too bright for their own good college students. Ponies who can definitely stare down an overly impetuous parent and tell them to mind their manners and whet their patience. Ponies who would definitely have the wits to point out that what`s permissible for Jupiter (or in our case, Celestia) is not allowed for the bull (or in our case, everyone else) and if Celestia felt like revealing the acceptance of a select group of ponies earlier, it was her right and her decision and anyone having problems with it was entirely welcome to take it up with her.

ELO

Mr Blue Sky here. :pinkiehappy:

You know, maybe that description of harmonic chaos as applied to metaversal Earth ponies wasnt exactly the best idea, especially when the basics couldnt be handled. Then again, its either at this place or roaming freely. :pinkiecrazy:

You know, Ive always wondered what wouldve happened if young Twilight had found, discoverd or been shown inverted virtualisation, where the induviduals power wasnt the limiting factor, only the trigger.

Absolutely hilarious, Celestia there doing damage limitation by redirection even as the old world is collapsing around her.

Magic is not created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another. So the Old Table is thrown out, the new one is introduced, and a decade later its replaced and the Tree picks it up?

Ah, bottle of Armadillo Sherry. Crunchy on the outside, Smooooth on the inside.

Just imagine baby Spike in student accomodation. How long before they found out he was great for garbage disposal. Eats everything.:twilightoops:

It truly is wonderful to see how far the professors at Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns are willing to go to ensure all areas of education receive proper attention, and as soon as they've accepted the new students too. :trollestia:

“There won’t be any admission tests next year. I’ve had quite enough of them. I’ll make a magical talking hat which we can put on the candidates’ heads and it will tell us what to do with them. Or if that doesn’t work we will write their names on little cards, put them in the hat, and draw them out at random.”

:rainbowlaugh:


And then there were a couple places where I was laughing so hard I couldn't keep reading. Added to faves and best of the best.

Interesting so far. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

This. I like this.

7128969
Plus they had a perfect excuse in that "The Princess has the clipboard with all of our notes on it, we don't know everyone's scores yet, therefore we don't know who will get in yet."

The predecessor was a tough act to follow. Not only did I have it favorited, when I saw the title and picture of this one, I immediately though "Oh! I bet this is a sequel to..." because I remembered it even though it was apparently published ~2 years ago.

This was nice. I chuckled a few times. I skipped a couple paragraphs because they were dull. And a couple of the jokes fell flat. But overall it was a nice sequel to an awesome, classic story worthy of becoming head canon.

7128618

Is this a subtle way of saying Crystal Clear feels they've walled themselves up behind a metaphorical brick wall?

I had to read that several times until I realised what you were getting at :facehoof: I love it when readers spot references in my stories which I missed :pinkiehappy:

7128969
Well... Being overpowered by a little filly does give a bit of a battering to the self confidence of a senior professor. Twiley had the magic ability to turn the leaders of Equestrian academia into a quivering mass of jelly.

7130236
...I almost wrote a sheet of words explaining just how wrong your idea is just now. But then I realized that the only way you could`ve possibly made that mistake makes it nigh impossible for you to comprehend why it`s a mistake.
People who are used to be in control do NOT lose all semblance of it at the first sign of being overwhelmed. No, their normal reaction is to roll with the punch and regroup and reestablish control, often at the expense of all who happen to be within the reach. Especially so, annoyances that are literally asking for a verbal hiding.

:rainbowlaugh: A wonderful farce that turned out far better than expected. Thank you for it.

How did Discord not break free with all the chaos you just caused?!?!?

7130347

So, wait.

You mean you almost wrote a full page essay on why this:

Well... Being overpowered by a little filly does give a bit of a battering to the self confidence of a senior professor. Twiley had the magic ability to turn the leaders of Equestrian academia into a quivering mass of jelly.

is wrong?

...Who the fuck does that?

~Skeeter The Lurker

This was hilarious on all points and very well written. The firefighting ponies were interesting too.

CCC

I love the way Celestia just remains completely unperturbed through all the craziness.

7130889 Her little ponies are always every where and all over the place. And this is WITH all the proper decorum, and all that stuff. Can you imagine what it was like during the "professor's time?" IE when they did the climbing-off-the-wall trick to peek into the staffroom? Or even during the... *shudder*
... the

The 80s...

7130347 Imagine you were one of the best and brightest in your field, with many years of experience.
Now imagine being shown up by a 6 year old who has surpassed you in EVERY way. On top of that, your boss just did something against your policy so now everybody expects the same treatment your boss just gave to very few, and assholes are quite literally knocking on your door, you know full well it isn't going to end pretty.
And then you say 'Roll with the punches.' First off, you're talking about HUMAN BEINGS, NOT PONIES. Second, have you ever heard of Fight or Flight? Not everyone is going to try and reestablish control, and their day has turned to shit in the past hour or so. It's perfectly reasonable for them to try and run from the problems, even if it isn't the first thing you would do.
Or have you forgotten that ponies are so melodramatic and skittish they'd pass out over a bunny stampede?

7131066
I`m talking about psychology. Any teacher in the aforementioned situation would have redoubled the efforts to at least seem in control, because confirming you lost control means unmitigated disaster that will be very long and problematic to solve. Children are pretty sensitive to that kind of thing and tend to go out of their way to keep you off balance if you let them think they can knock you wobbly.
Understand this - yes, there ARE people for whom the described reaction would be reasonable. But they don`t MAKE it to professorial tenure! Mere fact of being actively educating professor means you`re made of sterner stuff then that.

7130700
Call it nervous tic. I actually still entertain the notion that people can be reasoned with, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

7131083
<chuckles>
I love both sides of this discussion. Yes, professionals tend to hold their own better but at the same time ~ponies~.

At the end of the day though, can you see some of these characters as acting in this manner to some degree? We see 'professional' ponies doing all kinds of stuff... including being silly, running away, and generally being useless in the show. For all the psychological backing of professionals, at the end of the day, they remain, in Equestria, as adorably silly ponies... because they don't have to play hardball with the world we live in.

<grins and pokes a whimpering Royal guard, pride of Equestria's Military and last line of defense for the royal family> Silly pony... you got gooped and didn't even try to remove the armor it was stuck too.

CCC

7131014

Even in the 80's, I imagine that Celestia was perfectly calm through everything. After all, even at its worst, it was nothing compared to Discord's reign...

7131274
Uh... NO. That`s my issue with this story. I simply can NOT see any professor climbing out of window with nothing but ivy for support to escape something so insignificant as annoying people. Try as I might, I just can`t see anyone so insecure they`d rather risk their life then face a person making unreasonable demands being able to teach anyone anything.

On hearing this news, two pegasus fireponies took off immediately on a rescue mission.

Fireponies Gage and DeSoto? ( 70s TV reference, heh)

7131417 Have you ever worked in customer service?

Utterly fantastic and hilarious.

Also, now I want ice cream.

It is the middle of the night.

...

Damn you.

7131417 Until you've worked in customer service... heh. There's a lot of stuff I'll do to get away from some self-righteous asshole. However, in this case, I would have simply told her "No, your daughter has no place, now buck off".

not bad but I really feel it could have been better. It was to random, no one ever got a chance to deal with the shock they had just experienced

Even only a minute after he hatched, people ignore Spike.

being meguca spik is sufering

Although near-instantly going from true baby to adult is a great reason for why Spike is so intelligent and mature at times, despite being incredibly immature at others, and is still considered a baby dragon despite being ~CMC age.

7131417
7128969
You seriously can't accept any DRUNK professor doing that?

7131306 Yeah, but that's why I"m saying that she's kind of non-chalant. I'm in the bleachers of "Celestia does and doesn't do stuff for a reason" party.

7132033 7132132
I AM working at customer service. Been techsupporting for last five years. Haven`t been a customer yet that would make me run away. Altercations? Sure. Yelling, threats, hysterics. All par of the course. Even a knife fight once. But trying to go out of the window just because someone`s demanding things they can`t legally force? Heh. No way in hell. I`d lose any semblance of respect for whoever tried that. (And obviously enough, wouldn`t try something that cowardly and stupid under any circumstances whatsoever.)

7132458
No. Drinking does not change your psychotype, it merely lowers the inhibitions.
Besides, they didn`t drink nearly enough to show any considerable loss of restraint either - motile control goes at the same time - if they drank enough to actually do stupid things, they`d never manage the ivy climbing.
Look. It`s hard enough to climb somewhere with the ladder, especially if you`re going down. With no support but ivy? Professional acrobats would be iffy at such a task. For professors who are not in a habit of keeping themselves at ridiculously fit shape, it`s almost guaranteed fall. I don`t believe anyone intelligent and capable enough to earn a professor title would actually consider something so hazardous without a 100% guaranteed death if they don`t - like fire or some other disaster that clearly won`t leave them any chance of survival unless they try the window. Not even drunk professors.

7132952
You'd better put your old musty books and go drinking with friends. You have some pretty advanced theories about drinking, but they... uh, show a certain disconnect with the reality. A rather severe disconnect.

I don't care what the other neihsayers complain about. This is hilariously epic.

7133088
He teaches russian about drinking... Heh.
How`d the saying went?
Ah, yes. Don`t teach grandma to suck eggs, youngster.

7133675

Dubious.

Drinking does not change your psychotype, it merely lowers the inhibitions.

Yeah, because no person gets aggressive while drunk, no person ever makes decisions they wouldn't make if not inhibitions alone, no drunk ever panics in a situation they'd normally tackle competently, none outright forgets an important detail they'd obviously remember while sober, none tackles a challenge which they'd normally logically reject as impossible. It's just inhibitions.

The phrase "Impaired judgment" ringing a bell?

7133790
No amount of alcohol can change who you are.
If you get violent when you`re drunk it`s not "alcohol changed me", it`s you being violent by nature. Alcohol merely disables the restraint of reason on it.
Decisions made under influence of alcohol are of the same venue - they are the decision person WANTS to make. While sober, they can realize that making those decisions will harm/embarrass them, but the desire to do it regardless does not go anywhere - it simply stays in background. Getting rid of those for good is long and involved process and a big reason why "self-destructive behavior" is a big thing in psychology studies.

Your argument is that drunk professors (Drunk of one glass of sherry each, by the way? That makes them ridiculous lightweights and if they were such, it`s highly likely they`d be very much disinclined to even touch alcohol, much less go for it as a first mean of stress relief.) spontaneously decided to run away from people they routinely stare down and reduce to awkward mess? Yeah, right.

Understand one thing - dealing with irrational and irate parents is not something unusual for anyone in education. It`s not a thing you fear - it`s an annoyance you weather.

In short, to quote Stanislavsky -"Not believing!"

7133967
I think it's time to stop this. Cytotoxin - you explained why my story did not work for you, and I thank you for the honest, if rather blunt, feedback. Others have explained why they do not share your opinion and I thank them for their support. If you feel the need to further clarify your opinions to one another, please could you do it by PM? It's now time to move on, and go and get an ice cream.

7134033 I`m perfectly willing to put an end to this so long as no one else baits me.

“There won’t be any admission tests next year. I’ve had quite enough of them. I’ll make a magical talking hat which we can put on the candidates’ heads and it will tell us what to do with them.

P.S: Too bad there is not a image of Twilight under the hat or something like that

Man, a lot of arguing for a silly part in a story about alien ponies that teach magic in a world where the most powerful force is friendship and rainbow necklaces.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Now I want to read a story like this about the teachers having to deal with a decade or more of Twilight Sparkle, and how they slowly turn into alcoholics.

7134099 S2E9, Sweet and Elite.

7128969
I think it was fairly representative of the academic class: CYOA.

So, let's see:

-Sonic Rainboom occurs.
-Twilight Sparkle hatches Spike and causes other random magical events to occur in the test building.
-Four professors walk into the building dazed and confused.
-Celestia decides to have Twilight as her new student.
-Twilight makes friends with Minuette, Moondancer, Lemon Hearts, Twinkleshine, and Lyra.
-Celestia says the results of the fillies' tests.
-Other ponies want to know the results and consult with the professors.
-The professors want to get out of the room they are in, so they escape out of the window. But their escape plan does not go so well.
-(Meanwhile, Celestia and the fillies visit the library.)
-Ms. Harshwhinny and the others enter the building where the professors were in. They are confused at the scene when they see the professors clinging onto the wall of the building.
-Fire ponies realize that there seems to be a danger in Celestia's School For Gifted Unicorns. So they rush over there and everypony there gets evacuated.
-Ms. Harshwhinny approves of the school and its level of professionalism.
-ICE CREAMS FOR EVERYPONY! :pinkiehappy:

So despite all of the bad stuff that has occurred, everything goes pretty well in the end. I must say that that was a clever story I read. Every one of the events seem to link together. That's what I loved about the story. :twilightsmile:

7131066

ponies are so melodramatic and skittish they'd pass out over a bunny stampede

A stampede of angry soccer moms! They're headed straight for the teachers' lounge! The horror...the horror!

A few nitpicks:

Unfortunately, like many libraries, this one possessed a magical properly which caused scholars

property

“You two go that way. Square Cap and I will check out the fiction section. The two mares trotted off down a short flight of steps into another room. […]
“Just a moment,” said Rhetoric. He was reading the titles on the shelf next to them. I just want to check what Morari the Maneless wrote about the sonic rainboom. There’s a copy of her book of verse somewhere here.”

and forgotten quotation marks.

Goddammit, Pineta. Now I have an irrestible urge for ice cream, but I haven’t got any here. Why must it be so? :raritydespair:

Ice cream aside, how did you make those fancy footnote boxes? I’ll admit that this is the first fic where I’ve seen them being used.

7128594 A series of short fics, in a similar fashion to the DONE! series (but with more stories)?

7129935 I don’t think I’m the first to mention this, but your eyeball avatar is scary. :rainbowderp:

7136026
Thanks.

The footnotes are done with the

tag - a trick a picked up on this group post. They don't look so good on all devices, but there's no perfect way to do footnotes on fimfiction.

7136026 You ARE actually! X3

That was ...sorta kinda my intention when I took it (Yes, that IS my own eye XD) I couldn't think of something to use as a picture that would be unique to me so I just said. Fuck it. I'll just take one of my eye XD

7136273
Thanks—it’s definitely a much better alternative to having footnotes at the bottom.

Interestingly, after I realised that this is all BBCode, I found another tag - [ code ] (without the spaces):

<div class="story_container"> <h1>Twilight’s flash fic</h1> </div>

Makes me wonder what other secret tags there are here.

Edit: Oh, and I’ve almost forgotten: in Rhetoric’s piece of dialogue, the left quotation mark goes before I just, not There’s. Sorry I didn't make it clear.

7136356
Well, it’s undoubtedly unique, so I’ll have to give you credit for that :twilightsmile:

You ARE actually! X3

:pinkiegasp:

And then I discovered that I was the spook all along.

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