I had no choice, really. If you missed it, here is part I.
The Teacher II
Claire hesitated in front of the door, the incrusted
bronze plate shining with the letters “Professor
Fraser”, beckoning her to dare and knock. She breathed deeply and raised
her fist to announce her presence.
“Yes?” A voice answered inside, in a lilt that
made her stomach explode in a frenzy of millions of bubbles. She half-opened
the door in order to peek inside, realizing that he was accompanied by a
student, sitting in front of him in what could only be called “the hot seat”. “Ah, it’s ye Miss
“Sorry to disturb you, Professor Fraser.” She
said in a respectful tone, watching as her colleague – another Health Management
student - looked at her with a cry for help in his brown eyes – slightly hazed from
too much weed -, his shoulders slumped in mortal shame. “I have some questions
about the essay I still have to write for your class. I was wondering if I
could go over them with you, sir.”
James Fraser gave her an uninterested look –
which could clearly be interpreted as annoyance with her presence – and finally
“I’ll be with you presently, Miss Beauchamp.”
He said dryly. ”As soon as Mister King here understands that copying a page
from Wikipedia is not acceptable as an essay. You do realize I have access to
the Internet, Mister King?” His eyebrows were raised above the rim of his black
eyeglasses, enhancing his disappointment at his student poorly conducted machinations.
“Yes, Professor Fraser.” The boy furiously
nodded, a sinner in repentance, his neck slowly disappearing between his
shoulders as he tried to bury himself away, escaping those piercing blue eyes. “I
am very sorry, sir.”
“I’m sure ye are.” The teacher gave him a lopsided
smile, neatly pilling the sheets of paper crossed out in red ink and pushing
them in his direction. “You have until tomorrow to deliver a corrected version
of this paper, Mister King. I’ll have to grade it for a maximum “B” after this mischief, but it’s certainly better than the
current “D” – from disaster.”
He pursed his lips and waited patiently as the
student collected his belongings and made the walk of shame towards the door of
his office. Claire could barely contain a smile as her colleague grimaced to
her, rolling his eyes in despair, his back turned to the punishing master.
“Come in, Miss Beauchamp.” Professor Fraser
urged her and, quickly patting Arthur King’s back in comfort, Claire moved
inside the office and closed the door behind her. “How can I help ye?” He asked
in a dark tone.
He looked serious and poised, his forearms
resting on the mahogany table in front of him. His office was clean and
discrete, fairly organized with stacks of paper and folders thoroughly aligned
and labelled. He had a shelf filled with books behind him, silently complaining
with copious overweight – Claire recognized titles from classic economy books
but also lots of poetry and historical tomes. Over the years – both in nursing
school and now as medical student –, she had been inside many teacher’s offices.
There was a tendency for hoarding and to accumulate trinkets and photographs,
as they spent so much time working inside them.
However, Jamie’s office spoke of order and contention, only a photograph
of himself with a dark haired woman – the same blue slanted eyes smiling to the
photographer, betraying their kinship – and a small statue of a leaping stag.
“I was wondering if you could explain me again
some concepts.” Claire said in strong voice, locking the door from the inside and
slowly moving towards his desk. “I’m not sure I’m truly enlighten about them –
in spite of our class yesterday.”
“Do ye now?” Jamie quirked a brow, his voice
low and dangerous. “I thought I was fairly clear.” He rose from his chair and
came around the desk, nearing her like a graceful predator.
“Some things benefit from repetition.” She
licked her lips and, smiling widely, sat on his desk – her floral dress hiking
up as she went, exposing her fair legs to his eyes, soft and creamy.
His mask of tight control fell – exposing his raw edges underneath it. He
moaned and strode towards her in a heartbeat, placing himself between her
parted thighs, his mouth punishing hers for the teasing, his hands grasping her
curly hair. “I just had ye yesterday, but I want ye so much it hurts already.”
“I want you too.” She panted, as he touched her
breast with his strong palm, her nipple already painfully aware of his
proximity. “I couldn’t help myself – I had to come. I had to see you, to feel
“When I saw ye standing at my door, I almost
lost it.” He groaned, his hands brushing the soft skin inside her thighs, as he
kissed and suckled her neck. “And ye – wearing this dress, ye wicked little
vixen. I thought I’d throw ye into my desk and take ye, there and then, right in
front of Mister King.”
“You’re a very good actor.” She laughed, her
hands fumbling with the zipper of his pants. “I could swear you didn’t even
like me – least of all wanted to shag me in your office.” Claire yelped as he
kneeled in front of her and bit the sensitive skin, moist and heated from his
“This is madness.” He nuzzled her, his hands
gripping her arse to bring her closer to him. “If we behave like uncontrolled
teenagers someone will find out. We need to stop seeing each other here.”
A month before they had started seeing each
other – meeting for dinner away from campus and taking long walks on secluded
parks and on the coastline, where they could hold hands and kiss, languid and carefree.
The underlying attraction had been there from the start, they were forced to
admit – and their mutual feelings had bloomed into full spring, nurtured by
hours of solitude and touches. At first the idea of sneaking around was fun and
certainly arousing – but soon enough the burden of pretending indifference had
become a permanent struggle and a source of unhappiness.
“You can stop.” Claire suggested teasingly, her
lips tasting the hollow of his throat – skilfully undoing the first buttons of
his shirt – the pulse of desire emanating from his skin. “I won’t force you, I
“I canna refuse ye.” He said in a hoarse voice,
his accent made more evident by lust and strong emotion, as she struggled to
free him from the constraining underwear. “Not today – nor ever, mo ghraidh.”
He played her like a violin – robbing her lips
of moans and sobs that echoed in his heart like notes of the purest music, his
eyes fixed on the way her beautiful face almost shattered, so close to be
undone. Jamie touched her until his own body hurt – a desire so powerful it
bordered on excruciating pain -, finally ready to take her. As he adjusted his
body to hers, her head lulled back as she surrendered to the eminent joining, a
knock on the door sounded – menacing and real, like a sudden tear on active muscle.
Their eyes locked in terror for a moment, their
bodies almost fused together, their breathing ragged and superficial.
“Who is it?” Jamie questioned, struggling to
compose his voice. He kissed her swollen lips one final – desperate – time and
pulled her out of the desk, quickly helping her to adjust her clothes.
“Fraser?” The voice of Professor Raymond came
from outside. “I need to discuss with you the program for the summit. May I
bas!” Jamie cursed, gritting his teeth. “Just a second!” He shouted through
the door, composing his own clothes and brushing his hair with trembling
fingers. Like two actors in a comical play, Claire launched herself into the
chair, searching for her best concentrated and slightly bored look, as Jamie
hurried to adjust the crumpled papers on his desk. When everything seemed to be
in natural order, they nodded to each other and Jamie opened the door with a
pleasant smile plastered on his lips.
“Ah.” The little man, with silver hair and dark
all-knowing eyes, noticed Claire sitting like a student in best possible behaviour.
“I hadn’t realize you were busy, James.”
“Miss Beauchamp and I were merely discussing
her last paper.” Jamie explained, adjusting his glasses. “She had already started
it before she transferred to your class.”
“No doubt.” Professor Raymond smiled, clearly
amused. His eyes drifted through the room – in spite of their best efforts,
Claire’s lips were clearly swollen and her hair even more unruly than usual.
Jamie, although composed, had the look of a man battling a cramp in the belly –
his eyes wild and fiery, his smile a bit too tense. “I’m sorry if I interrupted
“That’s alright, Professor.” Claire raised from
her chair and headed to the door, her neck still flushed. “I think I have
everything I need for now. Thank you, Professor Fraser. I’ll be sure to deliver
my complete work later.”
Both men stared as she waved and disappeared,
closing the door behind her.
“Your fly is open, James.” Raymond warned him
in an amiable tone and laughed like a content toad, to Jamie’s utter dismay.
“Have you asked for me, Professor Mackenzie?”
Jamie announced himself, standing on the threshold of Colum MacKenzie’s - the
dean of faculty - office.
“Ah, James – yes.” Colum’s calculative gaze
turned to Jamie, as he invited him to sit with a brief hand gesture. He was
silent for a while, studying Jamie’s cordial face, his hands entwined in
thoughtfulness. “I asked ye here because a pressing matter has been brought to
my attention.” He finally said, leaning back against his leather covered office
“How may I help?” Jamie furrowed his copper
“Ye can stop seeing Claire Beauchamp.” Colum
said in a cutting voice, which froze Jamie’s insides – was he fishing for the
truth, expecting him to confirm his suspicions; or did someone actually see him
with Claire? He was certain Raymond knew after their encounter in his office,
but was confident the man wouldn’t tell a soul due to their friendship.
“That is hardly possible.” Jamie smiled, trying
to look relaxed and uncompromised. “She attends this school and I am a teacher here.”
“I was wondering if I had to remind ye of that
exact fact.” Colum admonished, harshly. “Someone informed me that you have been
involved in some kind of affair with the lass. I couldna believe it. That a
teacher – my nephew, no less – would be sae foolish and careless.”
“Who told ye that?” Jamie gripped his fist,
hidden bellow the desk, barely containing the anger in his voice.
“It doesna matter.” Colum shook his head, his
eyes demanding and judgemental. “Will you deny it, Jamie?”
Jamie endured the assault of his eyes, his own
stormy and strong. Eventually, he sighed and shrugged.
“No, I won’t deny it. I’m in love with Claire
and I’m dating her.” He confessed, tilting his chin in defiance. Colum hissed
like a harassed animal and pursed his lips in discontent. “I’m a professor here
but she isna my student – we only got involved when she quit my class. Nothing
happened before!” Jamie guaranteed, tapping his fingers on his leg.
“I had hope the girl was lying.” Colum brushed
his thinning hair. “How could ye be sae stupid? How could ye overlook what
screwing the lass would mean to this school?”
“What we have,” Jamie hissed, adamant. “Is much
more than screwing, uncle. Claire is
the woman I waited for all my life. I won’t forsake her – not even for yer
“I see.” Colum breathed through his nose, like
a resentful cat. His eyes searched Jamie’s, as they battle their unwavering
wills. “In that case ye have a decision to make – let go of the lass or yer
days of teaching are numbered.” And with a magnanimous nod of the head, he dismissed
him. “Professor Fraser.”
It may sound stupid but yes, there really are helpful tips for reading; a few days ago I started reading some books about economy and science and these thing definitely helped me so I thought I’d share them with you guys.
Highlight important things
scribble questions etc. on the sides of the pages and look for the answer at the end of a chapter before you start reading a new one
If you don’t know a special word, look it up and use sticky notes to put the definition into your book
use sticky notes in your book to remember important things in general
If you’re reading a book to prepare for a test, make flashcards with the most important things from a chapter to remember them
This post may not be that long but I hope it is helpful! Stay positive and happy♥
What I take from writers I like is their economy — their ability to use language to very effective ends. The ability for somebody to paint an entire landscape of visual imagery with just sheets of words — that’s magical. That’s what I’ve been trying to strive for.
“In 1990 the tide turned. A former Catholic priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who pledged to rescue Haiti from decades of misery, was swept into power on a wave of popular support. New schools were built, along with much-needed infrastructure, and higher taxes were imposed on the rich. But Aristide’s reforms proved deeply unpopular with elements of the military and the elites who had thrived under the Duvalier dictatorship, and he was overthrown in a coup in 1991. A few years later he became president again, from 1994 to 1996, and again from 2001 to 2004—his last term cut off by a US-led coup. The French and American governments, which had never been happy about the prospect of a truly independent Haiti, had long been intent on restoring a more compliant leadership in Port-au-Prince, and there was a limit to how much they could take. One of Aristide’s greatest mistakes, at least in the eyes of his country’s former masters, was to demand of France in 2003 that it pay back the massive amount of money extorted by French gunboats in 1825 for losses of colonial property. Haitian officials estimated that in today’s money it was equivalent to $21 billion.
Such impudence from a former slave nation was unforgivable.”
“Debtocracies, not democracies, were what characterized twenty-first-century Europe. A French committee headed by one of the country’s leading economists released a report in 2014 that found 60 percent of French public debt was illegitimate, and that this was partly explained by reductions in the tax burden on the rich over the previous decades. The answer, the authors said, was to acknowledge that much public debt served private interests rather than the common good. Even the IMF chief economist admitted that his organization’s prescription for Greece and other European countries had been a mistake. Olivier Blanchard issued a 2013 paper that acknowledged what went wrong, written in calm and precise language. “Forecasters significantly underestimated the increase in unemployment and the decline in domestic demand associated with fiscal consolidation,” it stated. Amazingly, Blanchard wrote that the IMF was largely blind to determining the role of their own economists when implementing its toxic medicine: “The short-term effects of fiscal policy on economic activity are only one of the many factors that need to be considered in determining the appropriate pace of fiscal consolidation for any single country.” In other words, there was a human cost to policies drafted in the halls of power. If history was any guide, it was hard to imagine the IMF departing from the neoliberal agenda embedded in its DNA.”
Capitalism took a bashing in 2015:Corbynomics, the rise of anti-austerity parties Podemos and Syriza, Hillary Clinton slamming our culture of short-termism, COP21 protests and more. Capitalism – and more specifically its failings – is likely to be as brashly and uncompromisingly in the headlines this year as it has been over the past 12 months. To prepare you, we’ve put together a reading list of books we’ve loved andlearned from. It’s not easy to narrow down a list of must-reads to just six, but we’ve done our best.
Hi, I was wondering how you got into the french revolution? I want to start learning about it, but it's kind of overwhelming.
My interest in the French Revolution was first set into motion quite randomly; in the first year of high school, I took a mandatory “World Civilizations” class (though the name of this class is misleading, as it basically focused on a minute part of European History, unfortunately) and we spent about two or three weeks learning about the French Revolution.
Now, because my school’s history curriculum was an utter farce, and because most of what we covered seemed to be complete balderdash, we learned about this time period without much attention to nuance. I remember we spent three days watching the ridiculous History Channel documentary on the French Revolution, which was, ironically, what caused me to want to research the topic further.
I was perplexed by the fact that Maximilien Robespierre, who seemed to me like a clement and remarkable person at the beginning of the documentary, almost immediately turned into an absolute monster, senselessly killing his own people. I thought, well, this seems a bit off. And that’s when my quest for understanding began; over the years, I’ve done extensive research on the French Revolution, and I discovered that it was a truly multifaceted, enormously energetic time period. Of course, studying this point in history further led me to discover new avenues for thought, and in my sophomore year of high school, I started to seriously get into philosophy. Thus it’s definitely not incorrect to say that the French Revolution, as well as history in general, occupies a rather large part of my life.
It may be very daunting at first, but do not fear! I’ll recommend a few books and a few other blogs which will surely provide you with a good primary knowledge of the French Revolution. And of course, anon, you can ask me questions any time. You can even rant and rave to me, if you’d like, about history or life in general. Though I’m passionate about this subject, I don’t bite, I promise. It upsets me when people try to exclude others who are just beginning to learn about something. But now I’m rambling, so without further ado,
The French Revolution by Albert Mathiez- What I really appreciate about this book is that it contains so much insight into the economic as well as the social conditions of the era. Mathiez does an exemplary job of using primary sources to fuel his work, also, which is honestly preferable when you’re studying something as contentious as the French Revolution.
The Oxford History of the French Revolution by William Doyle- A fantastically-written book that doesn’t rely on a revisionist bias to carry the reader through a compelling narrative. I enjoy William Doyle’s attention to detail in his analysis of the time period, and I would most definitely recommend this book to beginners. It’s as dense as Mathiez’s work on the topic, though I find that it is an easier read.
Vive la Revolution by Mark Steel- Alright, so this book may not be the most detailed of analyses of the French Revolution, but it’s hilarious, and I found myself laughing hysterically with every chapter. If you ever get bored with reading dry academic prose, I highly recommend this book. It’s very refreshing.
The Age of Napoleon by J.C. Herold- While I’m not extremely well-versed in the Napoleonic era, I think that this book is a good introductory text. Not only does it focus on the life of Napoleon or his military career, but also the time period itself: the culture, the economy, etc.
Books (more specific, yet still important):
Twelve Who Ruled by R.R. Palmer- Okay, so this is one of my favorites by far. Palmer writes about the lives and actions of the members of the Committee of Public Safety, all while tying it all back to the Revolution as a whole. An excellent work, truly. If you choose to buy any book from this “specific book category”, please give this one a read.
The Jacobin Clubs in the French Revolution (1793-1795) by Michael L. Kennedy- This book concentrates on a more niche topic, so I don’t recommend reading it until you have a grasp of the general time period. However! It provides lots of fascinating information on the Jacobin clubs all throughout France, and I enjoyed it greatly.
Revolution in Print: The Press in France 1775-1800 by Robert Darnton and Daniel Roche- This book addresses the overall journalistic landscape of France before, during, and after the Revolution. Before I read it, I found myself occasionally getting muddled between the many different publications floating around during the Revolution, but this book has certainly helped me in that regard.
Books (primary sources):
Documentary History of the French Revolution by Paul H. Beik- A wonderful collection of primary sources by a variety of authors!
Robespierre: Virtue and Terror by Slavoj Žižek- While Žižek is often difficult to read, this book is mainly just a collection of speeches by Maximilien Robespierre. You can even skip over the Žižek part; seriously, it’s not a big deal at all.
Saint-Just by J.B. Morton- While this book demonstrates a moderate animosity towards Robespierre, it portrays Saint-Just quite well, and I’d recommend it if you’d like to become acquainted with one of the most interesting figures of the French Revolution.
Robespierre: Portrait of a Revolutionary Democrat by George Rudé- One of the first biographies I read about Robespierre, and a very interesting read indeed! Rudé, much like Albert Mathiez, is committed to accuracy in his historical writing.
Robespierre and the French Revolution by J.M. Thompson- This is a very short book, only about one hundred pages or so, and it does a good job of introducing readers to Maximilien Robespierre’s political career.
Robespierre and the Fourth Estate by Ralph Korngold- This book focuses more on how Robespierre interacted with the lower classes during the Revolution through his policies, but it also provides an analysis of his life in general. I liked it.
A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel- Although this book may not be as accurate as I would like it to be, I think it might help you understand the personalities of the French Revolutionaries as individuals, as well as how they related to one another.
@bunniesandbeheadings is wonderful, she posts lots of things about the French Revolution and is incredibly experienced in her research. You’ll learn a lot from following her, and she’s been around for quite a long time.
@rbzpr One of my favorite blogs! This blog, which I 100% recommend following, regularly posts excerpts from primary and secondary sources, as well as analyses of certain aspects of the time period. The way with which Flo conducts his research is phenomenal.
@couthon Georges Couthon is unfortunately often disregarded in French Revolutionary historiography, but Flo (the same person who runs rbzpr) dedicates lots of effort into providing us with information about him. A fantastic blog.
But of course that’s not all of the lovely people you could follow! Their blogs just focus specifically on the French Revolution. Plus, this post is getting unreasonably long, so I just have to move on.
Is Mill's political economy book worth the read? Specifically as a way to get a handle on the state of field for political economy before Marx?
yes, no. he wasn’t really summarizing the tradition or anything so he’s not a substitute for the history of the subject. i still think heilbroner’s worldly philosophers is the best book for that and the first few chapters, while not covering all the figures that marx was aiming his critique at, manage to give you a good amount of context for what people thought at the time and how some of those debates went down.
James was walking back to his dorm, wild dark curls shoved into a beanie that Sirius and the guys had bought him to “cover that ungodly mop of a tangled mess you call hair.” He jammed his hands into his jacket pockets and glared at the sidewalk as he walked, mentally cursing everything from his psychology professor and the midterm he had almost certainly just failed to the snowflakes that were settling on his glasses and making it almost impossible to see. With considerably less care than he usually observed with the precious dark frames, he whipped them off and began roughly wiping them on the edge of his shirt.
James Potter, it was very well known, was as blind as a bat. And therefore it was no surprise that on that particular winter day, while the snow drifted gently down and his glasses were held, useless, at his side, that he ran straight into her.
Before he even knew what was happening, James was lying flat on the pavement, with an aching butt and a scraped arm to add to his increasingly towering temper.
“Sorry,” he muttered tersely, feeling around on the pavement for his glasses.
“Don’t worry about it,” replied the girl he had run into. James could vaguely make out a thick mass of long, dark hair. He couldn’t see her face, but he could tell from her voice that she was smirking. Her friend, standing to the side, seemed to be highly amused as well, judging from her loud, helpless laughter.
Annoyed and now slightly embarrassed, James recovered his glasses and shoved them back onto his face. He got to his feet and brushed himself off while the second girl, still laughing, pulled her friend to her feet.
“Oh, shove it, Lily,” the first girl told her laughing friend. “I’m not the clumsy oaf here, he is.”