I remember a chemistry teacher from high school who probably saved me from myself. He passed me, and was kind to me, when I needed it. So much in school came easily for me, but not chemistry. I knew the beauty of the bonds were sublime, and were the basis for life itself, but I just couldn't get past the esoteric skills needed to respond, synthesize, and learn it. (My inability to conquer high school chemistry has given me much: it is our mistakes when faced with an obstacle that helps us more than our easy successes.)
There was a punk in class who constantly berated me. My best friend was too busy getting A's and keeping me awake to be of much help. (True: we sat in the front row, right next to the teacher, and this didn't help me from passing out cold on occasion. Molecular bonds and Periodic Charts have a somnolent effect on me to this day.) My teacher put him in his place, all right, by explaining to him that the reason it was called the 'sophomore' year (I was a junior at this point) was because sophomoric meant foolish, and he was a fool. Oh, no you DID-n't! Smack-downs for smart-asses look a little different when one is a gifted student in an advanced class: a teacher is wise to use Latin/Greek word play, and not send a student to the Principal's office. My tank, Luperci, is in her metaphorical sophomore year, too.
Yesterday, not one, but three wonderful player friends noticed Luperci's progression as a protection paladin. First friend said, in his easy, country-boy style, "Hey, let's get you in a dungeon; that's the only way you'll ever learn!" Second friend says, in his pragmatic and calm way, "I have time to help you through a dungeon," (with subtext of 'no time like the present'), and third friend, with our time zone differences, and in his gentlemanly, crisp, polished manner, just admired the progress, and cheered me on. He always offers to help, and is true to his word, but he is on Kalimdor time. (Besides, it's more fun to talk about books and movies anyway, because he is, as I called him, a rare spawn in Azeroth.*)
Now, leveling is easier these days, to be sure. Third friend noticed she didn't have any purples at level 80, and that is because she moved up a grade, skipping, most if not all, of WTLK content and dungeons. Between the heirlooms and decent rested experience bars, she moved to level 80 fairly quickly. And, with the quest gear and crafted plate items, kind of figured she'd get herself together before going into Cata dungeons. Because, as we all know, things look very different depending on which side of the shield you're on. But since priest healer friend offered to see her through, she chose her dungeon quest of Blackrock Caverns, and off they went. It was a squirrel-ly group indeed, and Lupe, who has a lot to learn about staying calm, did say, (oh, how fast we go to the dark side), a swear word or two when a player literally ran, RAN into Rom'Ogg and a full mob, like they were old school chums. It was only due to the skills of my healer friend, his gear, and abilities that saved us all. I am ashamed of my less-than-champion moment: and as the player said and apologized, it won't happen again from me, either. (Better write myself a sticky note: be patient with rogues, shamans, druid cubs, mages, and warlocks at all times. Although, this vow may prove to prevent boredom: "I solemnly swear I am up to no good.")
BRC was only a tiny smidgen of a taste of a Cata dungeon from a tank's point of view. Luperci barely got it out of second gear.
Sacred Duty's Theck interview is worth a read: I will be studying his notes like a studying for a chemistry test. Because right about now, that's what it feels like. Bonds, hands, hammers, and aggro.
Spoiler alert: Do not read if you haven't seen the last HP movie.
*My friend: The more I thought about it, my repressed reaction to the brutal scene was not as repressed as I thought: it was very aggressive and perhaps, gratuitous? I still see it in my mind's eye. Snape didn't deserve that, but it gave the story the gravitas it needed, since the director didn't honor the final climax as he should.
And, why didn't Neville grab Luna and kiss the hell out of her? That girl needs kissing.