Geeks-in-Training: Which School Would You Choose?

In sf and fantasy, heroes aren’t hard to find.  In many instances, however, the great aren’t just born – they’re also trained.  Here’s a breakdown of some of the most famous institutions in geekdom, with their pros and cons.

Starfleet Academy

  • Duration: Four to eight years
  • Entrance Requirements: Application, entrance exam, summer prep course, occasionally letters of recommendation
  • Why I’d Join: Peacekeeping missions in space/exploration means there’s no shortage of adventure or challenges, and the school would be full of intellectual peers
  • Major Drawback: Things don’t always go smoothly, in land or air.  Battles and accidents can be equally deadly.

Jedi Training

  • Duration: Potentially, from infancy to adulthood
  • Entrance Requirements: Um, midichlorian count? The Force must be strong with this one.
  • Why I’d Join:  Skills of a martial arts master, wisdom of a monk, all juiced with superpowers.
  • Major Drawback: With good comes evil.  Be prepared to be fighting it forever, because power tends to corrupt, and the Sith are like cockroaches.

Colonial Fleet

  • Duration: A few years, unless you add in War College
  • Entrance Requirements: Iffy; probably similar to most military institutions
  • Why I’d Join: The only place to be for those who love flying and space.  Also, any training in the face of Cylon war doesn’t hurt.
  • Major Drawback: General risks associated with space travel; plus, the quiet, looming threat of the Cylons.

Xavier Institute for Higher Learning

  • Duration: whenever talents are identified (around adolescence) to adulthood
  • Entrance Requirements: Some form of mutant powers
  • Why I’d Join: A relatively safe haven for mutants, and a place to develop powers to their fullest extent.  Many graduates go on to become X-Men.
  • Major Drawback:  The school, in various forms, has been targeted more than once over the years.  Better have that emergency escape plan memorized.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

  • Duration: Seven years
  • Entrance Requirements: Must be a witch or wizard
  • Why I’d Join: The best possible place for emotionally-charged youngsters with innate magical powers.  A good way to hone natural abilities and learn additional skills.  Students go on to become awesome wizards.  Plus, it’s a magical castle.  Come on.
  • Major Drawback: Again with the corrupting and absolute evil.  Hogwarts is as safe as it can be, but sometimes that’s not safe enough.

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