Playing a Student
The student experience is about coming of age, friendship, exploration and navigating expectations, both from yourself and from the outside. It’s a journey towards discovery, and the search for the sublime. It is about identifying the things that really mean something, and figuring out who you truly are.
Students are either part of the Modern or the Classical track. Modern students study subjects like history, religion, photography and art, starting from the fall of Rome and onwards. The Classical students instead have a curriculum inspired by the Classical Greco-Roman education, like Ancient Greek, Latin, Rhetoric and Philosophy.
There are four years in each track – Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior – and the school year is split into two semesters, with mid-term exams as well as final exams.
On top of belonging to a track and year, students at St. Theodora’s all belong to mentor groups of 5–6 students, with close connections to their mentor professor on both a personal and professional level. Students are also able to join one of the college’s open societies, spending the afternoon doing sports, making art, etc.
Every pledged student also belongs to one of the Secret Societies, something which is never talked about in the public sphere of the college. There, some parts that are otherwise kept secret, even from your friends, might find a place and another kind of bond is created to those around you.
The student experience during the larp is about going through the motions of a typical day at the college, with classes, assignments, activities, and conversations, and then transitioning from the formality of the day to the private sphere of the evening, where intense mentor sessions, relationship troubles, artistic pursuits and secret activities take place.
Playing a Professor
As a professor at St. Theodora’s College, you will be teaching one–two classes of students during the day within your assigned subject, and are welcome to also host extra-curricular activities. As you teach your group or groups three times during the larp, you will need at least three lesson plans for 40 minute sessions. You will get access to materials to help you plan these lessons, and there will be a professor coordinator who can answer any questions.
Being a professor means taking on the responsibility to plan lessons within your assigned subject, and holding classes during the larp. It also means holding meetings with your mentor group of students and being a part of their experience. However, professors are players, just like students, and will have a full character experience.
While themes of friendship, discovery and exploration are clear themes for the students, professors will instead have a focus on daily life and very little drama. Students at St. Theodora’s come and go, but the faculty remains. The experience is not about huge changes or transformation, but about everyday spats and conversations. About getting to know each other better, and repeating the same arguments that you have had for twenty years.
The experience is also about mentorship and guiding your chosen students on their path towards greatness. It is about using your classes to inspire and to change the students’ lives forever. It is about competence, combined with a facade of perfection, and daily workplace life. A lot of time will be spent with the other faculty and in the Professors’ Lounge.
Behind the facade, it’s also about sometimes making deeply unethical decisions. About pushing things too far, and using your power to get away with things. It is about being an authority, while also being a real person with insecurities and flaws. About making mistakes and trying to repair the damage.
It’s also about friendship and deep conversations, about slowly opening up to your colleagues and trying to reach for new hopes and dreams. It can also be about daring to fall in love, petty rivalries, and academic obsession. All the things that a workplace can entail, even at an extraordinary institution like St. Theodora’s College.