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Trick Question


Here, feel this.        (Patreon)


E

Kevin is the first of his kind to enter advanced studies at Celestia's School of Magic. He's also the first one to leave—under less than ideal circumstances.

No matter what the cause, Princess Luna isn't about to let her former protege leave without saying goodbye.

A draft of this story appeared in the "In Over Your Head" Writeoff.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 28 )

my_heart.exe has stopped working

A fatal moment of "daw" has
overloaded my_heart, and it
needs to restart

D'aww. I remember this from the Writeoff. Glad to see it make the jump.

Positives: Luna, Changeling, short and sweet, and a load of other things I'm to lazy to list.
Negatives: ...
I liked this a lot.

Everypony is capable of failure, Kevin.

Very smooth answer!

Heh, maybe I should try to finish my phd? It's only 5 years too late... :twilightsheepish:
Yeah, probably not.

"It was never about me, anyway, was it? It was about what I represented

And that representation can become inflated and unrealistic, leading to higher stakes in the case of failure.

Probably my favorite line in this.

Luna, sitting on the bare floor

Luna. She scooted her chair forward

:derpytongue2: Was good tho. feels/10

8469637
Oops. Removed that line, thanks.

Originally I had Luna sitting in a chair, but I changed it for multiple reasons.

8469368
Write what you know.

Kevin...

If this is a new theory that the soup-changeling is in reality Kevin, from Matilda's wedding...

...I think that's the smartest theory I've ever heard on this site.

That last line... Rare is the sentence that can so effectively combine sweetness and sorrow. Excellent work.

Failure at this level of study is normal. Very few ponies are capable of completing a doctorate in the magical arts. Reaching a master's degree already places you into a select group. Even having a degree at all is an impressive achievement in this field! The fact that you have done so well as the first of your kind is remarkable.

It takes great wisdom and courage to realize that leaving may be the correct option. Most students aren't able to make that decision, and must be forced out of the program.

I am not sure how to take these two. On one side perhaps it is a biological reason so many fail. Some are just not talented or have the ability to get a degree. On the other side it's perhaps a matter of motivation, action and/or time for the students.

Depending on which one it is the meaning will change drastically. Are some just doomed for failure on no fault of their own? Or does the school have a strict time schedule for assignments to be completed in and other requirements? In that case, is this a very subtle comment on the school system?

Nice and short! :twilightsmile:

8470356
This directly parallels real life, so what is the answer? Perhaps the illusion of free will isn't really the issue. Everypony is capable of failure, and blame isn't always the most important consideration.

8470426
(Oh what have you done. You got me talking)

I am afraid I must disagree with you on that point. I think the cause of failure is one of the most important things to figure out in order to right wrongs and solve problems. Of course, this does not automatically mean "the means justify the ends" and what actually can be called a failure is also something to think about. The reason I think so is because "making and getting better" is something I highly priorities.

In this case: if it Kevin was doomed to fail from the start no matter what he did because of reasons out of his control then he does not need to improve because he can't and his feeling of disappointment is unnecessary. However if it was because of the school (which I do not think it is) that had a system that undermined his efforts then it was the system that "pushed" him out (perhaps he had problems with writing assignments but as great in oral assignments but the school demanded that he write). Finely it could have been his own fault, he was lazy, unmotivated, spend to much time drinking with his classmates and now he regrets he did that. In that case he needed to change his behavior in order to succeed (this also seems unlikely). Or a combination.

Ok, this is just me reading to much in to it but it was that second thing I quoted that put me in feeling limbo. Either Luna says "You were never meant for this and I am proud you realized that" or "You have made a very mature choice to stop something you realized was not for you and I am proud you decided to act on it".

Now, if it was a bad or good thing he quit is not what I am interested in. But I want to know if everypony were capable of success.

Ok this is just a rant:
An example from my own life. I wanted (and still do) to be a teacher but as I studied I found out that I had no love for math and language but they were mandatory subjects. Then it was this teacher that did not like me because I "just had to" (me not keeping my mouth shut) argue with her about something political. I had a friend that was one year ahead of me, we had had the same teacher, same literature, we got the same assignment were we had to analyze a class were I used his sources that he passed with but I failed. Not because of copying but because of a lack of sources. Then she failed me two more times after that, even as I added more sources. I even compared my number of sources to one in my class that passed and he had less then me. The worst part was that she refused to tell me what I needed sources for only that there were "not enough sources". So I quit. Could I have succeeded? I would say yes. If I had pushed through the boredom and had kept my mouth shut I probably could have reached the end. But I did not want to study what I was not interested in and a teacher did not like me. So with these lessons learned, the next time, I will study something I want to study and be quiet, even if I disagree with the one that grades me.

:raritystarry: As a changeling feels connoisseur, it's always lovely seeing more of it being written, and in a very original idea, to boot. :twilightsmile:

So short, yet so powerful and somehow so relatable.:raritycry:

I can relate to this; I was passed along in highschool in my French classes up to the last grade before they told us that if I didn't pass it, I wouldn't graduate. I had to get an exception from French in order to pass but I understand in being pushed along.

8470587
Bet that’s fraud and illegal. Should report that woman to the authorities.

It takes great wisdom and courage to realize that leaving may be the correct option. Most students aren't able to make that decision, and must be forced out of the program."

This hit me hard.

8471795
I know I should have. But I was afraid and did not have the energy to.

Dang, we've all been in this changeling's shoes before, even if it was under different circumstances. This is a bittersweet fic at that. Take my thumbs-up.

Wow, this certainly hit me in the chest. A fantastic story, simple, realistic, and bitter-sweet.

That was beautiful! A short vignette that tells a whole story, with great dialogue and real, honest emotion. Well done!

8469713
Sorry, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Is it a some kind of common saying?
Googling it results in epic list of different opinions about it's subtle meaning. My best guess so far is what described in TV Tropes page.

By the way, is analogue with "Aim for the Stars" supposed to go beyond story names?

8478452
It's a common saying. It means that you can't write anything more accurately than something you've experienced personally. There's also an element of psychological catharsis when you write about emotional issues you've dealt with, which serves as a strong motivational force for writing.

In this context, it means I have personal experience with the subject matter of this story. :pinkiesmile:

8478452
I'm not sure I know what you mean about the analogue for "aim for the stars". "Shoot for the moon" is another expression that means roughly the same thing, though it has more of a specific feel (there's only one Moon to try to hit). "Moon shot" and "shoot the moon" are other forms of it. There's also an expression, "shoot for the moon; if you miss, you'll still land among the stars".

Since Luna is the Lunar Princess, it seemed an appropriate subtext.

If you mean there's another story called, "Aim for the Stars", I wasn't referencing anything like that.

8479234
Thank you for the explanation!

8479243
I meant the story "Aim for the Stars". Idea about analogy probably wasn't the smartest one: perhaps I remembered the story just because I've seen that expression there for the first time (yay, classical conditioning)

there's only one Moon to try to hit

Pegasi living on clouds of Jupiter may disagree :twilightsmile:

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