# why are tests more important than knowledge we might actually use

physics doesn’t have to suck: how to enjoy and do well in your required physics classes

As someone who doesn’t intend to take a physics class ever again, I was relieved when I walked out of my second semester physics final. That said, physics doesn’t have to suck or drag your average down.

(1) How to enjoy physics: Adjust your attitude. Physics is so cool if you actually think about it. Your attitude will dictate your experience. (2) But physics is so hard: Change the way you study and don’t give up. I did better in university physics than in high school. The content was way more difficult but it was my studying methods that made the difference.

This post is split into 3 parts: Introductory physics (very basic physics, that unit of physics you had to do in a lower level science class), high school physics (physics from an algebra-based perspective), and university physics (calculus-based physics and labs). (Obviously these overlap a lot but I needed to organize this somehow)

INFO IS UNDER THE CUT B/C THIS POST IS RIDICULOUSLY LONG

“The Basics”

The basic structure of the sortinghatchats system is that you aren’t just sorted into one House, but into two tiers of Houses: Primary and Secondary. Your Primary House defines WHY you do things. Your Secondary defines HOW. To build this system, we’ve drawn on the Sorting Hat’s songs, general HP canon, extracanonical data (ex. interviews with JKR)… and then extrapolated.

People are complex– for joy or for utility, due to social pressure or careless recreation, people often use the reasoning or methods of Houses that aren’t their Primary or Secondary. We call this “modelling” or “performing” a house and we will explain it in greater detail later. These additional layers help us capture some complexities in characters that we couldn’t get using Primary and Secondary alone. People can vary hugely in how they embody their Houses; in this system, Aang, the heroic pacifist protagonist from Avatar the Last Airbender, shares most of his Houses with HP’s Lord Voldemort.

The way you decide which Houses are yours is not necessarily by looking at what you do, but at what would make you proudest and most content if you were strong enough to do it. Your sorting is what you want to be and what you believe you should do, whether or not you actually live up to it. That’s how people like Peter Pettigrew can end up in Gryffindor.

PRIMARIES

Your Primary is your why. It’s your motivations, your values, and the way you frame the world around you. It’s how and what you prioritize, and what you weigh most heavily when making your decisions. People often also assume that others share those priorities. A common response to our system is “but you must oversort into Gryffindor/Slytherin/Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff–everyone has that type of morality, deep down!”

Gryffindor Primaries trust their moral intuitions and have a need and a drive to live by them. They feel what’s right in their gut, and that matters and guides them. If they don’t listen to and act on that, it feels immoral.

We call Gryffindor morality “felt” but that doesn’t mean they’re all impetuous, emotional hellions. Gryffindors can still be intelligent, deliberate creatures who weigh their decisions and moralities carefully. Reasoning, intellectualizing and debate can be support for a Gryffindor’s felt morality– but those things can never make a fully satisfying morality in themselves. Some things are just wrong, no matter what pretty words you use to explain them.

Ravenclaw Primaries have a constructed system that they test their decisions against before they feel comfortable calling something right. This system might be constructed by them, or it might have been taught to them as children, or it might have been discovered by them some point later in life. But it gives them a way to frame the world and a confidence in their ability to interact with it morally.

Ravenclaws do not lack an intuitive sense of morality or gut feeling about things, but they distrust those instincts and have a need to ignore or to dig down deep and dissect those internal moral impulses. Living within their built moral system is as important to a Ravenclaw as to a Gryffindor; it’s the source of the morality that differs between them–what they trust.

Hufflepuff Primaries value people–all people. They value community, they bond to groups (rather than solely individuals), and they make their decisions off of who is in the most need and who is the most vulnerable and who they can help. They value fairness because every person is a person and feel best when they give everyone that fair chance. Even directly wronged, a Hufflepuff will often give someone a second (or fifth) chance.

This doesn’t mean all Hufflepuffs are inherently tolerant human beings, any more than all Gryffindors are inherently good, moral creatures. Hufflepuffs tend to believe that all people deserve some type of kindness, decency, or consideration from them–but they can define “person” however they want, excluding individuals or even whole groups.

Slytherin Primaries are fiercely loyal to the people they care for most. Slytherin is the place where “you’ll make your real friends”– they prioritize individual loyalties and find their moral core in protecting and caring for the people they are closest to.

Slytherin’s reputation for ambition comes from the visibility of this promotion of the self and their important people– ambition is something you can find in all four Houses; Slytherin’s is just the one that looks most obviously selfish.

Because their morality system of “me and mine first” is fairly narrow in scope, Slytherins often construct a secondary morality system to deal with situations that are not addressed by their loyalty system.

SECONDARIES

Your Secondary is your how. It’s how you approach the world as a person interacting with it, and how you make your way. It’s how you problem-solve. It’s not necessarily what you’re best at, or even what’s the most useful to you, but about what skills and methods you value as being intrinsic to you. Do you improvise, do you plan? Do you work on something a little bit every day? Do you charge into the fray and tell people exactly what’s on your mind? What do you do? How would you describe the way you meet the world?

Note: the term “Secondary” is not meant to imply that how you do things is any less important than why (the Primary House). It’s simply the way our terminology fell out and we’re too lazy to change it. The importance of motivations v. methods is a personal sliding scale– it’s perfectly valid for a person to identify with their Secondary House over their Primary. (When drawing from canonical sources, we assumed each character likely was in a House that matched to either their Primary or their Secondary. For instance, Harry is in Gryffindor for his heroic Gryffindor Primary, but Ginny Weasley is there for her brash and bold Gryffindor Secondary.)

Gryffindor Secondaries charge. They meet the world head-on and challenge it to do its worst. Gryffindor Secondaries are honest, brash, and bold in pursuit of things they care about. Known for their bravery, it is almost a moral matter to stay true to themselves in any situation that they’re in.

Ravenclaw Secondaries plan. They collect information, they strategize. They have tools. They run hypotheticals and try to plan ahead for things that might come up. They build things (of varying degrees of practicality and actual usefulness) that they can use later– whether that’s an emergency supply pack, a vast knowledge of Renaissance artistic techniques and supplies, or a series of lists and contingency plans. They feel less at home in improvisation and more comfortable planning ahead and taking the time to be prepared.

Hufflepuff Secondaries toil. Their strength comes from their consistency and the integrity of their method. They’re our hard workers. They build habits and systems for themselves and accomplish things by keeping at them. They have a steadiness that can make them the lynchpin (though not usually the leader) of a community. While stereotyped as liking people and being kind (and this version is perhaps a common reality), a Hufflepuff secondary can also easily be a caustic, introverted misanthrope who runs on hard work alone.

Slytherin Secondaries improvise. They are the most adaptive secondary, finding their strength in responding quickly to whatever a situation throws at them. They improvise differently than the Gryffindor Secondary, far more likely to try coming at situations from different angles than to try strong-arming them. They might describe themselves as having different “faces” for different people and different situations, dropping them and being just themselves only when they’re relaxing or feel safe.

But the Journey Continues…

These four basic Primary and Secondary houses are summarized starting places that we use as a basis for further discussion. What are some ways this gets complicated?

Am I right in thinking some Celtic peoples practiced something akin to tattooing? I'm sure I've read stuff by Roman historians about it, so obviously grain of salt and all that.

They did, yes. Most likely body painting rather than tattooing, but then, it might have been tattooed in.

The common misconception is that they used woad, which, unusually, isn’t actually Caesar’s fault for once. Instead, it’s the fucking English, of all people. In the 1600s there was obviously that big mad scramble to colonnise the “New World” i.e. cyfe everything not nailed down, and England wanted to justify why it should get the indigo plantations instead of the Spanish on Moral Grounds (OH MY GOD I KNOW). So, Queen Lizzie One went ‘Hey, my granddad was Slightly Welsh, and that’s Celtic, and they used woad and also did tattooing, maybe that’ll work.” And so, they put about that woad - a relative of indigo - was what her ancestors had used culturally, and therefore indgo was part of her heritage.

It was not true.

The Insular Celts did use woad, that much is true, but they used it as an antiseptic, mostly. While it is a relative of indigo, it doesn’t produce anything close to the dyes you get from that one; the colour is similar, but not remotely as strong, and even with the best mordants it washes easily out of cloth. It was a medicinal plant, basically. There’s a theory that they would bathe in the stuff before battle as part of a ritual, but that was probably because it you’ve basted yourself in Savlon before running at swords and other pointy things, you’re much less likely to die of secondary infection (or, as you might perceive it, it means the gods have lent you protection.) And, of course, woad is an astringent. If you tried tattooing in an astringent, the best you could ever really hope for was semi-permanent bruising.

But, there are accounts of Pretty Blue Patterns on the skin, so PREPARE FOR TEDIOUS HISTORICAL CITATIONS

So first up we’ve got our boy Caesar, of course. Exhibit A, taken from De Bellum Gallico:

Omnes vero se Britanni vitro inficiunt, quod caeruleum efficit colorem/All the British colour themselves with {glass}, which produces a blue colour.

More on that in a bit. Next, Exhibit B, Claudius Claudianus:

Venit et extremis legio praetenta Britannis, Quae Scotto dat frena truci ferronque notatas/[This legion], which curbs the savage Scot and studies designs marked in iron on the face of the dying Pict.

Again, I’ll come back to that. Exhibit C is this sexy motherfucker:

Lindow Man! The most complete bog body found in Britain. I shan’t go into the debate surrounding how he died. That’s a rant for another time. The important thing here is the copper found on his skin.

So, let’s kick off. Caesar there is doing some Classic Caesar Bullshit, look - the only time the man ever came to Britain was to briefly do a meet-and-greet with a single south-eastern tribe in, like, Kent, before fucking off back to Rome, but he always was very good at ascribing the actions of one person to an entire people because Caesar was a massive fucking tool; so yeah, grain-of-salt. But it’s probably fair to say he was giving a good overview of a common practice in the south-east of Britain, at least.

And what’s interesting is the word he used for the colouring substance, which I have here translated as ‘glass’; but the word was ‘vitro’. Vitro was a contemporary-to-Caesar Roman blue-green glass, ver’ ver pretty:

- and, crucially, the major additive to create that colour was, in fact, iron(II) oxide. Let’s revisit Exhibit B: Claudianus’ Picts, who ‘marked their faces with iron’. For ages, historians interpretted that very literally, and thought they were practising facial scarification; but there’s a whole host of reasons why that’s unlikely, not limited to the potential to kill yourself with sepsis when you live in an arse-frozen Scottish highland with no NHS.

What seems more likely, it seems to me (and others, this isn’t just my theory)… Is that the Picts, much like the Insular Celts, were of course highly skilled metal workers, and therefore produced a lot of useful compounds in their forges that they realised could be used for pigments. Because these people were incredible metal workers, as we know:

If you’re that good, you have an extensive and highly skilled cultural knowledge bank around the raw materials you’re using, you know? You know what iron and copper and tin can do, though admittedly, I don’t think they worked out that copper poisoning was a thing.

We’ve found Romano-British cosmetics, incidentally, that back this up. In 2004, they found a villa that contained a half-used pot of Romano-British foundation made of animal fat, starch and, crucially, tin oxide. When rubbed onto the skin it makes you pale while leaving a light, powdery texture. It also, unlike the lead-based continental equivalents, didn’t corrode the skin like wax under a fucking candle.

So, step in Lindow Man! Copper deposits were found on his skin, and although decomposition has meant it’s not possible to see them exactly, they did tests to see it the copper was in the places you’d expect painting vs places you wouldn’t, and the results certainly supported the theory. I believe other bog bodies have just about had visible blue swirls, too.

And, unlike woad, you can tattoo iron oxides into the skin without issue. Technically you can tattoo copper in, but Lindow Man was most likely painted. I’d say that was just as well, since tattooing copper would kill you - but Lindow Man died horribly and violently and got chucked in a bog for two millennia, so ultimately, I doubt it made much difference to him. Though, a bonus fact: he had excellent white teeth, perfectly manicured nails, and his hair and beard had been trimmed with scissors, giving us concrete evidence of hygiene practices and tools among the Celts.

To round off: it seems likely they did something, though whether it was painting or tattooing, we don’t really know. It was probably done with metal compounds, and certainly not with woad. Queen Lizzie One lost the indigo plantations to the Spanish anyway. Lindow Man’s life was fabulous if riddled with parasites, right up to the point it very abruptly wasn’t, somewhere in his 20s.

And the Celts made exquisite metal stuff.

Do you like Jon and Sansa together? Do you think it's a posibility in both the books and the show? Why or why not?

Ah, Jon and Sansa. For some reason this has become like the ultimate GOT / ASOIAF Rorschach test? Either you see it in the inkblots or you don’t. I have no problem with people who don’t, but personally, I see it. While I wouldn’t call myself a passionate shipper or anything - I pretty much only get passionate about crackships or Cleopatra-and-Antony-style tragedies - I quite like Jonsa.

I think the two of them complement each other’s personalities, have similar belief systems and life goals, and have a surprising potential to be a truly healthy and supportive couple (surprising both because of the ‘thought they were siblings’ thing and because this is GOT and ‘healthy romance’ has been pretty much unheard of since the passing of Ned and Cat). There’s also enough angst built-in to the relationship to keep it an interesting dynamic for me. And I think it just makes for a fun twist and a good story.

TV relationships are usually based on the most unrealistic idealizations of romance ever to fuck up someone’s concept of how love actually works, and so for me Jonsa is a nice aversion in the sense that they clearly work as a couple. You can see why they like each other, where they clash, and how they work to resolve those clashes. The mechanics of the pairing make sense, you know? If I met them in real life I feel like they’d be an actual functioning couple, not a toxic circus show like most fictional romances - particularly in the fantasy genre. The appeal of Jonsa is in its practicality more than its drama, which I find very refreshing, especially in a high fantasy setting.

As for the possibility of its happening, yes, I think it has a good chance. I actually thought it had potential for winding up endgame a long time before I even starting caring about them as a romance. That’s why I became interested in it in the first place - it has textual evidence, it has a solid narrative structure, and the politics of it work out almost too well. Thematically, I think it would be a satisfying ending for both characters - if you want to hear more on my opinion on this aspect, you might take a look here. It also has the advantage of being a relationship that could quite literally save lives when it comes to patching together the Northern alliance and possibly the realm as a whole. It has historical parallels to events we know GRRM drew from when writing the books, and there’s proof that GRRM already considered pairing Jon off with one of his sisters from his original outline of the series. And that’s not even getting into all the hints the show has been dropping.

A Jon and Sansa marriage would be an ironic, unexpected twist that nonetheless functioned as a deeply appropriate cap to the thematic arcs of both characters: for Jon, finally becoming a ‘true’ member of the Stark family despite - and, in fact, because of - the new knowledge that he was never even Ned’s bastard in the first place but a Targaryen all along (not to discount the importance of Lyanna as his mother, but I’m looking at it with the patriarchal logic of the setting); and for Sansa, finally marrying a prince and becoming a princess in the most unexpected way possible, long after she became too wise to want to do so, and all because of the bastard half-brother she used to look down on. For Jon, marrying Sansa would be about coming to terms with his identity issues - if he was truly a Stark, he couldn’t marry her, but in marrying her as a Targaryen he achieves a kind of ‘Stark-ness’ anyway. And for Sansa, a relationship with Jon would be the culmination of her character growth about looking past appearances to the truth underneath. It just makes a good, twisty end to a good, twisty story.

That doesn’t mean that Jonsa is inevitably going to happen, of course - I could be wrong, as I’ve been wrong about endgames before (ah, Zutara, I remember you fondly). And as I’m not reading the series or waching the show primarily for the potential romances, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I’ve always been more drawn to interpersonal relationships and character dynamics than I am to action scenes, however, and this particular relationship is interesting enough that I’d like to see it play out on the page and the screen. (I also, personally, just enjoy being right about things, and so a Jonsa endgame would also be fun for me purely because I like having my theories turn out to be correct.)

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the Jon and Sansa relationship. Hope that helps!

Chapter 93 Thoughts

This chapter scores the winning combo of being info heavy but not slow. Saying that there are a lot of points to mull over is an understatement. Long post incoming.

Main plot things:

• Everyone in the world considers the titan powers to no longer be absolute.
• Zeke is definitely up to something that does NOT have Marley’s best interest in mind.
• Armin & Eren have (supposedly) been destroying and/or confiscating Marleyan ships over the course of 3 years.
• Ackermans are titan-related science experiments gone horribly right.
• Ymir’s fate confirmed.
• There’s a 9th shifter out there yet to be introduced.
• Memory inheritance is iffy and not exclusive to the coordinate.
• Reiner’s suffering goes above and beyond near death experiences.
• Falco isn’t disillusioned by life as a shifter, but is now a contender for inheriting the Armored Titan…as a way to protect Gabi.

If the first two chapters of this volume served to lay the groundwork, then this chapter is the one that really starts creating something. Whatever this is shaping up to be, I know one thing for certain.

I am hyped

EARN IT [DRACO MALFOY]

request: “Hey, I like to request something with Draco Malfoy please? The reader always beat Draco in Potion class and Draco was not satisfied so he approached her and take a sudden liking towards her and the reader said that if Draco want to go on a date with her, he needs to score higher mark than her? Love your writing btw. It’s okay if don’t want to this one.” — by anon

+ “Hello! I’ve read all of your imagine and I was so hooked up! I would like to request something. Can I please have a Draco Malfoy x reader? In which the reader is a Ravenclaw (or Slytherin). The reader was the top of the Potions class and Draco was not satiesfied so he approached her for studying advices but end falling for her? He ask her on a date but she would only agree if he get higher marks than her in Potions? Thank you so much and it’s fine if don’t want to do it. 😊” — by anon

a/n: made the reader a mix of ravenclaw and slytherin? i don’t know if i pulled it off but lol. also, i’m trying to make my imagines longer to have a little bit more depth and be more satisfying to the readers or the one who requested idk 😂 also, mixed the two requests bc they are so alike it’s oddly satisfying

p.s. let’s just pretend that draco’s not stressing out on getting the vanishing cabinet done in this imagine because it takes place in half-blood prince.

Masterlist

No offence, but I feel as if in this chapter, the author got tired of this entire ark in general, as the entire situation was solved ridiculously fast. Now, I don't really understand Japanese, so this may not be accurate. But from what I see, both highly powerful opponents were ridiculously quickly subdued, and somehow Fitzgerald decided to side with the Mafia and the ADA for no reason. We didn't even get to know Fyodor's ability yet, and he's already defeated.

I, too, was disappointed in this chapter, but after collecting my thoughts, I decided that it wasn’t a bad way of ending this arc, if this indeed is the end. Sure it may have looked abrupt, but it could have been worse… Or so I like to tell myself.

(Warning: I try my best to be unbiased and objective but this may read like a lot of whining. Only proceed if you’re fine with that.)

The good:
Akutagawa’s promise to Atsushi; appearance of the rest of ADA and Port Mafia; Fitzgerald saving the day; Ango and his crew appearing; that not-so-subtle nod to Odasaku in the end

The “I don’t have much of a good or a bad opinion on this”:
Shin soukoku new combo move;  Chuuya still in the book

Quick resolution to the arc; implied lobotomy(!?); Dazai and his keikaku doori antics again; strange sense of déjà vu since they used practically same buildup as the last arc, but now it’s the remix version

First of all, I’ll just have to throw out my wildest (not really) theory out here: Fyodor is still the “final boss”. Come on, he gets the moniker “The Demon” and gets jailed off like that? No, no. It doesn’t make sense at all, at least to me. So my guess is that Agatha and the Order of the Clock Tower will swoop in to try and mess with the Agency, but when they’re on the verge of defeat, Fyodor steps in and uses this chance to strike ADA for himself. So uh Guild Arc 2.0. Or something along those lines. This could’ve been a test drive. Or he could have other Rats in Russia waiting for orders in case there’s a Phase II. Call me optimistic, but that’s what I would like to believe.

We jailbreak from Azkaban and invade Ministry of Magic now.

There really isn’t much to say about Dazai proving himself a formidable chessmaster again, other than I called it on an earlier ask. I just hope I’m not the only one tired of him being right all the damn time. No one can be that all-seeing…

Varys King of Spies: Is Jonsa playing the game better than we think?

I’ve been doing some thinking about some of the lingering questions I have about Jon and Sansa in season 7 and one in particular has been nagging at me a lot lately. The question is did Jon and Sansa know ahead of time that Varys was a part of Dany’s small council?

This question has been nagging at me because I’m still torn about whether or not some of Sansa’s words around Littlefinger can be taken at face value. The particular scene I’m talking about is the one where she tells him that she hasn’t heard from Jon in weeks.

It might seem like my question about Varys is irrelevant to that scene but here me out for a second and hopefully I can make some sense out of my line of thinking.

If Jon and Sansa knew a head of time that Varys was a part of Dany’s small council then that would give them the chance to plan accordingly. Varys was the master of whispers and fed intel to Cersei and LF while Sansa was in KL. This means Sansa would know that Varys will intercept any communications between she and Jon while he is at dragonstone and possibly feed that information back to Dany. They actually made it a point to show us Varys intercepting a raven meant for Jon and telling tyrion about it before Jon can even see it. What if that wasn’t there for no reason? Why do that if it wasn’t important for us to know that Varys reads Jon’s letters? They didn’t even reveal the content of the letter they just revealed that Jon is basically being spied on while he is at dragonstone and this is something that Sansa could have easily predicted would happen.

his dragonstone mission off screen since Sansa mentions telling Jon that the Lords would turn on him and attempt to crown her if he’s gone too long. We also saw Jon ask for Sansa’s opinion on Tyrion on screen. If Sansa had info about Varys she would tell Jon and they would be able to plan accordingly.

It always struck as odd that Sansa implies that she and Jon were in communication but then it stopped….yet we never actually saw any ravens be exchanged between the two of them. We only saw TWO ravens exchanged while Jon was at dragonstone. The raven Bran sent Jon, which Varys intercepted, and the raven Jon sent Sansa telling her he had bent the knee. If there was more why didn’t we see it? How often did they communicate? What did they talk about? If Jon and Sansa had been in communication then why did BRAN notify Jon that Arya was alive and back at Winterfel instead of Sansa? Why was Bran’s raven the first time Jon learned that Bran was alive? If he and Sansa were communicating why didn’t Sansa notify Jon of Bran and Arya’s return herself? When Jon read bran’s raven he told Dany that he thought they were both dead….even tho they had been back at Winterfell for weeks by that point…. it’s odd.

All my questions, including my original one point me in one direction……Sansa and Jon were actually never in communication while Jon was at dragonstone, therefore Sansa didn’t just lie to LF about not hearing from him in weeks, she lied about communicating with him all. This theory operates under the assumption that the answer to my original question about Varys is Sansa and Jon knew Varys was there but to me this assumption makes a lot of vague things make sense and it’s a reasonable assumption to make.

If Sansa and Jon knew that Varys was there, they would make an agreement to not communicate with each other before Jon leaves. If they know that their messages will be intercepted, and again we actually saw this happen with Bran’s raven, then they wouldn’t communicate to protect the north from their enemies. They both know they have to be smart. Sansa saw Varys and LF at work in KL and how they collected info against their enemies and manipulated everyone around them. I can’t see Jon or Sansa wanting any intel about the north getting back to Dany and her camp so Sansa sending Jon ravens updating him about their armies and the state of their home would be off the table. Just like Jon telling Sansa about what’s going on with him at dragonstone, like his status as a prisoner, etc. would be off the table as well. Jon doesn’t even tell Dany and personal information about himself while he is there. If he’s that guarded with his own business he’s going to be even more guarded with the North’s business.

This agreement would explain why Sansa isn’t the one who tells Jon that Arya and Bran are alive, that information in the wrong hands can be used against them. The information only comes out because Jon becomes emotional and wants to leave the island to her back to his family as the walkers approach. Bran wouldn’t know about this prior agreement so him sending Jon the raven without Sansa knowing would still fit because Bran did that on his own, not with Sansa. They need to protect the north in any way they can so keeping all of the north’s business in the north while the king is away would be the smart thing to do. They could have agreed to only write if it’s an emergency situation or agreed to only write them Jon is on his way back to the north.

A major theme for Jon and Sansa since they reunited has been trust. This agreement to not communicate would be the first true test of how much they trust each other. Jon would have to trust Sansa with the north and with LF while he is away with zero knowledge of what’s going on. Sansa would have to trust that Jon will do wherever it takes to protect their home and return to her while she stays completely in the dark about his progress and his methods. To separate at such a crucial time and agree to not communicate would require major trust in each other. If they did agree to this then Jon’s trust in Sansa was not misplaced because while Jon is gone Sansa grows more loyal to Jon as the episodes pass. She refuses to take power away from him twice and she gets rid of the biggest enemy in their camp and maintains their hold on the vale. She keeps his armies united, fed, and trained properly while he’s gone. Now as far as Jon is concerned he’s been doing a lot of stuff as well but it remains to be seen if he’s held up to his end of the bargain and hasn’t made Sansa placing her trust of him be in vain….but if the ULT or politician Jon theory is correct then Jon has been deserving of Sansa’s trust because he’s been working his own plan to secure their home and safety, even at the expense of his own body and honor.

If Jon and Sansa haven’t been communicating since Jon left then it would also make her conversations with LF AND her reaction to the raven she receives from Jon make sense.

Sansa knows that LF wants to drive a wedge between her and Jon so why would she tell him that she hasn’t talked to Jon in weeks, giving him an opening to manipulate her? She wouldn’t, which is why it was probably a lie meant to feel LF out and understand his plans. It’s a complete lie since he doesn’t know that she hasn’t talked to Jon at all since he left. This is the same conversation where LF attempts to get her to bring Brienne into her fight with arya and Sansa later does the exact opposite of his suggestion. It’s clear that she was not actually seeking his council but she was feeling him out and getting information from him to help her figure out the arya situation better and figure out his plotting.

In their next solo scene Sansa once again reveals information to LF that doesn’t make sense. She tells him that Jon bent the knee. It’s abundantly clear in this scene that Sansa is manipulating LF and we see the payoff of this when she brings him to trial later in the episode. But the most curious thing was the actual scroll she received and her reaction to Jon’s decision. The actual words of the scroll also felt odd. So why would Jon send Sansa that raven so late when he “bent” the knee before he reached Cersei and why did Sansa seem only slightly annoyed? It’s clear her reaction was for LF’s benefit but even after he dies Jon bending the knee never comes up again at all and Sansa doesn’t seem worried or angry at all. In fact she ends the season on the battlements reminiscing about her father and quoting “the lone wolf dies but the pack survives” as she smiles at her sister. If your brother and king had just betrayed you and your kingdom you wouldn’t be waxing poetic about the pack sticking together and standing over looking your ice kingdom at peace. So why wasn’t Jon’s actions bigger for Sansa? Why was it so underplayed and basically only a plot device in her plot against LF?

I know some people think that Sansa is in on UCL Jon/politician Jon but I’m not sold on that theory. What I think is more likely is that Sansa doesn’t know what Jon is doing with Dany but she knows that whatever he said in that letter is not to be taken at face value. It would explain her reaction to the news that Jon seemingly betrayed the north. If she and Jon had an agreement to not communicate then she would know that if she’s reading this letter from Jon then something is not as it seems. The words of the actual scroll add to this:

“Dear Sansa, Cersei Lannister had pledged her forces to our cause, as has Daenerys Targaryen and if we survive this war I have pledged our forces to daenerys as the rightful queen of the seven kingdoms. We are both coming to organize the defense of the realm. Jon Snow, Warden of the North

That scroll reads like it was meant for someone’s else’s eyes NOT Sansa’s eyes. Like it was written by Dany herself not by Jon to his sister who has been ruling in his stead and didn’t want him going there in the first place. The explanation is so basic and the words are very calculated. If Jon knew his ravens would be intercepted then he knew he had to write it in a way that would aide his cause with Dany, not hurt it or send alarm bells to her camp when it’s read. That’s why he calls himself “Warden of the north” and why he very plainly tells her that he’s on his way. There is nothing personal about that scroll at all and he only says what’s absolutely necessary. Its all very deliberate. Jon writing that letter to Sansa under the assumption that it’s going to be read before she gets it and that she’s gonna know that the words have more meaning that it seems because she knows that getting the raven in the first place should raise a red flag, makes the words and the timing make sense. It would also explain why Sansa does not panic or seem moved by his words. She knows something is up so she’s not concerned or angry even if she’s a little weary and apprehensive. She trusts him so she knows that if Jon is saying this, there has to be a reason, even if she doesn’t know the reason she knows that his reason is in service of the north and their family.

So maybe it’s not the elaborate plan where Jon and Sansa plot every step together, just like Sansa/bran/arya didn’t plot ever step of the LF take down together, but it’s just enough planning and foresight to keep them ahead is the rest of the players in the game. Basically their partnership and faith in each other is what has fueled their actions while they were apart and what keeps the relationship float even in the face of what seems like betrayal. They are playing the game separately on two different fronts but at the same time they are still playing it together and far better than the people left on the board because unlike all the rest of the teams they have trust, respect, and real love tying them
together. A pack that can work separately and together at the same time is a pack that can win the game.

Abducted, Possessed or In Love

“I think something is wrong with Nico,” Leo said.

The effect of his words was instantaneous. Jason put down his toast and reached for his sword.  Piper continued buttering her bread, outwardly unmoved, but her hold on the knife suddenly looked a lot more threatening.

“What do you mean?” Jason asked. “Is he alright? Has someone said something to him because if they have-”

“Whoa chill man. That’s actually kind of the opposite of the problem.”

Jason glanced down at his sword as though he’d only just realised he was holding it, and put it back down with deliberate care.

“Leo it’s too early for this. What exactly is going on?”

“I think Nico might have been kidnapped by aliens and replaced by an exact double.”

So skimming through my asks (which I haven’t answered for far too long, I’m so sorry guys) I stumbled over a Dadzawa-request.

And that got me thinking. Because, mostly when someone mentions Dadzawa, it is in combination with Bakugou – but this anon asked for Dadzawa and Izuku interaction. And I was like “That actually would make a lot of sense.”

Because, sure, All Might (or Dad Might) is probably the biggest influence as an almost father-figure Izuku has in his life. All Might was the first to believe in his dream, and the first teacher who really tried to make him better than he is. And they share a lot of things – their story, their personality, the reason for them to become a hero. They are very similar, and thinking of them as a sort of father and son is very easy.

Aizawa, on the other hand, seems to have nothing in common with Izuku. Their drive, habits, and dreams are completely different, as far as we know. Sometimes, Aizawa seems to be annoyed or stressed by Izuku’s habits of hurting himself or mumbling under his breath. Sometimes, Izuku seems to be a bit afraid of Aizawa, startling and sweating when the man appears next to him all of a sudden.

But you know what?

Apart from All Might, Aizawa was the very first superior and teacher who acknowledged Izuku.

The moment Aizawa stops Izuku from throwing that ball in the entrance test? That was really important.

Sure, Aizawa threatened to expel Izuku in that test if he couldn’t come up with a way to work with his quirk without breaking his limbs. But that is exactly what is so important about this – Aizawa didn’t want to expel Izuku because he is too weak or not determined enough.

He wanted to expel Izuku because he thought the boy couldn’t become a hero without endangering himself. He didn’t want to let Izuku become a hero if that meant that Izuku had to break his limbs over and over again.

As far as we have seen, Izuku didn’t have the best teachers before meeting All Might (and Aizawa). Remember the first chapter / episode? Bakugou and the rest of Izuku’s classmates bullied Izuku, laughed at him and his dream, and straight out threatened him physically while their teacher was still in the classroom.

The teacher did nothing to stop the bullying. He just watched. No, more than that – he, too, laughed at Izuku’s dream of getting into U.A. And judging from Izuku’s reaction, I dare believe that was not the first time this happened.

Izuku’s former teacher(s) did not care about Izuku. Did not care about his well-being, his dreams, nothing. Didn’t support him at all.

Aizawa did, in a way. He didn’t laugh. He just gave Izuku a reprimand why he couldn’t be a hero when he kept breaking his limbs.

While All Might was the first one to believe in Izuku, telling him that he could reach his dream, Aizawa was the first one to tell Izuku “That doesn’t mean you can just throw your well-being and life away for it.”

All Might may have taught Izuku to believe and fight for his dream, but Aizawa taught Izuku to be careful with himself while doing so.

And it doesn’t stop there. Right after Izuku passed the test (with Aizawa being shown as seemingly positively surprised and also somewhat proud – look at that smile of his, guys), Bakugou wanted to attack Izuku, right?

But Aizawa stopped Bakugou.

We can clearly see how perplexed and annoyed Bakugou is at being stopped – because it has never happened before. Nobody has ever told him to stop bullying Izuku, not even their teachers. But there is Aizawa, stopping him, telling him to cut it off (even wrapping him in bandages in a very funny looking way, which must have been a little humiliating for Bakugou.)

Aizawa was the first person to stop the bullying, stepping up and saying “Not under my watch.”

I can only fathom how relieved Izuku must have been after that knowledge had sunken in. I mean the knowledge that from now on, with this teacher, there would be no more bullying in the middle of the classroom, perhaps not even during the whole school time at all – because Aizawa would not allow it.

While the relationship between Aizawa and Izuku doesn’t get much spotlight, I noticed two other important moments between them.

At USJ, Izuku was worried about Aizawa when the man made to stop all the villains by himself until help arrived. Aizawa didn’t just tell him off, saying that he is a pro after all and Izuku just a student – no, he basically reassures Izuku and gives him another very important lesson: “No good hero is one-trick phony.”

I sincerely believe that Izuku, who is a very strategical and smart boy, took that advice to heart and learned from it. Shortly after, Izuku does not try to fight the villains in the water directly, or jump at them without a care for the limbs he could break – no, he uses just his fingers and the quirks of his friends to capture all of them. He came up with a new trick and didn’t break more than a few fingers – just like Aizawa taught him.

The second very important moment is at the boot camp. Remember when Aizawa sent Izuku off again – hesitantly so – and carried Kouta back to safety? Back then, he told Kouta to apologize for his earlier behavior towards Izuku, and to thank him. And he also said that he would have to scold Izuku later for being reckless.

Remember who also said that he would have to live on and scold Izuku for being reckless?

All Might, during his fight against All for One.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but I like to think that Horikoshi came up with this parallel on purpose. It shows us that All Might and Aizawa both acknowledge and respect Izuku in their own way, care for him, even – but are also ready to show him what he did wrong and scold him for it.

Because that’s what a teacher should do. A teacher supports, cares, teaches and also scolds the student if necessary.

And Aizawa does that for Izuku, too.

The longer I think about this, the more I believe that Aizawa and Izuku have a complex yet deep relationship. Aizawa cares for Izuku in that unique way of his (just like he cares for the rest of his students), and Izuku looks up to Aizawa. It’s not the same strong, familiar relationship Izuku has with All Might, but it is there, and it is stronger than one could think.

Basically – Dadzawa all the way. ;)

Why I feel raising awareness is important and why I appreciate the existence of a community

I am from an earlier generation than the majority of tumblr, so I wanted to share some of my experiences as an asexual and the reason why I’m so grateful that blogs like yours exist today.

Like many people in my environment I was brought up to believe that being perceived as desirable and/or marriage material is a strong criterion for defining my worth as a person. Even now, much later, this is hard to shake off.

Being of a curious nature and assured that romantic love is the thing to aspire to, I developed a fascination and curiosity about it. Later I would realise that my perception of the subject was not shared by my peers. The connection, the fascination between two (or more) people that I perceived as “romantic” was nowhere near what my friends were interested in. On one side, this was very pleasing to my very conservative family, on the other side, my lack of interest for the “hunt” was considered weird by my schoolmates.

I had no label for it. There was no name and no community because the internet and all its possibilities and social networks were yet to come. I thought I was a “late bloomer”. The problem with this was - I felt it put me somewhere behind my peers. Like they were all in a club I was not allowed to join and it was the only existing club. Like they were developing into “proper people” faster than me.  I couldn’t have that. So I pretended to be interested in people in the same way as they were. Because, surely, it was only a matter of time until my slow self would also become “right”. As an avid reader and researcher I had no trouble finding the proper language to appear on the same level or even further “in the game” than my peers. My sexual persona was sufficiently convincing and as the years went by, the lie became so comfortable I almost forgot I was lying. An “I’m currently not looking for a relationship” here, a “yes, there was someone, but it was nothing serious” there, or implying I’m in unrequited love did the trick. Some of you might know the insistent nature of questions about marriage and relationships you start getting at a certain point.

I accumulated some experience with flirting, kissing, role play and various kinks that, in theory, seemed interesting, to give my constructs more credibility and substance. I read more erotic literature than anyone in my social circle and tried to recreate the feelings the various authors were describing. I tried to be heterosexual, homosexual, pansexual…anything. I overanalysed my gender identity and even tried tantric meditation courses to “awaken my sexual energy”. There was always the hope, that this time I would feel the spark everyone was talking about, this time I wouldn’t be “wrong”.

You would have been tested to find anyone more involved in or better informed about anything concerning sex than myself back in those days. I was an asexual obsessed with sex! What a waste of energy this must look like to everyone! It wasn’t entirely bad, though. Some areas focused heavily on psychological interaction and deep trust, rather than physical stimulation. Those were nice to discover.

As my time at university progressed, the latent anxiety about my “wrongness”  grew. It got worse every time I, for lack of a better term, fell in love with someone. For me it meant intensely craving regular interpersonal exchange, making them understand they were special, beautiful, luminous and incredibly precious to me, maybe kissing and certainly hugging, nuzzling and snuggling the living daylights out of them! And yet…I could never truly approach them, because what could I offer?? The eventual goal for anyone would be a “rich and healthy sex life” and despite all my theoretical knowledge, me deriving no pleasure whatsoever in the actual deed would have put a damper on the whole thing. Even the idea of actually doing the things I knew I was expected to do filled me with dread. So I was left heartbroken and convinced that, really, I had no right to feel heartbroken.

I was never afraid of ending up alone. Being alone was fine, even pleasant! My fear only centred on what I thought of as my “disability” being found out. And that was never going to happen, was it?

It was. You can imagine how it went - I met a person, we became close friends and were compatible on a level that I’d never experienced before. And the perk - they were in a romantic/sexual relationship. So no danger for me, right? Wrong. I found out that being asexual does not stop you from wanting emotional commitment. And here my true agony began. I desired something while not being able to give anything worthwhile in return.  This is how I perceived it. Any story I knew that featured a person unable to give their partner sexual pleasure claimed they “had it coming” when they were cheated on, dumped or ended up living in a broken relationship (or, of course, finally finding Mr./Ms. Right to cure them). I didn’t want that for the person I cared for or for myself.

I won’t bore you with the details. I started distancing myself. My beloved wouldn’t have that. Their relationship was terminated and I got a declaration of love I was overjoyed to hear. Would I try to make the one I adored happy? Of course I would. Alas, at some point the “wrongness” had to be addressed. Although I trusted this person very much, I was prepared to being laughed at or told I was repressed, damaged or insufficient. Instead I got understanding and the promise that whatever physical contact I was comfortable with would be enough. I was too shocked to process it at the moment. I was always worried that it was just pity speaking, or the expectation that eventually I would “come around”. This worry haunted me. I couldn’t believe anyone could possibly tolerate an “incomplete” relationship. My instincts pushed me towards withdrawal and keeping silent, letting us drift apart as friends. Again, I found an unexpected patience combined with a fierce insistence on making it work. Sentences like “With you I found a greater intimacy then physical contact could ever give me” and “I want to be a part of your life, and I want this relationship more than anything” along with many “I love you"s  made me come out of my shell again. There was even some joking about it - "In the near future I’ll be too old for that kind of thing anyway, so don’t worry”. I can’t describe the amount of understanding and love I got in this relationship.

Still, it was constantly on my mind that I was unable to fulfil an important task. My partner seemed reasonably happy, though. So happy, in fact, that the “issue” was no issue at all and in a conversation with a close friend who was devastated about not being able to get “a normal relationship” my partner’s tongue slipped - “What’s a ‘normal’ relationship even supposed to be?? There are no rules for happiness! Look at us! We’re not having sex and we’re still very happy!” When I found out about it, the shame crushed me. I was unable to do something so basic! I was “wrong”! Not one of the “proper people”! And now an outsider knew about it! The thing I spent a big part of my life covering up! All my effort now seemed pointless. I felt incredibly betrayed and devastated. I asked for distance and said I needed a break until I gathered myself.

This may seem ridiculous and you might say - “There’s nothing wrong with being who you are! Own up to it! Just be yourself!"  And, of course, you are right. And this mentality is more recent than you might think. I spent many years of my life in an environment where "be yourself” was little more than a pretty phrase from movies about teenagers who went through a makeover to become more attractive for their love interest. “Being yourself” just meant adapting to the environment, or at least covering up your “insufficiencies”. And this is hard to shake off. Even today I struggle with it.

The story has a happy continuation, though. My partner was devastated about the mistake and tearfully apologised countless times and again - understood why I was upset. There was no judging, no “get over it already” or anything like that. And that’s what made me realise (after I had some time to gather myself) that what we have is more important to me than hanging on to my carefully crafted mask.

We are still together and as happy as any couple could ever be. We have loads of fun and grow together as people. In case it matters to anyone - I’m a woman, my partner is a man.

I am so grateful that blogs like yours exist and that you are raising awareness and giving a community to people who are going through the same things I was going through, showing them they are “proper people” and “right”. With the onslaught of sexual expectation thrown at people every day it’s easy to lose oneself if what you are is deemed “inexistent”. The community gave me a new term to describe “the wrongness” and for that I’m truly grateful.

Rebuttal: Pearl Did Not Shatter Pink Diamond

So some friends and I were discussing the SU ‘Wanted’/Memoral Day episodes, particularly theories related to The Trial.  This is my opinion on the relevant theories regarding Pearl.  I’ll post my own theory shortly.

It’s fairly long (enough so that it seemed like the post window was starting to break), and spoilers abound.  So details are below the line if you’re up for it.

Parallels between 1x1 and 12x23 and continued reference to The Book of Enoch in Supernatural

As @tinkdw has posted about recently, the parallels to the first episode are strong in 12x22.

In the first episode there is a nursery where Sam (a baby) has the blood of Azazel (a demon but actually a fallen angel) combined with his. Then his mother dies. Then the love of Sam’s life (Jess) is killed which spurs Sam on to hunt with Dean to find their father.

In 12.23 it ends with a nursery where Jack (a baby turned teen) is a combination of human and fallen angel. Then his mother dies. Just before that the love of Dean’s life (Cass) is killed and Sam and Dean’s mother whist technically hunting is lost to an alternate reality.

(1x1)

(12x23)

So, what does this mean for Jack? I think Jack is being paralleled with Sam because of this. Sam was destined to be a special child (which is inspired by Judaic lore about fallen angels making nephilim, specifically Azazel creating nephilim which starts the war between Heaven’s angels and the fallen angels).

Let’s do some background on Azalea’s children. Here is the entry from Supernatural wikia, cred to that site; ‘Special Children refers to children to whom Azazel fed his blood when they were babies, having snuck into their homes after making a deal with their parents. The result was that the blood caused the children to develop supernatural abilities in them so they could serve as generals in Lucifer’s army against humanity and God. These abilities could be strengthened by the consumption of demon blood. Around Season 2, Azazel wanted to test these children to find who would be the strongest, so he put them in an abandoned town called Cold Oak and told them only one could survive. This eventually triggered a fight among the Children. Azazel led everyone to believe that he wanted a leader for his demon army. However, as it was later revealed, the endgame was bigger than just leading a demon army. Azazel chose the children because they were all potential vessels for Lucifer. The strongest one would be chosen to contain Lucifer throughout the Apocalypse. Sam Winchester was the sole survivor and so, despite his greatest efforts, was taken over by Lucifer both as a result of being a Special Child and also because of his predetermined destiny as Lucifer’s true vessel.’

You guys asked for it, so here are my thoughts on Mr. Lancer in Teacher of the Year.

I’m honestly tempted to just link a couple of other posts here and be done with it, because I feel like others have done this better than I can, but I’ll do my best to talk about him in my own words. Honestly, while I have issues with this episode, Mr. Lancer alone makes it worth it.

Make Me

A/N: it wouldn’t surprise me if the person who sent this prompt in has forgotten they’ve sent it in given it was so long ago but it was too cute to pass up alright

it’s funny cause these are pretty much my own thoughts at night lazily fashioned into a semi-romantic duologue

prompt: college au, d&p sharing a dorm room and at night dan is afraid of the dark so he talks and talks and phil is extremely annoyed until one day he tackles dan in bed “would you shut the fuck up already” “make me” and they kiss

words: 2,440

——————

It’s like sharing a room with an eight year old, to be honest.

“Phil?”

Silence.

“Phil…?” Dan nibbles his lip, stirring in his bed to face his roommate’s bed.

Followed by another expected silence.

“Are you awake?” Dan whispers again, his voice penetrating the heavy quietness between the two beds in the dimly-lit room, with only Dan’s laptop screen with Netflix as an effective enough nightlight, although Inception had finished hours ago.

“I am now.” Phil hisses, and Dan doesn’t need the light to sense Phil’s glaring the shit out of him.

“You went to sleep ten minutes ago.” Dan narrows his eyes. “No-one can fall asleep that quickly, surely.”

“When you’re tired as fuck, it’s surprisingly possible.” Phil replies through gritted teeth, his sleep deprivation due to having to go through this every fucking night finallygetting the better of him. In all honesty, he can’t remember the last time he’d slept solidly for longer than half an hour the nights Dan’s in the room, and he aches with the memory of how heavenly his bed had felt when Dan visited home for a weekend. “Anyway, seeing as it has only been ten minutes, you’ve barely given me any chance. ”

Dan gives him a tentative smirk, although he’s unsure if Phil’s looking at him or not. “What’s the time?”

“Late enough for you to go the fuck to sleep.” Phil mutters, followed by a brief, obedient pause, and a quiet shuffling and moment of a glowing phone screen. “Two forty-five.” He sighs, horror flooding his voice as he remembers it’s only four hours until his lecture and the only attempts at sleeping he’s made are undeniably very pathetic ones.

Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection - Localization Blog #2

“Rally-ho, true believers!” I shout, swinging into the grand hall on a chandelier, interrupting the fancy party. Everything stops as eyes are focused solely on me – on my roguish good looks, my brand-name tabard, my elk leather highboots. I somersault to the floor, landing on my feet with a flourish and a bow. “I know you must have thought this high society gathering dreadfully dull without me here to tell you about the intricacies of composing prose for novel electronic amusements, so I’ve come to enlighten and entertain thee. Also, did you know all the food here is free? My pockets are full of cocktail wieners right now.”

Indeed, it’s an honor to see you again, dear readers. I hope you enjoyed my previous blog about the upcoming PC release of Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection. As a small refresher, it served as something of an introduction to Zwei: II as a game – what it’s all about, its two main characters, the setup of the story, and its battle and leveling system. You can think of it as a sampler platter to give you a taste of why this game’s cool.

Do a barrel roll

reading the Dark Era light novel for Bungou Stray Dogs, somethings really struck me (all about Mori and Dazai’s conversation lol):

NDRV3 Transcripts: Momota Kaito’s FTE#3

Here’s Momota’s third FTE! I remember there were a few people a while back wondering if it was true that Momota is fluent in multiple languages–this is the FTE that confirms it!

There are spoilers for Chapter 1 in this FTE, so please be careful!

Thanks again to @kaibutsushidousha and @ne0dym for the actual transcript! And @shinjiroaragaki provided all the icons as usual! I wouldn’t be able to do this without all the help! The Google doc’s been updated for anyone who wants to read there instead for convenience.

More translated transcripts.

Anyway, please enjoy! And please feel free to reblog and spread this around if possible, so that more people can see Momota’s FTEs!

Hi! I'm sadly a spectator of the way the government are treating junior doctors under the NHS in our country. I can't help but wonder... being a doctor has always been a prestigious career to have. More recently reports have been coming in about the industry being dominated by women, with a lot of current medical school cohorts having a female majority, rather than it being a male focused industry as it was "back in the day". I'd be interested to your opinion into whether the two are linked

That’s a very interesting question. So you’re going to get a long answer. Apologies if it’s a bit rambling, I think I’ve yet to fully articulate lots of things about this, and there’s a lot of issues at stake.

It’s hard to tell, but it could be a part of it. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that medicine, and by extension doctors, don’t quite play the same role in society they used to. Yes, we still help people, but there’s a nuanced change in what society expects of doctors, and also in how it sees them in return. And I think the changes in expectations, and in how people see us in general, does make it easier for the government and the media to do what they want.

The media are very good at demonising people; it’s

Paternalism and prestige:

In recent decades, we’ve seen a huge shift from paternalism to more patient-centred care. Whereas doctors were once austere old men in white coats who told you what to do,  and you pretty much did it, now the role is much more to advise, and patients expect to be told a lot more information and make their own decisions. I shouldn’t need to add that I’m fully supportive of empowering patients to take an active part in their care; it’s the best way to engage patients with their care. Enforcing treatment on unwilling patients is only ethically justifiable in a narrow range of circumstances where the patient’s health doesn’t enable them to consent or refuse consent.

Patients 40 years ago would have had a very different attitude towards their medical care, because the doctor-patient relationship used to fundamentally be very different. And that’s still sometimes reflected in older patients or patients from abroad who sometimes still prefer a paternalistic approach. “Just tell me what to do, doc” they say “You’re the boss”. Well, no, I’m really here to advise you what we believe the best option is. Not to order you around.

But although I’m not a fan of paternalism, I don’t think it’s coincidental that when doctors’ power became reduced, their social value dropped significantly. I don’t want a return to paternalism, or revering doctors by any means. But in order for people to want to go through the horrible parts of the job, we need a balance where training and experience are valued, and we are given basic respect as people. I have met patients and relatives who honestly have no respect for the clinicians they visit.

Our place in the community:
Around the same time, the place of doctors in communities shifted. As communities became more fractured, so it seems that the standing of the professionals within the community has changed. I don’t think it’s just doctors; teaching is a pretty obvious example of a role which has seen a degradation of value. In a small community, each person who fulfulled an important role was irreplaceable and hence valued. However, we now live on a much bigger scale; most of us don’t feel valued or irreplaceable. We’re now all framed in economic terms. As workers; people who do a job for money. And that’s a frightening way to look at doctors. We’re not angels or martyrs at all, but it’s not just a job you do for an easy salary, either. But quite a few people assume that unless we’re living lives cloistered in hospitals for 100 hour weeks, we are just being callous and greedy.

I’m not going to lie, as our relationship with patients has changed, technology has played a role. We all google symptoms, perhaps because we can. It can be very good for patient care; I’ve had patients recognise their symptoms are important and worth addressing only after they had a read around. It’s not even inherently harmful for patients to suspect diagnoses based on their own reading; it’s useful for us to know what is on a patient’s mind when they come to us. And after a diagnosis and treatment, the internet can provide information and support in ways that we can’t. It’s not a bad thing, nor is it actually competition: google will never replace the role of a clinician.

But people don’t always realise that. So you get this attitude that doctors are actually replaceable. You get people who see doctors as just gatekeepers to order the tests they’ve decided they need or give them the treatment they’ve decided is necessary. And people who boast that they can replace doctors with computers which would supposedly be far more accurate. And frankly, it’s a bit insulting to think that after all the teaching and experience you’ve gained, people with very little knowledge of the intricacies of the body think that what you do can be replaced by typing a string of symptoms into a computer. As if diagnosis was ever that simple.

I guess if you’ve had negative experiences, that kind of arrangement might appeal; minimal contact with humans has advantages sometimes. And I think as we share experiences and stories as never before, it’s easier for us to gain a negative impression because we only share stories we feel strongly about. I think there have always been good and bad doctors, but in the past it was very hard to conceive doctors as being anything other than 100% benevolent and correct. In my experience both as a patient, relative and clinician, the good outweigh the bad, but people rarely share stories about people quietly doing a decent job; you have to be pretty exceptionally good to be acknowledged. Be a bit off, however, and people will remember it forever. Which is why it is so important for us to relate properly to our patients.

But I don’t think googling or computer algorithms can ever replace doctors, because much of what people get from a good consultation isn’t just the answer, but how therapeutic the interaction with a person that really listens to you can be. Sometimes all you can genuinely do for someone is listen to what is going on in their life, and what effect their symptoms are having. When done well, the doctor-patient relationship remains a special bond that is hard to describe. People come to you with the most intimate problems in their lives; they trust you to help them and to listen without judgement. They rely on you to be there for them when things aren’t going well. They need you to advocate for them when they have nobody else. You can’t replace it.

But if enough people (usually relatively young and fit people who don’t benefit much from medical care) keep going on about how you can, then the idea that doctors are just salarymen filling prescriptions and googling away starts to become prevalent. And society can’t value our different roles if it pretends most of them don’t exist.

All out of time and people

There’s another thing I feel is feeding into the devaluation of doctors; the sheer fact we are all understaffed and underfunded. Cross that you had to wait 3 hours to see someone in A+E? If we paid for more doctors, or less people turned up with minor symptoms that their GP could handle, that wouldn’t have happened. Can’t get an appointment with your GP? There aren’t enough GPs or appointments to reach increasing demand (there was demand for 60 million more GP appointments in the UK last year compared to the year before!); perhaps if it wasn’t such a stressful job where everyone stayed late, and perhaps if everyone didn’t come in with mild colds, there would be more appointments. People aren’t satisfied with care; sometimes because their expectations are unrealistic, and sometimes because the level of care isn’t what we wish we could provide. But when people blame the workers for a system which is failing due to lack of funding and mismanagement, then it devalues the very hard work those people do to keep it going against the odds.

Feminisation, specifically

I’ve written about the feminisation of medicine before at length ( now it comes up on the first page when you google the topic, wow??)  but it’s a topic well worth revisiting. I mentioned that Prof Carol Black wrote a while back in the Telegraph that she believes that “I don’t know why it is but a profession that loses its male dominance tends to lose some of its power”, so arguably there are people in medicine out there who seem to think so. Unfortuantely, there are also people out there (many of them neither women nor in medicine) who use this to blame female doctors for the ills of UK medicine, as if all the problems could be fixed if nobody had kids, ever.  There has certainly been some academic work on this, and on why jobs lose prestige when the proportion of women increases.

And I do think not valuing women as productive members of society on some levels is a part of that. We are certainly getting more talk about how women are more likely work part time and are less likely to do intensive specialities and therefore there are just too many in medicine because they present poor value for money. Not only is this too simplistic (paeds is mostly women, and it’s as hardcore as you can get for a medical speciality!) but it frames doctors as merely tools to be used for maximum profit. But we aren’t tools, we are experts who share our hard-earned knowledge willingly. And if you viewed other workers in that light, you’d see how ridiculous it is. Should skilled artists be forced not to have kids because that takes time away from their art? Perhaps repair engineers should be banned from child-rearing because it might clash with their being called out in the middle of the night?

It’s an appalling way of viewing highly trained individuals. People don’t become less valuable individuals to society because they have children; society and the economy rely on someone to raise the next generation without their dying or turning out evil. Society also relies on informal carers for the disabled and the elderly, which again usually falls to women. Yet despite the valuable role parents and carers (and women as promary caregivers in most cases), the very people who take on the burden of unpaid carers are cast as unproductive and selfish slackers.

I do wonder if the thing I love about modern medicine is also contributing. We’re seeing people come into medicine from diverse backgrounds; I’ve got friends and colleagues of all ethnicities, races, sexualities, classes etc, and I know that in many ways it helps for any group in a position of power and trust to be as diverse as the population they serve. But I do think that the side of society which values traditionally privileged characteristics; whiteness, maleness, wealth and a particular background, may also devalue a profession which is now very much comprised of the other (most new doctors in the UK are now female, and medicine is a very racially diverse profession) specifically because as a society we aren’t yet over our prejudices. So I think that extends beyond gender alone.

Could Shiro be a clone? Or could he have been revived from the dead? And is he a unknowing Mole?

I know this is an odd question to ask but I’m going to put this out there. There’s a possibility that Shiro may be a clone of himself and he’s not the real Shiro, or at least he might not be. There’s also the other possibility that he may not actually be alive, or at least alive in the strictest term.

You see I’ve been mulling over this for months and the thing is I’m having a heck of a time trying to figure out exactly what it is about Shiro that is rubbing me the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong I love the character he’s awesome, but there are a few things that just don’t add up for me in the right way.

For all intents and appearances, according to the cast of characters, Shiro is acting like himself –or at least according to Keith and Pidge who know him the best. However small things keep cropping up that make me think there’s more to this situation than meets the eye. To begin with let’s rule a few things out:

For starters we know that he’s not an alien in disguise for the pure fact that we’ve seen enough of him being in a situation where the ability to shift would have been removed, such as the first episode where he was rendered unconscious. In the last half of the series we saw that when Allura got knocked out her form reverted back to her original self, which probably means that a shifter alien would need to stay awake to keep his or her disguise going.

We can also rule out that he’s not someone else because of the fact that Keith and Pidge would have seen though that right away.

So then what exactly is he? Is he even the Shiro that we meet in the first episode? Well I’m starting to think there’s a possibility that he’s not exactly what we think he is. Oh he’s Shiro alright, just a Shiro that probably was either dead and is now alive or is a Clone of the original. Even if he is the “real” Shiro there’s still a high chance that he’s an unknowing mole, but we’ll get to that at the end.

Shiro as a Clone.

This one is more of a stretch then the other two but there are some hints that this could be real.

When we first meet Shiro in the first episode we learn that he’s a decent guy and someone that wants to protect the other two members of his crew. We also learn that he was taken to the cells and later was part of the gladiatorial games held by the Emperor. We also see he has no scar on his nose and that he’s got a black tuff of hair. This is kind of important to at least two of these theories.

When we later meet him after his “escape” we learn that he now has a mechanical arm which uses energy that shows the same pink color as the Galra Empire, proving that the arm was made by them, something that is confirmed by Hagar and indicated by Commander Sendak, who has the upgraded version of the arm. During Sendak’s fight with Shiro he mentions that they’re alike alluding to the fact that they both have arms. But what if it’s more than that? We know that Shiro blasted him off into space when he had his freak out later, but exactly what was the connection? Were they both Gladiators, or could they both be clones of the originals?

The thing about Shiro that makes me think we’re not looking at the original isn’t just the hair or the scar it’s the strange behavior. He recalls Keith but doesn’t know Pidge, even though you would think that he would figure that it has to be her since he was probably there when they took that picture. It’s only after he’s told by the prisoners about his past that he “recalls” Katie. Which is kind of strange. If it’s just a case of amnesia how is it that he’s able to recall Keith so easily but not Katie, the sister of one of his crew mates?

Now one of the other factors that does make me think that there’s the probability of cloning is the fact that he knows what the Galra are up to. You could argue that it’s just obvious but how? If he’s just being used in the fights, how is he getting that info? Thrace? Another character? However if part of his programming of the clone was to act as a decoy and it went off the programming then it would have firsthand knowledge about what the Galran was up to and would want to warn people.

There’s also the fact that he got the heck out of dodge so easily, and that his escape is so vague. If what Hagar says about him being built to be the ultimate weapon is true, then there’s a huge chance that his escape wasn’t an escape but rather a premeditated action to put a mole into the group early on. The fact that he doesn’t remember how he got out is weird enough, the fact that he does remember things that only have to do with the Galra is a bit suspect.

Later we see the inside of his suit glowing with that same pink energy that we saw with his arm, connecting it to the Galran. If he is human as we think, then why is that color there? Could his body be running on that energy and he doesn’t know it? Does he even sleep at all? We know that he was working out when the alert came in from Allura for the test but the fact remains that we’ve never seen him sleep, and only get knocked out.

The one thing that I keep coming back to though in regard to the possible clone option here is the fact that we know the Druids can put life into other forms. The Robeasts as we’ve seen were once aliens that attack the Voltron group as giant monsters. However, and this is important, their souls or minds are placed in the creatures by Haggar and allowed to attack. We know she can put the life of one being into such a creature over and over again. What’s to stop her from doing the same to a built clone body? We also know that the form she took as Shiro had the dark hair from when we first meet him, and the white tuff might be her way of distinguishing between the two.

We also have some other proof of the possibility of mind switching or body swapping. Emperor Zarkon is mentioned by Allura, who doesn’t recognize him and is shocked that he’s still alive. In the original series we know he lives on with yellow flowers and it gives him a longer life. However, because we know that Haggar can switch the souls of the aliens into robotic beasts then is it such a stretch to believe she could do the same for Zarkon, or any other person that she wants to, namely Shiro.

Shiro was dead and now brought back to life.

Again somewhat of a stretch but there’s some proof of this as a possibility.

We know that Shiro has memory loss and we know that physically his body was changed. We see the arm and know that there’s more to it as his side shows that there’s the pink energy on his torso. This could be indicating that more of his body was stripped away by Hagar, though we don’t know how much exactly.  Another indication that something’s up is the change in his hair color. Now this might seem odd, but how does hair indicates anything; well in some cases it does.

Some of you may or may not have heard of Jason Todd, the second Robin and all around jerk with the heart of Gold in DC comics. During the 80s he was killed off by the Joker and the character vanished for some time from the public mind. However a comic writer who was a fan decided to bring him back and resurrect him through the use of a mechanic that was in cannon, the Lazurus pit. This mystical pit was made by Ra’s Al Gul, one of Batman’s villains to allow himself to never die. His daughter used this on Jason Todd and brought him back from the dead.

What becomes interesting here is that when Jason took a dip in the pit, the front part of his hair turned white and he’s not the only one that has had something like this happen to him. Several characters are brought back from the dead with subtle differences to their appearance.

So could this be what happened to Shiro? He failed in a fight and rather than dispose of the body Hagar “fixed” him and brought him back with the additional arm? It would explain the memory loss as he lost time being dead and would actually keep true to the whole “Shiro is dead” thing from the original series.

We also saw that the Quintessence seems to be a life force, and Allura proved that you can revive a dead planet then could it very well be that pumping a body with the same stuff except corrupted could have brought Shiro back?

Shiro as the Unknown mole.

Simply put there’s a lot of clues that either Keith or Shiro is the mole without knowing it. Keith’s knife and his strange past, and Shiro’s arm.

I’m focusing on the arm right now because it’s the most likely culprit in this. Shiro’s arm starts off being a weapon, we know it’s been given to him by the Galra and that Haggar had intentions to turn him into a weapon of some sort. We also know that it’s probably got tech in there that they haven’t analyzed yet. More than likely that arm, given what it does and how it seems to be running on the corrupted energy of the Galra Empire probably is going to turn out to be a tracking device making Shiro an Unknown Mole among the troupe.

This would mean that the scene where Keith is shouting at him, or his vanishing act is him not dying but rather Shiro trying to get away from the group so that Zarkon can’t track them.

So there you have it. My short version of these theories. Hopefully Season two will give me more to digest.

Edit: Somewhere I think I mentioned that when Hagar attacked Shiro she looked like the original version of him. I was wrong, she had the tuft of white hair there. However I still maintain that if this is a clone that the hair color was done so that the Galra could know it’s not the real Shiro and that it’s a clone.