Thursday, January 12, 2006

Gevile living #2: school and work

Continuing on the introduction to one of the cities in my conworld that I posted a few days back, a second instalment of the series - this time looking at school and work.


You almost certainly learned your beecuush (letters) on the knee of your favourite zgate (aunt or uncle), and would have attended one of the krasovnisuush (temple schools) between the ages of 7 and 10. The krasovnisuush are open during the afternoon; during the morning you probably earned some pocket money running ákhuebnisuush (chores) for various relatives or neighbours.

From the krasovnisuu, you would have moved on to one of the much more imposing krasovuush (guild colleges). Every profession and craft supports its own krasovuu, though much of the curriculum is the same (since the city decided to set minimum standards for education).

Some of the subjects you would most likely have studied include: Gevey (naturally); mathematics (with a special emphasis on geometry and monetary issues); health and personal hygeine; safety and first aid; history; using technology; civil responsibility; and contract law (in some detail). Religious studies may have happened at the temple, while arts, crafts, music and performance would have depended on which krasovuu you attended. There would also have been some component covering your guild's profession. You would naturally count in base 10, and found the idea that the rest of the world counts in base 8 a bit wierd. Studying other languages would not have been a priority - everyone speaks Gevey, don't they?

If you were bright enough, and made it through all six jinsuush (years) at krasovuu, then you might have had an opportunity to go to krasovjarhuu (university). The Krasovjarhuu Gevilizhuu (University of Gevile) is highly respected among its peers for its teaching, research and academic study. The Krasovjarhuu Jaakrizhuu (University of the Creator) is also well respected, though it limits its range of study and teaching to theology and medicine.

Much more likely, though, is that you completed three or four orbit's worth of study at krasovuu and then found employment either as a guild apprentice, or as an apprentice in a related guild, or as a city employee. Or you may have joined the family firm. Unemployment rates are not particularly high in the city, and there are plenty of jobs for those who want them. Nevertheless, training never stops and it will be a rare jinsuu when you won't return to your home guild to help out with the teaching, or attend a specialist course, or visit a different guild to learn new skills.


Gevile is not a single industry town, and the type of work you find yourself doing could include farming, mining, logging, light manufacturing and assembly (in particular pottery and ceramics, cloth production, tanning and dying, furniture production, or electrical goods production), civil guarding, fine craftwork, building and demolition work, or utilities development and maintenance (for water, electricity and sewage).

Service industries are also important, from banking, through city management and guild politics, to food preparation and service. Entertainers are highly appreciated throughout the city, as are professional teachers and healers. Religious workers are not held in such high esteem - despite the number of temples across the city, Gevile is not a very religious city.

Trade and retail tend to be more family-based enterprises, rather than controlled by the guilds. Shopping will almost certainly be an important (and enjoyable) component of your social life. Even so, Gevile society is not a wasteful society, and great store is placed on refurbishing old goods for reuse or resale, and recycling. Every street in Gevile has a glounezhlovuu (refurbishment shop), whose staff will be able to fix pretty much anything. You may be a glounezhliste (refurbisher) yourself!

Wherever you work, you are likely to work a pattern of five or six days at work and two days away from work. Gevey society does not understand the concept of a weekend, but is very insistent that people should have time away from the workplace to help out at infirmaries and temple schools, and to look after their karesh (nephews and nieces). Work tends to start soon after sunrise and wind down after midday, then start up again when the afternoon rain eases off. Some people will also have an evening job.

You will probably get paid once every 10 or 12 days. You almost certainly think your taxes and tithes are too steep, though you usually will not moan about paying a tithe to the Mother's and Orphan's Guild, or your city tax which pays for the civil guard and fire watch. You will definitely grumble about your own Guild's tithe, and will probably do everything in your power to avoid the Temple staff on payday!

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