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8/1/2022 11:03am

Phyto-chrome -- not to be confused with phytochrome pigments -- is a metal developed for high affinity to Phyto-Techno Integration. The molecular structure of the crystal lattice mimics nanocellulose crystal structure well enough that the fibrous components of plants can continue growth in collaboration with the metal skeleton. The hard part is enacting a strong enough chlorokinetic influence to influence the plant to engage in unification.

IT TOOK ME SO MANY HOURS TO FIGURE THIS OUT. I have been TRYING to do the proper research for teaching Phyto-Techno Integration this fall. The Self-Aware Library brought me so many books based on my keywords search, it started building a little book-hovel around me. Cute, but please don't trap me in textbooks, S-AL. They're going to fall and crush somebody.

How do teachers or archive researchers do this?? They just sit for hours, digging through technical jargon and encrypted gargle in hopes of ideas coalescing into understanding??? Am I supposed to be using a kaleidoscope to see it all collide together???? ARGH! My Acolyte Advisor -- the actual professor for Phyto-Techno Integration -- "recommended" (assigned) three more documents to read today. How am I going to balance this with my own classes once school starts in fall? I mean, it's already August. The new semester will be here before you know it.

In some happier news, my Ocimum basileus surprised me with blooming. No, no, not Ocimum basilicum, that's the common, boring cultivar. Ocimum basileus is more scarce, more specialized, and more delicate. I'm not in a position to share how I got my grubby little student hands on a cutting, but I can tell you the plant is not pleased to be living with me. Its main stem is perpetually slouching or leaning in a random direction, regardless of how I orient it to the sun -- I think it's sulking. Certainly, I don't have the holy water and silver flakes you're supposed to supplement the soil with. But I do have water purified by the local coven-mother, and I shave off the metal tops of my pencils into the soil sometimes. The internet said this should be close enough, but the Ocimum basileus has not been amused. It's been downright offended. I thought it was going to drop all its leaves in protest -- but instead, it bloomed! One pinnacle of delicate, silvery-cream flowers is shining in the corner of my room.

I've tried communing with the Ocimum basileus to ask "what the heck is this about?", but so far it refuses to speak with me. I'm guessing it's either a ploy to convince me it deserves the expense of REAL silver flakes, or the flowers are going to try eating me in my sleep. Just in case, I'm sleeping with hedge clippers tonight. I'm thinking of calling Nelli to come mediate. She's the coven-mother's daughter, so technically she's a leaders offspring. That counts as a type of royalty, right? Maybe the Ocimum basileus will deign to speak to her. In the meantime, I'm going to try drawing these gorgeous flowers. Ocimum basileus is a vain and demanding, but gosh if its beauty doesn't nearly justify it!

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7/26/2022 11:04am

Hello hello, you are looking at one of Psychic High School's newest Teaching Acolyte (TA)! That's right, I convinced a professor to take me on as an assistant this school year. Well, maybe I shouldn't be so self-detrimental. I do have the grades and "previous experience" to qualify for the program. I just can't shake the feeling that I pulled some sort of illusion.

Anyways, one of my TA duties is going to include teaching at least one of the classes during the semester. Shouldn't be too hard, right? I can throw together a lecture before September. I love chlorokinesis, it's kind of my whole thing. The class is specifically Phyto-Techno Integration, which I've taken before, so I should know the content. Interfacing between Nature and Technology, the electrical potential of aura allowing integration, the history of Old-Growth Rebellion, you know, all the main talking points. I should be able to get up there and just kind of... start talking.

But we've all sat through a dumpster-fire class before. I don't want to be one of those people who wanders in, meanders like a directionless floodwater creek, and leave the students confused or overwhelmed. This is a THREE HOUR class, I feel like I need some structure to keep everyone oriented to the discussion. So I've been trying out different ways of structuring the lecture, trying to find the logical progression between all the topics I want to cover.

It is really really hard. There is just SO MUCH knowledge out there! Even in something as specialized as Phyto-Techno Integration, I'm finding entire sub-topics I never heard much about before. Did you know about Reichenbach's Odic Force??? It's a potent potential power source for Phyto-Tech (or even Plant Necromacy and non-Plant Necromancy), if we could figure out efficient purification methods. Then there's this organization overseeing ethical applications of Phyto-Tech, which throws off my entire section about self-determinism and autonomy.... aaaaaaaargghhh

Maybe I'm trying to do too much. After leaving the Chlorokinetic Botany Center (CBC) for this new program, I think I'm kind of insecure. What if I'm not cut out for this? Should I have just stayed were I already knew the system? My dad says this is the right move, because it challenges me. Without challenge, we can never grow. If I want to be a real Chlorokinetic some day, I need to always be growing.

Okay. Let's try this lecture thing again. It's difficult... but I want to put in the effort to make it GREAT!

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3/24/2022 8:51am

I am so glad this is my last year living in student dorms. Someone on our floor timeline-shifted us all. Based on what my neighbors and I have discussed, it's probably only about 0.05 shift along the y-axis. So we haven't missed any important exams or have to re-do group presentations, thank goodness. (Turns out there's a clause for this in our enrollment contract at the school: "in the event of accidental, involuntary, or otherwise spontaneous changes in timeline, dimension, time date, or universe, students are not exempt from missed assignments or exams, and are required to make-up or repeat this coursework. Deadlines and submissions of the timeline, dimension, time date, or universe a student is currently in will supersede any previous or future timeline, dimension, time date, or universe deadlines and submissions. Accommodations or exceptions can only be arranged between the student and individual teachers.")

Shifting along the x-axis would've made my in-class debate be tomorrow instead of next week, so that's a crisis averted. But the y-axis shift has its own annoyances. I've been bickering with people about little facts. Before, my lab partner in Cybernated Cultivations had some type of Eastern European accent. Now, he drawls like a cowboy and acts like he's always been from Texas. When I talked to my mother yesterday, she no longer remembers our family trip to the Snæfellsjökull glacier. She recalls a different, somewhat similar trip. It's frustrating. Yesterday, a friend brought me some white chocolates because "they're my favorite". We got into an argument when I had to update her that actually, I'm from a timeline where I prefer dark chocolate. It's all tolerable changes, but people dislike being told they're wrong. Including me. If I find out which kid used a black market reality-adjuster, they're going to find some choice stinging nettles tossed in with their clothes in the laundry room. I know we've all dabbled with that glitchy technomacy at least once, but by the time you're an upperclassmen you should know better. You take your sketchy experiments out into the abandoned fields to test, so that the side affects don't inconvenience roommates or neighbors! It's common courtesy!

Oh shoot, I need to go. I keep forgetting my schedule is different now. Why do you all have 9am-5pm as the standard day? I miss my 5am-2pm days....

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8/16/2021 9:57am

I have been writing... a lot. Just... a lot.

And not even writing! It's mainly PLANNING what to write! For most my life I've been able to sit down, read the prompt, and crank out a rough draft within an hour. No problem, just start the clicking and clacking of the writing instrument (keyboard, typewriter, mouse bones dipped in ink, anything!) and through the roving, incessant inner monologue of me the paper would appear.

But now I'm doing writing assignments outside of school, to apply to further education programs. I have to write things like a Statement of Purpose, a Letter of Intent, a Memo of Objectives, a Decree of Motives. I'm supposed to generate these concise, insightful messages about who I am and what I'll become, the whole metamorphesis of my youth, within a 1-2 page word limit. HOW?!? I barely understand the narrative myself, how can I explain it to someone else???

But I have to try. You can't get a good mentor without sacrificing or suffering a bit. The Rumpelstiltskin Institute of Higher Alchemy is the famous example to come to mind, what with all the difficulty they had with graduates breaking contracts. One coven I was looking into asks for a tissue donation and permission to use it in their Animal-Plant Hybrid experiments. I have no problem with that -- Psychic High School already has my tonsils and several plasma samples after all -- it's the supplemental essay required for application is really deterring me. "Explain how the Work has Called to you, and how joining this coven will enable you to Respond". Um, is it a figurative Call or a literal Call? What if the Call I describe is accidentally a Call from a different coven's deity? How do I know what Response is the type they want me to say? What if the Call is about my car's extended warranty, but I don't have one? I'm definitely overthinking this.

I went to my academic advisor and had a little meltdown. She said I'm looking at this wrong -- this isn't a test, where there's a right answer. There is no answer, there is only me. Outside of school, you don't write to get points you write to communicate. And being dishonest or vague will only hurt me -- if I'm accepted into the Cult of Ra because I wrote an essay targeting them but in truth I hate the sun, then all I did was hurt myself and that Cult.

She started twitching a bit at the end there, so I took my leave. But I with some reflection, I think that was really solid advice. School often primes us to identify the rubric categories and bend ourselves to fit them. It doesn't matter what you learn so much that you satisfied each task. Outside of school, that mentality doesn't work as well. If I don't know my Purpose, Intent, Objectives, or Motive, that's on me. I need to reflect and figure it out. Then maybe the words can flow forth once more.

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6/25/2021 11:13am

I work during the summers at the Chlorokinetic Botany Center (CBC), it's the department on campus devoted to plant pathology, ambassador negotiation with the plant kingdom, and related chlorokinetic study. They get funding from Psychic High School I guess, though they're only affiliated with the school campus along the z-axis. Working and taking classes is kind of demanding, so the summers are usually a nice break. Even though I'm full-time, not having to do homework after my shifts is really nice. Plus, I get to spend most my days with plants, my absolute favorite life forms! Having chlorokinesis is really great, I wish more people worked to awaken it within themselves.

The CBC is a really cool place, but this week it hasn't been -- because the air conditioning broke! Ha ha. But seriously, it's a problem. Working with living things in controlled conditions means there is a lot of machinery to regulate photoperiods, water quality/frequency, and of course temperature. So our freezers are melting, our incubators are roasting, and there's rumors that the vacuum-of-space simulator is compromised. It's been a bit harrowing trying to cope with the problems.

Besides the sensitivity of biological study subjects, there's also the issue of time. When a plant is growing, you can't tell it to speed up or slow down to fit your schedule. If the squash you planted to test beetle attraction are blooming today, it doesn't matter that it's your grandmother's birthday. The flowers have a 24-hour lifespan, and you either get the data today or wait another 2.5 months to grow a whole new batch. So while @Janitor Pete and the other custodial staff battle the poltergeists in the air conditioning system, we CBC staff are improvising ways to keep the plants alive.

For example: we have a batch of Midnight Rose seeds we're supposed to screen for Bright Blight for the Denizens of the Night tribe beneath the Halddia Mountains. To screen for the disease we germinate a handful of the seeds, then test the tissue for presence of the pathogen. However, the seeds only grow if planted in darkness and at a steady temperature of 3°C. The CBC's subterraenian incubator is currently clocking in at around 21°C, and has been having issues with ball lightning. So instead, the Midnight Rose seeds are currently in my dorm mini fridge, next to my leftover pizza slices and some diet soda pop. I had to unscrew the lightbulb, and seal the edges of the door with ductape to prevent light seepage. Yeah, high quality work happening here at the Chlorokinetic Botany Center. But hey, if it works, it works.

That's what's nice about biology, and why I want to keep studying it even after Psychic High School. It's changeable, unpredictable, but also adaptable. Enough to keep things interesting, and also to provide for a margin of error. If things don't follow your experimental design to the letter... well, in some cases it still turns out just fine. It's life.

My parents want me to look into finding a chlorokinetic master to study under. But it's daunting, trying to figure out the best person to make a blood pact with. What if I pick a master who has prestige, then spend five years being treated as a maid instead of an apprentice? What if I find a master who is really kind and informative, but whose lessons have no purpose behind them? And some groups want you to sacrifice extra, like a first-born or most your hair or memories of the ocean. They say it's to show your dedication to the work, but I think it might be more of those fairy scams. Planning a future is hard. I should just go to one of the prescient students and ask them what I end up doing. The choice is already made, I just need to exist in the time it's made.

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4/15/2021 3:26pm

Okay, I know this looks bad, but the outbreak of skin inflammation that in some cases includes itchiness IS NOT MY FAULT. Yes, I know I jokingly -- JOKINGLY -- threatened something of that nature in my last post. But this wasn't me! I don't even live in that dorm, why would I trek across campus in pitch dark to smear the walls with allergens? For that matter, why are kids rubbing up against the walls so much anyways? Don't you hollow-skulls know that discolors the paint? Honestly, more suspicion should be thrown at the custodians or Dorm Matrons than me.

I have an exam tonight, so please PLEASE stop sending messages or stopping by to ask if it was me. Or criticize "my recipe". Or ask what the emulsifier was. Or ask for samples. Or beg for an antidote. Or try to sell me girl scout cookies. Listen, I'm not even in my dorm now because the intrusions are incessant. But for my roommates' sake, cut it out. It's annoying. Also, we already have twenty orders for girl scout cookies, we can't afford any more, stop tempting us.

Luckily, there are plenty of places on campus to get lost. I mean, I'm pretty sure campus security has a map to most hidey-holes for safety reasons -- at a few of them you can even see their surveillance sigils, poorly hidden -- but at least there's the illusion of privacy. So I'll just stay hunkered down here, chat with the ground vines, share my water bottle with the moss patches, and prep for this stupid exam. Unless someone is willing to explain the intersection between Scorpio and Capricorn and how it impacts the rapid disassociation of glycogen in reptiods, I'm not interested in bipedal company right now. (Only exception: a friendly chicken)

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4/10/2021 11:29am

The teacher for bioalchemistry makes lectures so much harder than they need to be. Today he described every single form of tarnish that can occur on silver -- not how to alter the chemical structures or what type of plating to apply for prevention, just a long list of anything that could possibly go wrong. What, am I supposed to just memorize a rambling run-on sentence of anomalies? I really don't see how one specific situation of tarnish that allows vampiric souls to appear as shadows instead of invisible is IN ANY WAY RELEVANT TO OUR GREATER CURRICULUM--

Er, sorry. I shouldn't yell. It's that stressful time of year (I say, as if stress is seasonal rather than an integral part of existence). My temper is getting away from me. And when your banshee roommate is saying you're hysterical, you know something's up. Sorry, Bean-Sídhe.

The students in the dorm below us have taken up drum circle chanting. I can't tell if it's conjuration or manifestation rhythm patterns -- they're so similar in the chorus -- but whichever it is they're devoted to practicing. I'd admire their commitment if they didn't tend to practice in the wee hours of the morning. Lack of sleep doesn't sit well with me. I've been so grumpy, I'm daydreaming of mixing up a special skin lotion... Toxicodendron vernix, Toxicodendron diversilobum, and Toxicodendron radicans. All natural "exfoliatation" recipe, left innocently at their doorstep.

No, no, I wouldn't actually do that. And even if I did, I'd probably feel bad halfway through and dilute the concentrations to something barely noticeable. Besides, I don't like messing with Toxicodendron vernix. If you burn it and inhale the smoke, it severely irritates your lung linings. I'd rather not suffocate from itchy air because I left the leaves in the drying oven too long.

My dad isn't as nervous as me when handling those volatile ingredients. That madman will dive into any thicket, mindless to phototoxins, barbs, and distress phytochemicals. If there's an ingredient he needs, there will be nothing to halt his foraging quest. We once spent half a family vacation digging through sand and trudging through mist banks in search of an adequately aged Welwitschia mirabilis. Gosh, I hope I can get skilled enough at these alchemy and biogenesis courses to do work like he does.

I guess that's the challenge of school sometimes. In the thick of it, the courses simply feel like a long trial of random obstacles. An incessant process of examination, vigilantly scrutinizing for any reason to label you inadequate. But when you look back, it's so much clearer why a foundational concept had to be drilled into your head (not literally, trepanation has been banned at Psyhigh for decades now). Annoying essay assignments today create a better writer tomorrow. Mindless repetitions of an incantation build mental reflexes for an unexpected attack. Maybe if teachers explained more how lessons and lives linked together, we wouldn't hate school quite as much.

Doubtful. I think students despising classwork is one of the few constants of the multiverse. And since we only have a handful of constants, we should probably not be trying to reduce them further. The Time and Dimension Regulator Committee is overworked as is.

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4/7/2021 11:48am

Identities are difficult. Going away to these boarding schools, or college, or heck just leaving home -- you have this opportunity. No one knows you, and you've got to introduce yourself over and over again. But people aren't interested in your whole sob story, the grand developmental arc of one rando they've encountered in passing. So we start distilling it down, compressing ourselves into a compact business card of a person. Pick your most important traits, your most favorite parts of self. Name. Speciality. Style. Contact.

Elizabeth, Astral Architecture, Classy, Always Studying In The East Gardens

Rudy, Krezner Technology, Broody, Usually In The Awakening/Enhancing Labs

Charlie, Targeted Subconscious Marketing, Energetic, Stop By Their Dorm Anytime

Huldra, Chlorokinetics, Aimless, Good Luck

Some of my friends want the card to be bigger. Include more identity, more names. I'm never convinced other people care though. Sometimes it seems like an exercise in vanity. Your dentist doesn't gain anything from knowing you're a Leo, but you feel some sort of reaffirmation from aligning yourself to that label again. (Such a Leo thing to do.)

I just am. Why do I need to defend that, or justify it, or splice it down into some specific subset of characterization? I don't. No one is asking me to. So why do I perceive there is this external pressure? People buy pins and stick them to their backpacks. I buy pins and keep them in my room. Both ways feel wrong.

At Psyhigh, a lot of things are fluid. From matter to identity to consolidated mental energy. It's not like we sign a contract at the beginning saying "This Is Who I Am, I Will Never Be Allowed To Change". I met an alchemist once who used to be a diviner. I met a Selkie once who used to be a human. I met a bisexual once who used to be a lesbian. Living is all about change, experiences cause and demand it. So identities should as well, shouldn't they?

Maybe I'll go for a walk in the woods again. Disseminating thoughts into the soil-plant-air continuum always helps me refresh. It's the release of pressure, relinquishing the obligation of self into a greater pool, into the supportive web of ecosystem. A tree doesn't know any identity. A bird doesn't care for validation. A rock doesn't need justification. A creekbed reimagines itself with every flooding rainfall.

I have a list of terms I could assign myself. Tick off boxes and slip into categories and allow you to extrapolate my entire persona from a handful of people-approved labels. I don't /need/ that. Building myself out of words means building myself out of puffed air. I'll act as I do, I'll think as I like, and all I ask is the space to do so (as long as it isn't hurting others of course). Titling something doesn't make it more real than not titling it. Migraines existed before that name was given to the experiences.

If you want to get to know me, you'll have to spend time with me. I no longer have the patience for these checkboxes and color-codings. At times, I even resent giving my name. I am, I simply am. That's all I have to share today.

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2/6/2021 2:10pm

Astral projection is weird. See, I'm trying to do regular meditation stuff, so that I don't lose my mind again (common side effect of Psyhigh, you'll see it listed on the back of the school brochure). I like it alright, though I have what some professionals call "a slippery soul". Give enough of a gap and it's liable to just... slide on out. And meditation, when you go too deep, is one such gap.

Half the time I don't even notice. I'll just be sitting in class with my hand raised, wondering why the teacher won't call on me, and BAM. One of my roommates will fart or something, and whatever magnetic attraction links body <--> mind <--> soul just SNAPS me back into a cohesive being. Pretty jarring. Plus, then I have to run across campus to /physically/ attend the rest of the class. Kinda embarrassing to stagger in looking like I'd rolled out of bed, but there's usually one or two students with Other Sight who can vouch that I was in incorporeal attendance. @klayra, thanks I owe you.

So I had another one of these little "slippage" events today, and again I couldn't tell. The interesting thing though is that my projection was wearing different clothes than my body. For whatever reason, the projection was all bundled up for the snow, even though my body was in pj's. I could feel the soft insides of my boots, hear the muffling of my hat, and sense the claustrophobia of my too-small mittens. Weird, right? I'm not sure if my legs fell asleep and that got interpreted into the dulling sensation of wearing layers... or maybe my body got cold and was connected enough to prompt my consciousness to think of how to warm up... or maybe my projection was going to head outside so it/I bundled up because that-is-what-you-do-in-winter. I don't know. But it was super confusing to "wake up" from. I tried to take off my boots first thing (no boots allowed in the room, gotta keep the carpets nice) but there was nothing to take off? Ugh, majorly disorienting.

Once I got really messed up -- while meditating I astral projected, then as a projection decided to meditate. Which made my astral projection accidentally astral project. It was... it was like a dilution I suppose. Each layer of suspended awareness is less solid, less aware of the world around. Like the confusion of a dream within a dream, or the hissing solvating of soda bicarbonate into water. Dissolving more and more... but not disappearing. Never disappearing, the Law of Conservation of Mass would not allow it, not even in spirituality. No, it was just... phasing into another environment, by confusing gradations.

It made it easier to hear the plants. I already hear them well, but it was akin to synesthesia. The bursts of aromatics or build up of mesophyl resistance were actual events to watch, beautiful rhythms of life I studied in mesmerization. People forget plants are alive, that every minute they're doing things, moving, breathing, even communicating. It's just on another plane from us -- that doesn't make it any less real. Sometimes I wonder if I went back, if I could not just hear but speak to them easier as well. What would they say? Would they be surprised? Do they forget WE are alive?

But They say it's dangerous to stretch a soul too thin. And if I forget I'm a projection when I'm so far off, while I dissipate completely? Become a sylph, insubstantial life energy billowing through the empty spaces of the world? It's a little too risky for me right now. I'll wait to see if that projection-leash They have been researching ever gets released to the public. I'd feel better having something solid to hold on to.

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1/30/2021 8:42pm

Ohhhh I geel awful.

The girls down the hall invited us to a hallway party, and they had some of that witch's brew. We all drank too much. And the hall started extending.

More people came through, then same people came through, then non-people bipeds came through, the room was packed so the room extended too and we all drank too much.

Stuff started to spin but thet was because Benny was showing off the telekinetic storm until a window broke. Things rushed in and things rushed out and the people sing and the people shout and we all drank too much.

The party is still going, it's been going since yesterday night. But I can't handle the shifting dimensions anymore, I need some stability or I'm gonnna be sick. Witch's brew is good stuff, but it packs more than a punch. It mugs you and takes a good number of your brain cells. I hope my roommates make it back safe -- when I was leaving I saw a fight breaking in at the back corner, right in through the walls and out the floor. We all dran k too much.

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