Classroom News: Talent Class

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Author: Dovienya el'Korim, July 2017

Welcome to the Classroom at TarValon.Net! A few weeks ago, I mentioned to the Headmistress (yes, I am blaming Charis Sedai for this) that I would like to do a WoT-related class. I had just started a re-read of the series, returned from a long LoA, and was poking around the site when I stumbled into the classroom. I started to remember all of the classes I had taken part in (and a couple I taught) several years ago and began to grow nostalgic. Then I saw the sticky, "So You Think You Can Teach?" Sounded like a challenge to me. Charis Sedai has a nice little list of ideas on that sticky, and I noticed Talents was one of them. (Sorry to disappoint, I didn't have any grand epiphany - I just went for a good suggestion. Charis makes it really easy to teach.) So, armed with the Library, WoT encyclopedias, and what I recall from the books, I set to work on a lesson plan.

In the Talents class, we just finished talking about what a Talent is, and now we're beginning to delve into the types of the different Talents. We will be breaking the Talents down into five major categories, but it isn't always obvious where a Talent fits.

From the very first lesson, to break it down as much as we can, a person has a Talent if they are:

-A non-channeler who has a special ability. -A channeler who has a special ability that does not require the use of the One Power. -A channeler who has a special ability that does require the use of the One Power. -A channeler who has a certain affinity for an ability that requires the use of the One Power. -A channeler who has enough strength for a special ability that requires the use of the One Power.

The good news is that most of this class is going to be discussion-based! There isn't always an obvious answer, so even though I am teaching, I'm also still asking questions of the students. For homework, I have been assigning a list of four(ish) questions with (hopefully) simple answers, and a theory question. My hope is that the students are using the Library to answer some questions, and thinking outside of the box for some theory-based questions. So far, we have already come up with some amazing answers and ideas - and we've only just begun!

The beautiful thing about Wheel of Time is there is still so much to discuss. I am thoroughly enjoying teaching this class because it puts me right back in that world that I love so much. If anyone is interested, feel free to jump in, or wait until I start another class. Depending on interest, I will probably run a second Talents class. Also next on my plate is a class about ter'angreal, and possibly some others. I guess we'll have to wait and see!

If you interested in teaching, I would encourage you to look into it. Charis Sedai is a great resource, and you really don't have to be an expert or a trivia master to come up with a class. I spend a couple hours a week on this. There are plenty of resources out there, and plenty of class examples to draw from. It's a learning experience, but so far it seems to be worth it!