SL continues to be filled with different kinds of learning opportunities, even with the serious issues educators are facing. Some are very informal. I would like to offer up the following as an excellent example of an informal learning situation in-world:
Allow me to set the stage--Elegia the tavern mistress and I are in Alsium, relaxing in the central pool of the public baths. Along comes a "noblewoman," whom we shall call XXXX LADY, and a musclebound male attendant, whom we shall refer to as XYZ MAN. We greeted them pleasantly, with the standard chorus of "Aves"
[17:02] XXXX LADY looks to the women in the water - "ave, I am XXXX, a visitor to the city"
[17:03] Diogenes Kuhr: welcome XXXX
[17:03] XXXX LADY: Gratitude. This is my thane, XYZ
[17:03] Diogenes Kuhr: I am Dio, widow of the wine merchant Sinuhe of Alexandria
[17:04] Diogenes Kuhr: and this lovely one is Elegia, tavern mistress
[17:04] Elegia Icenia bows her head at Dio's introduction.
[17:04] Diogenes Kuhr: you would be quite welcome to join us, should you wish
[17:04] Elegia Icenia nods at the newcomers.
[17:04] XYZ MAN: χαίρομαι που σας γνωρίζω
[17:04] Diogenes Kuhr: ah, you are greeks?
[17:05] XYZ MAN: you can say greek but i rather be called by my birth place
[17:05] XYZ MAN: i am a spartan
[17:06] Diogenes Kuhr: ah....you, my lady XXXX, do you also come from there?
[17:07] XXXX LADY: I am Roman
[17:07] Elegia Icenia is fascinated by the colour & cut of the new woman's hair. She stares unabashedly.
[17:07] Diogenes Kuhr: ah...I see
[17:07] XXXX LADY removes her robes to enter the water
[17:07] XXXX LADY: help me, XYZ?
[17:07] Diogenes Kuhr: is this your first visit to the this pleasant resort town of Alsium?
[17:08] XYZ MAN smiles and helps her removes her clothes starting from her top
[17:08] XXXX LADY: it is
[17:08] Diogenes Kuhr: we pray that you may find it agreeable
[17:08] XYZ MAN smiles my hands running down her body to her silk bottem and slowly remove it along with her panties
[17:08] Diogenes Kuhr: it is much more informal here than in the Mother City
[17:09] XXXX LADY: Indeed
[17:09] Diogenes Kuhr: not all "traditional" Romans find it to their liking....
[17:09] XXXX LADY leans into XYZ MAN and kisses his neck softly - Gratitude"
[17:09] Elegia Icenia lifts an eyebrow at the man's gestures, smiling to herself.
[17:09] Diogenes Kuhr: but in turn there are many who find it a suitable place to escape from the demands of life in the capitol
[17:09] XYZ MAN smiles as i remove my outfit
[17:10] XXXX LADY: I do enjoy getting away from Rome
[17:10] Diogenes Kuhr: the well loved Emperor Marcus Aurelius himself has a villa not far from Alsium...
[17:10] Diogenes Kuhr: though I fear he has not had time to visit in a great while..busy as he is in the wars on the northern borders
[17:11] XXXX LADY: ah, I did not know that
[17:11] XYZ MAN lays my kilt off to the side and strechs
[17:11] Elegia Icenia looks at the man as he disrobes.
[17:11] XXXX LADY looks upon XYZ MAN with great admiration
the man and the lady have now undressed and are in the bathing pool with me and Elegia
[17:12] XYZ MAN: nice and cool water
[17:12] XXXX LADY: indeed it is XYZ
[17:12] XXXX LADY: Have you resided in the city for long, Diogenes?
[17:13] Diogenes Kuhr: I have been here for nearly half a year....
[17:13] Diogenes Kuhr: I found myself somewhat stranded when my husband was taken by a fever
[17:13] XXXX LADY moves back to stand between XYZ MAN's legs
[17:13] Diogenes Kuhr: we were traveling for his business, which is the buying and selling of wine
[17:14] XXXX LADY: ah
[17:14] XXXX LADY: I do enjoy good wine
[17:14] Diogenes Kuhr: and I found it necessary to take over direction of his enterprise
[17:14] Diogenes Kuhr: ..*smiles* I have found that I enjoy the trade..
[17:14] Diogenes Kuhr: and I enjoy Alsium and so have made this my second home
[17:14] XXXX LADY: That is good to hear
[17:15] Diogenes Kuhr: if you have cause to stay in Alsium and perhaps take a villa here, I will be happy to send you samples of our better varieties
[17:16] Diogenes Kuhr: I do not deal in cheap mulsum or the sour wine of the plebs--it is only the finer pressings I offer
[17:16] XXXX LADY: I would enjoy that
[17:16] XXXX LADY: I am considering looking around Alsium and see what she has available
[17:16] XXXX LADY: The Champion and Zak wee showing me around earlier
[17:17] XYZ MAN feels her between my legs her ass rubs on my cock and it grows even larger
[17:17] Diogenes Kuhr: *sighs* that is good of them, but I wish Crito would rest and not be running up and down the hills
[17:17] Diogenes Kuhr: he was dreadfully injured and it was only the other night I tended to his wounds...
[17:18] Diogenes Kuhr: but that is so like him to be showing kindness to guests
[17:18] XXXX LADY: he told me of his horrible tale
[17:18] XXXX LADY: i do hope he will be okay
[17:19] Elegia Icenia watches the newcomers, a slight smile on her face. It would be difficult to say what sort of smile it was. She dabbles her feet as Dio speaks.
[17:19] Diogenes Kuhr: *laughs* he will be well I am sure...he has a will of iron and his gods look kindly upon him
[17:20] Elegia Icenia murmurs, "May they continue to do so," as if it were a chant.
[17:21] XXXX LADY: The city is quite beautiful
[17:21] XXXX LADY: from what I have seen
[17:21] Diogenes Kuhr: I know there are some fine villas that are to be had...residents come and go from this place with regularity, depending on their fortunes in politics war and love
[17:21] Diogenes Kuhr: it is indeed quite beautiful
[17:21] XXXX LADY: that is understandable
[17:22] Diogenes Kuhr: in following my husband, traveling with him all around the empire and even beyond as he sought the best wines and the best places to sell them...I have been in many places...
[17:22] Diogenes Kuhr: a few have been wondrous, including my own home city of Alexandria...but no place I have found is as beautiful as this
[17:23] Elegia Icenia: Alsium is most pleasing... like a glade amongst the woods of heaven.
[17:24] XYZ MAN slowly adjusts himself a little my cock wobbles around in the air
[17:24] XXXX LADY nods
[17:24] Diogenes Kuhr: and you my lady...do you have a large household that will require much space?
[17:25] Elegia Icenia snorts & then covers her mouth, looking down.
[17:25] XXXX LADY: no, i would be looking for a get away from Rome, not a permanent migration. WHile Rome does become too much at times, she is my home and I do love here
[17:25] Elegia Icenia mumbles, "Forgive me, I think I swallowed a bug."
[17:26] XXXX LADY: I would love to have a place to get away and not be bothered with Roman matters
[17:26] XXXX LADY smiles
[17:26] Diogenes Kuhr: of course
[17:26] Diogenes Kuhr: that is why this place exists
[17:27] XXXX LADY: indeed
[17:27] Elegia Icenia smiles amiably. "I believe that Alsium is a haven for many of its inhabitants."
[17:28] Diogenes Kuhr: you will no doubt find that many of the handsome young men are here where..as I said it is not so formal a place as Rome...they may freely exercise their affections...with someone other than a wife
[17:29] Elegia Icenia snickers & then looks ingenuously up to the heavens, begging forgiveness from Jupiter.
[17:29] Diogenes Kuhr: may I be so bold to ask if there is a husband who will accompany you when you come to spend time in Alsium?
[17:30] XXXX LADY: yes, I am hoping so
[17:30] XXXX LADY: He is greek as well
[17:31] Diogenes Kuhr: indeed
[17:31] XXXX LADY whispers: I have a thing for greek men
[17:31] XXXX LADY smiles
[17:31] XYZ MAN smirks
[17:31] Diogenes Kuhr: I shall have to brush up on my skills with that language
[17:32] Diogenes Kuhr: it has been a while since I spoke greek, even though my family in Alexandria was formed from a melding of greek and egyptian blood
[17:32] XXXX LADY nods - "Interesting"
[17:33] Diogenes Kuhr: on my father's side, we are descended from one of Great Alexander's soldiers who took Egypt from the Persians long ago
[17:33] Elegia Icenia: May I ask a question, my lady?
[17:33] Elegia Icenia: When you arrived, you said that your companion was 'your thane'. That is a word of the northern barbarians, I believe. May I ask the nature of your relationship? Are you, then, 'enthralled' to him? *grins* Other than in the obvious way?
[17:35] XXXX LADY: He is my personal bodyguard
[17:36] XXXX LADY: My husband wants me to be protected so XYZ is charged with protecting me
[17:36] Elegia Icenia blinks once & smiles. "It appears then that he is a bit like the fox among the hens, neh?" She giggles but her eyes show that she means no harm. She merely teases.
[17:37] Diogenes Kuhr: *smiles, impressed* a spartan for a bodyguard--well chosen...the men of that city are still well known for their skills and fierce loyalty
[17:38] XYZ MAN smiles
[17:38] XXXX LADY: indeed and XYZ is both
[17:38] XXXX LADY: among other things
[17:38] XXXX LADY smiles
[17:39] XYZ MAN smirks
[17:39] Elegia Icenia nods. "I would feel fortunate if I were able to find a guard of such worth, though... " She hesitates, then chuckles & shakes her head, obviously stifling what she was going to say.
[17:39] Diogenes Kuhr: in my household I am blessed to include a Scythian...
[17:39] Diogenes Kuhr: he was betrayed and sold into slavery by his enemies...my husband bought him long ago, and he not only served well in the wine business. but has made an admirable body guard..as he still does today for me
[17:40] Diogenes Kuhr: it is a reassuring thing to have one who you know would gladly give his life for you
[17:40] Diogenes Kuhr: as I assume would be the case with your XYZ
[17:41] XYZ MAN: would give my life for my lady if needed, but i rather live in the process so thinking comes first on how to live and keep her alive
[17:41] XYZ smiles
[17:41] Diogenes Kuhr: well said Spartan
[17:42] XXXX LADY leans back and kisses XYZ on the neck - "gratitude, XYZ"
[17:42] Elegia Icenia quirks her head, also smiling. "But of course... a dead bodyguard is no bodyguard at all, if he cannot bring his charge to the safety of others before he expires."
[17:42] XYZ MAN grins feeling my ladys lips my hands go down her body at the time she does
[17:43] Diogenes Kuhr: *grins* that is why it is well considered to have TWO bodyguards...and the second one not so obvious as the first
[17:43] XXXX LADY: He is a fierce warrior, chosen by my husband for just those qualities
[17:43] Elegia Icenia nods. "So it is! I must consider that when I seek guards from the lanista."
[17:43] Diogenes Kuhr: *frowns* in fact, I really do need to find another...Aldo , my Scythian, is advancing in age
[17:44] Diogenes Kuhr: I wish to manumit him before he is too advanced in years that he cannot return to his homeland and wash his sandals in the blood of those who betrayed him
[17:44] Elegia Icenia: That is good of you, amica. It is hard to be born free & die a slave, unavenged.
[17:44] Diogenes Kuhr: he has served us well, and I would not wish to keep him from going back to kill his enemies
[17:45] XXXX LADY: I am fortunate that XYZ is ofo nibble age, both on the field of battle and off
[17:45] XXX MAN smiles
[17:47] XXXX LADY: excuse us - i wish to take a dip in the lake
[17:47] Diogenes Kuhr: of course
[17:47] XYZ: see you soon ladies
the man and the lady climb out of the bathing pool and slip into the adjoining lake--but they remain well within chat range of us
[17:47] Elegia Icenia stares into the water. "Ideally, one of my guards would be a eunuch, so as not to ... spoil my reputation." She winks at Dio & turns to smile warmly at the others.
[17:47] Diogenes Kuhr: *rolls her eyes at her friend* if you were to find a eunuch, I would think he would make a poor bodyguard...with no stones would he have the wherewithal to defend you well?
[17:47] Elegia Icenia shrugs. "I have heard that some, their stones removed after they had reached manhood, make excellent guards." ...
[17:48] Elegia Icenia: It has always been difficult for me regarding guards. If I have one who is large & manly & obviously well equipped... as is XYZ here... then my clients complain. And the idea of exclusivity is tainted.
[17:48] Diogenes Kuhr: But what sufficiently prideful man would deal well with having his eggs clipped after he has reached maturity? Would that not break his spirit?
[17:49] Diogenes Kuhr: why not take one as a guard one of these men who has the passion and will to live and die well, but has no desire for sheathing his gladius in a lady's flowering?
[17:49] Elegia Icenia nods. "Yes, that would be acceptable... if I could find one who would settle to guarding me in such ways. So many of the cinaedi & lovers of cinaedi... they like... " She shrugs helplessly.
[17:50] Elegia Icenia: You are right. I will look among the lovers of men. Surely my clients would settle for that, if the guard were known for that fact.
[17:50] XXXX LADY leans in and kisses XYZ softly on the lips as the cool water splashes against our bodies
[17:50] XYZ grins i kiss back, our bodys close in the water and our lips locked
[17:50] Diogenes Kuhr: Alas poor eunuchs *sighs* I am curious..what do they do with the family jewels once the treasury has been robbed?
[17:50] Diogenes Kuhr: do they bury them?
[17:50] Diogenes Kuhr: offer them up at a temple?
[17:51] Elegia Icenia: I am sure that must depend on the context, neh? If they mean to demean the man, then they might be crushed & fed to the vultures.
[17:51] Diogenes Kuhr: it would be far worse to simply toss them to the pigs
[17:52] Diogenes Kuhr: that would be insult added to the injury
[17:53] Elegia Icenia shakes her head. "There were many such in the palaces of the rich where I received my training. Their stones were removed when they were very young. Some dried them & wore them all their lives in a pouch around their necks, so that they might have them when they passed into the afterlife."
[17:53] Diogenes Kuhr: the honorable thing to do would be to offer them at a temple...probably to be burnt
[17:54] Diogenes Kuhr: that is what the Egyptians do with the piece that is taken when the men are circumcised
[17:54] Diogenes Kuhr: the skin from the member that has been cut off is taken to the temple and burned in a ceremony
[17:54] Elegia Icenia: But it seems to make sense, neh? If possible, one should pass into the other world with all one's bits.
[17:54] Elegia Icenia chuckles.
[17:54] Diogenes Kuhr: I am not sure what the Judeans do with their foreskins when they have cut them off...
[17:55] XYZ MAN: ill see you all later, gonna log feel sick )
[17:55] Diogenes Kuhr: Vale, Spartan!
the man and the lady have both disappeared -- they did not rp taking their clothing with them and we briefly consider rp'ing that we are stealing the clothes and other items they left behind....but we ultimately reject this notion for a number of reasons
[17:57] Diogenes Kuhr: well I think you should look for a bodyguard who has all his parts intact
[17:57] Diogenes Kuhr: I hope that Zak will remember to ask at the ludus on your behalf
Yes, even if the educators all leave, learning will go on....