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 Wang Yao- People's Republic of China

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PostSubject: Wang Yao- People's Republic of China   Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:50 pm

Character's name: Wang Yao (王耀)

Country of origin: China

Age: ‘29’ is his official response, but he’s been 29 for a couple of decades now.

What they teach: Arithmancy

How long they've taught: 10 years

Personality:

Yao is very independently minded and dogmatic. You can’t change his mind about anything and arguing with him is futile- even if he’s in the wrong (which isn’t uncommon) he will wear you down with his stubbornness. He’s blunt and sometimes a little rude, and subtlety is an unfamiliar concept to him. All the same, he will treat students and fellow teachers with patience and respect if they do the same for him.

Yao is studious and hardworking, and he expects no less of his students- Yao’s class is not one you can simply ‘wing’. Every lesson he will set no less than an hour’s worth of homework, as well as two hours reading preparation for the next class. On top of this, he expects students to engage in a fair amount of independent study and research in their free time. Needless to say, his is not a popular class.

He demands total silence in his class and won’t tolerate being disturbed when he is reading or working in his office, but he’s really at his happiest when surrounded by noise and festivity, so he really enjoys mealtimes in the Great Hall, where the atmosphere is one of camaraderie and laughter.



Appearance:

Everything about Yao is deceptive- his short stature and smooth, pale skin make him look youthful, but his wide dark eyes easily give him away- they always look a little tired, but keen too. And they have this way of looking at you, as if to say nothing you could do or say could possibly surprise him anymore. He attributes his youthful appearance to Tai Chi and lots of jasmine tea, but it mainly comes down to lucky genetics and various home-made, herbal concoctions that promise longevity.
His long, black hair and petite stature have led numerous people to believe that he is a woman which, though at first merely a small annoyance for Yao, has over the years become something of a sore spot for him.
Growing up, the style of the day in China was grey, dull-blue and khaki-green. After so long dressed in such drab, miserable clothes, Yao adores colour. He feels more connected to the older history and culture of his country in the colourful Hanfu. He finds the black robes that the teachers are meant to wear to dull, and much prefers his own brighter colours that stand out against all the black and grey in the school, but he will obey the dress code if his job depends on it.
He is very proud and very protective of his hair- long hair was seen as decadent and bourgeois when he grew up, for both men and women, but without school or teachers to reprimand him, he was able to get away with growing his hair by stuffing it into a cap whenever he left the house. Being able to wear his hair long in public has been a novelty that hasn’t worn off, and the idea of cutting it short- no matter what the circumstance- is totally inconceivable.

Muggle-born, Half-blood, or Pureblood? Half-blood

Strengths:

• Despite a limited diet growing up, Yao is an excellent cook.
• Thanks to his mothers’ efforts, Yao is crazy skilled at Chinese tea ceremony- he can pour you a cup of tea from three feet away.
• Again, thanks to his mother, he isn’t bad at playing the Guqin either. (Old Chinese string instrument)
• Yao is relatively good at alchemy.
• He is the scariest damn haggler you will ever meet.
• Though he’s quite bookish and skinny, when the situation calls for it and his adrenaline is set running, he can be very agile and command unexpected strength. He may not be able to beat someone in a fight, but he can probably outrun them if he’s scared enough.


Weaknesses:

• Yao is completely confounded by western magic.
• He is also extremely proud and will rarely admit when he needs help.
• He is prone to making snap judgements about people.
• Even though he’s a strict and demanding teacher, if one of his students starts crying he is powerless to resist and will give them the deadline extension/the opportunity to retake the test/yet another copy of the textbook after they’ve lost it for the seventh time this year. This isn’t because he feels sorry for them, but because he isn’t very good at dealing with crying people and will do anything to make the tears stop.


Phobias:

• Sickness- after seeing how illness consumed his mother and how she suffered right to the end of her life, he has become something of a hypochondriac.
• Aging- ultimately Yao fears death, and wants to hold onto his youth and health for as long as he can.

Quirks:

• Although he speaks excellent English, he will switch to angry, fast-paced Mandarin to scare his students if they’re slacking or dozing off in his lesson.
• He has no less than 70 varieties of tea in his office.
• One of the first things he’ll do when he meets a person is ask for their birthday so he can use arithmancy to divine something from it, more for his own pleasure than anything else.
• He demands to be addressed as ‘laoshi’ by all his students.


Likes:

• Tea
• Maths
• Arithmancy (obviously)
• Steamed buns
• ‘Cute’ mascots e.g. Hello Kitty
• Colours
• Calligraphy
• Astronomy
• Obedient students
• Tai Chi
• Alchemy

Dislikes:

• Being mistaken for a woman
• Being called a squib for his inability to use a wand
• Dairy products
• Sarcasm
• Beating around the bush
• Lazy and insolent students
• Knowing how old he really is



Your Character's backstory:

Wang Yao was born at a time of turbulence and social upheaval in China which, oddly enough, worked in his favour. The Party was declaring practically every institution bourgeois, including schools, and many factories and businesses stopped working altogether, under the pretence that even working hard was considered ambitious and capitalist. As a result, Yao never had to waste his time at a ‘normal’ school and his father (a wizard who had previously worked as a doctor but through a series of trials and denunciation meetings had ended up cleaning machinery at a factory in Beijing) rarely had to go to work. This gave Yao’s father plenty of time to teach his son about the art of wizardry. While other children, lacking motivation or entertainment and education to occupy their time, formed street gangs in the city, Yao would sit with his father for hours in their dank, tiny apartment, listening to him with rapt attention. Few books had survived the earlier years of the Cultural Revolution, but Yao’s father had committed enough of his studies to memory to give his son a decent education in not only the magical arts of alchemy, charms and divination, but in maths, literature and science as well.

Not that Yao’s childhood was an easy one- leaving aside the fact that nearly everything in China had come to a standstill, from food production and distribution to transport and sanitation, and that there was negligible freedom of speech or even thought, Yao’s family had its own issues. Both his parents were marked as ‘grey’ in government ranking, which although not as bad as ‘black’, was a long way from the exalted ‘red’ population. This had various repercussions in how his family was treated by others, and what food and money they were entitled to. What’s more, his mother, a muggle, had a weak immune system, made worse by the unsanitary and cramped conditions they, like most other people in China at the time, were forced to live in. She was in and out of hospital, but with overcrowding, lack of appropriately trained staff or up to date equipment, Yao’s mother often returned from hospital faring worse than when she’d left. Whenever his mother was at home, he would dedicate himself to taking care of her- administering her (usually useless) prescriptions, preparing her meals, massaging her aching joints, helping her move about the house, and above all keeping her company and trying to raise her spirits. She was always very proud of her son, and praised his efforts and progress in his studies, magical and otherwise. Yao loved his mother dearly, and he could not stand to see her suffer as she did.
Luckily for their family, both parents were paid their full wages despite their regular absences (again, the system had all but broken down in China by this point) and when there was food to be had, the family lived in relative comfort.

Although most books were illegal, the majority were available on the black market for the right price. Yao had little interest in novels, but everyday he would scour the crates of dog eared volumes in the alleys near his apartment, looking for books that might be relevant to his studies. He couldn’t believe his luck when he stumbled upon a copy of Pythagoras’ work on arithmancy- the boy selling it didn’t have a clue what it was or what it was worth, so Yao managed to pass it off as worthless, finally agreeing to take it off his hands for pittance. He poured over the book for months, taking notes on the Chaldean and Pythagorean systems, learning what he could about divining the future from numbers, a concept his father had barely touched on. He knew that if he wanted to get anywhere with what he was studying, he would have to leave the restrictions of China and educate himself elsewhere. But getting out of China, even after Mao’s death and the liberalisation of government that followed, was no mean feat. Most people who got to leave the country were still Party officials or foreign language scholars. Yao was neither. He decided his best bet was to turn his attention to getting a place at university (which was far easier said than done without any formal education or parents in influential positions), in the vain hope of being granted some time abroad.

It took Yao years to get into university, but the rewards were worth the exams, statements, investigations and interviews. At the beginning of his third year studying English, he was granted the opportunity to travel to England for the rest of the year. He was elated, but felt a duty to stay with his parents and look after them, especially his ailing mother. But they both urged him to leave, neither expecting him to return. He had only been in England a few weeks by the time he received a phone call from his father, with the news that his mother had died. For a long time he cursed himself for not being there when she died, for not having looked after her and let her know how much he loved and cared for her. For a while he was hell-bent on returning to China, but his father told him that wasn’t what his mother would have wanted- their lives had been so hindered and controlled for so long, and now Yao had the opportunity to escape it and achieve things his father could only ever have dreamed of. Yao stayed, spending his months touring across the libraries of the British Isles, searching desperately for and devouring obscure books on paranormal subjects. Staying in the UK after his students’ visa had expired was difficult, but through some complicated forgeries and clever loopholes he managed it, and managed to create a reasonably comfortable existence for himself- he moved into a flat in Soho, finding jobs in various shops, restaurants, tea rooms and ‘fortune telling’ parlours in China Town and the surrounding area before being hired at Hogwarts.

He still keeps in regular contact with his father, but has not returned to China since he left all those years ago, knowing the trouble he would get in with the government if they got their hands on him.

How they were hired/transferred:

Yao wasn’t aware that there was a wider magical community, let alone schools and ministry dedicated to it. So it came as a great surprise when he got into trouble with a mysterious ministry for practising alchemy without their permission. After being escorted there by two official looking old men in old-fashioned suits, things started to become clearer and exasperated bureaucrats explained the seemingly obvious situation to him. It was at the ministry that he bumped into an old woman who claimed to have been the professor of Arithmancy at Hogwarts. Yao wasn’t really sure what Hogwarts was, but he assumed it had to be a school or university of some kind. He excitedly asked if he position had been filled, and she told him it was still available as far as she was aware, it being the beginning of the summer and all. She directed him to where he needed to apply, told him which letters he needed to send to whom, and what the position actually entailed. He followed the woman’s advice, and sure enough, he was invited to an interview at the end of August and hired to start teaching there the next month.

RP Sample:

Yao weighed the wand in his hand. How could this stick, this feeble twig from a willow tree wield such power? He observed it curiously, examining the length, the grain, the gnarls and bumps, the pointed tip, the smooth grip. He had bought the thing many years ago from a dusty old shop in Diagon Alley, nervous and curious. He had tested it just the one time in the shop, and had caused a few boxes to fall off a nearby shelf. Since then, it had been left to gather dust in the bottom of his trunk, devoid of purpose and forgotten. He wasn’t sure what had possessed him to unearth it again- some new found sense of ambition and curiosity, a desire to better himself, or simply the constant shame he felt in being unable to perform even the simplest spells the very youngest witches and wizards in the school could achieve with ease.

There were copies of the first years’ charms textbook available to borrow in the library, but he had been too ashamed to check it out. He had, however, over the years picked up a few incantations from teachers and students- nothing complicated, just a few of the basics. He got to his feet and cleared his throat authoritatively, as if to show the wand he was in charge. He hesitantly raised it before him in his right hand, pointing it at a quill on his desk.
“W-wingardium Leviosa” he enunciated clearly but quietly. Nothing happened. He hadn’t expected anything to happen really, but it frustrated him all the same. He glared at the wand and cleared his throat again.
“Wingardium Leviosa!” he repeated a little more forcefully than the first time. Still nothing happened. He waved the wand slightly erratically as he continued to recite the incantation over and over. Louder and louder he uttered the spell, and wilder and wilder became his swishes and flicks. “Zuoyong ba, ben de zhitiao!” he barked at the wand in exasperation, raising it once again for another go. A timid knock came at his office door. “Aiyah!” he jumped, wand flying from his hand mid-swish and crash landing somewhere behind his desk with a noisy clatter.

He sighed with frustration and took a moment to compose himself. The knock came again and he flinched. Lips pursed and face glowing with embarrassment, sure that whoever it was at the door had heard his feeble attempts at such a simple spell, he answered the door.
“What do you want?” he asked in his usual, blunt fashion. A nervous looking third year, a short, bespectacled girl in a Hufflepuff tie, stammered something like an explanation for her late homework, punctuated with shaky apologies. She presented Yao with a few pages of hastily written notes and scrawled numbers, which he practically snatched from her hands, still burning at the thought of having lost face. He sniffed and curtly bid her goodbye, quickly closing the door in the young girl’s face. Dropping her homework on his pile of work needing marking, he leant across his desk, balancing on his stomach, and reached down behind it, feeling about for the discarded wand. He recovered it and scowled at it with adequate loathing. He returned the useless stick to where he’d found it in his trunk of charms and bottles of potions, condemning it yet again to fester in darkness where it belonged. He strode to the other end of his office and stood up straight with his back to the offending article, staring through the window that looked out over the school’s owlery.
‘Bah, who needs a wand? Lousy old stick. I don’t need a wand to be considered a wizard- I’ve learned more about magic and its true power than anyone in this school could ever know. I’m not a squib. My magic is simply different to theirs. And theory is as good as practice! Besides, who needs a wand to lift a quill when I can pick it up myself? Sheer laziness, I tell you…’

ABOUT ME:

Name: Katy
Tell us a little about yourself. I’m 18, I’m from England, I’m studying German and Chinese at uni.
Anything else? I’ve never RPed China/Yao before, but I’m very passionate about China IRL and I want to learn more about her culture and history. I’m sorry if anything I’ve written in this app comes across as insensitive or misinformed! Oh, and my favourite colour is yellow.

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PostSubject: Re: Wang Yao- People's Republic of China   Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:23 pm

I admit I was worried about China. But this. This...

This was absolutely amazing. Beautiful. As a Chinese person myself, I'm so happy that you portrayed his character with such accuracy! Oh gosh I think I need a tissue...

Wang Yao, or Yao Wang, you are hereby ACCEPTED! Feel free to join us in the chatbox, any thread labeled OPEN in our roleplay sections, or feel free to start one of your own~! You are now permitted to change your name to Yao Wang.
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PostSubject: Re: Wang Yao- People's Republic of China   Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:26 am

Thank you so much! I'll do my best with him!
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