EP. 1 - MYTH101: Intro to Mythology
Pandora Wordsworth, a new student at Mount Olympus University, accidentally stumbles into an abandoned radio room.
[[SFX: Door opens and closes]]
Pandora: OK...well...this isn’t a classroom or a bathroom, so...great. We are “O” for five as far as doors go. [[mimicking]] “Oh, you’ll looooove college, it’s sooo great.” Well, so far all I’ve done in college is get lost, so excuse me for not believing you, Belinda.
...God, this place is a mess. Is this some kind of storage closet, or...?
[[SFX: Cardboard hitting cardboard]]
Oh, ok, apparently all these boxes are empty. Just a room crowded with empty boxes. Excellent. Normal.
...What is that light?
[[SFX: Shuffling footsteps, more cardboard, movement]]
[her voice is closer now] Ok, guess it’s nothing dangerous. Just a bunch of very old equipment. Oh, hey, microphone! Maybe they had a college radio here once.
...Does--Does that light mean it’s on?
Oh my god. [panicked] Ooooh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god! Ummm-- ahhhh-- Hello? No-- not hello-- no one is going to reply to you, dummy, this is a one-way thing! And if anyone is out there they have been listening to you talk to yourself for five minutes! Why would this thing even be on? Clearly no one has been in this room for years! This school is so-- freaking-- weird!
[she huffs but slowly begins to calm, reasoning with herself]
...Though...I guess that means no one is listening, either. I mean, no one really listens to college radio when it’s actually thriving, so...it probably doesn’t matter. [deep breath] Ok. We're fine. We’re cool! I mean, I could like say whatever I want and it would just vanish into the ether.
[[SFX: Shuffling closer to microphone]]
So I’m going to get this off of my chest, ok? Non-existent audience? I don’t belong here. And this isn’t a statement from the depths of my youthful ennui or whatever, I mean I don’t belong at Mount Olympus University. The people here? They aren’t people!...I mean, they are people, I’m not trying to be rude, but they are people who can do things people can’t do. Before I came here, I was sitting around thinking, “oh, isn’t that hilarious, there is a typo on the schedule that says there’s a class called ‘Water-Based Spells 121,’ what a delightful mistake.” But it wasn’t a mistake. The only mistake was me coming here.
[She lets out a breath]
I mean...it’s not like I didn’t know something was fishy before I came here. It was just that I was kind of...desperate. You see…
This will be so dumb if somebody actually tunes in...
Screw it. What have I got to lose? It’s not like my college career is off to a stellar start, anyway.
Alright, so, backstory: going to college was always my dream. It sounds kind of dumb now since I’m technically an undeclared major, but I like learning! I might not know a lot about myself, but I know that. I knew I wanted to get my degree and then my masters...hell, maybe even my PHD if I wanted! It was never about what I wanted to be it was just a matter of what I could learn, you know?
So college was the thing I wanted and I forced my parents to start my college fund when I was like five. I was a very precocious young person. It was always this safety net I had, you know? For my entire life. We would add to it on my birthdays, and it was always just...there.
Still with me? Alright, now smash cut to when I graduated high school. In my head, I’m like, “sweet, college time,” yeah? But then...everything started going wrong. Really fast.
...Have you ever had a situation where so much goes bad, you can only laugh, because it’s hilarious how terrible it is? Like it actively stops being sad and becomes a joke that you're almost in on just because it’s happening to you? That was what happened to me.
First, I discovered none of my college applications went through. None of them. I received a phone call saying our home was the victim of a “freak internet accident,” which I am... 90% sure is not a thing. But I had a dozen applications that just apparently...vanished. And somehow this was not revealed to me until it was too late to apply again. Trust me, I know it sounds crazy, but I swear it’s true. That...was real bad. And I thought, ok, so I have to hang around a little longer. No big deal. At least there’s the college fund, right? Well.
My parents spent it. Every last penny. They used it...to join a yacht club. WE DON’T OWN A YACHT! We are entirely land locked! There is barely a puddle to splash around in, much less a place to house a whole yacht! But apparently that didn’t present a problem to anyone else. The only hurdle they saw was the fee to join. But hey, they had a whole bunch of money in an account just waiting for them to take. Suddenly, they’re walking around with anchor jewelry and sweaters tied around their necks and I have nothing!
Listen, non-existent audience, my parents aren’t bad people. They just...aren’t particularly good people. Or, you know...thoughtful.
But there aren’t enough empty airwaves in the world to make me get into that right now.
...So after this, I’m already thinking that someone is playing a game with me-- like some kind of god, or ‘fate’, or whatever you want to call it. And when someone is in the sort of position where they think they are the butt-end of a joke for some invisible higher-up, I guess it makes them...vulnerable? And, uh, that just about brings us to this weird room full of empty boxes.
It was only about a month ago that I got a letter from Mount Olympus University. It was sitting on top of all this junk mail with my name on the front in fancy gold letters. Which I guess should have been my first warning cause what kind of school takes time to emboss?
But this uncomfortably fancy letter said not only was I accepted to the hallowed halls of MOU, but I also had a full ride. A full ride. And all of a sudden my problems were solved! It didn’t even matter that my college fund was literally sent to sea, I could actually go to school! Which was...amazing! It was just, ahh...
...the thing is, I don’t remember ever really applying here, per se? I...maybe had never even heard of the school before I got the letter. I tried to research them after the fact, but their internet presence was iffy at best. Which, again-- weird. I even tried calling them to let them know how wrong they were, but no one would pick up, and then they would randomly leave me voicemails congratulating me, and we went in this circle for weeks, and...
And maybe accepting full tuition from a mystery school you never applied to is an ethical grey area. But you have to understand: I went from having a pretty solidly planned future to having none at all. And so...I took it. I accepted! I figured it was a mistake on their end, of course, and any day one of their vague phone calls would tell me as much. But that call never came and I just sort of...showed up here. And...here I am.
So, yeah, I guess I should have known from the start that I was in over my head. But I was expecting like, at most, some very poor clerical upkeep. I did not expect a school full of...freaking...super-humans!
Like this guy who goes here, Zeus, he’s...uch, he’s the worst. I’m going to try not to talk about him much because I swear to god he senses his name in the air and if I talk about him too long it will give him time to track it down. And then he will manifest expressly to make me miserable. But...I watched him summon lightning the other day. That is not a euphemism, even though I’m sure he would love it to be. He just...made lightning strike. In the cafeteria. Two inches away from that Osiris guy who didn’t even blink, by the way. And everyone else in the room was super chill with that.Just another freaking day in the lunch line.
And Professor Le Fay? She’s just a witch! Not the old school pointy hat and cauldron type, but the kind who can make water move or create fire out of nothing. Which is super cool, don’t get me wrong, but I am destined to be her most disappointing student. You know why? I. Can’t. Do. Magic.
And that is the smallest iota of a fraction of what happens here. Overwhelming is an understatement. And I’ve barely even slept since I got here. Dorm life is proving an interesting challenge. My roommate, Aphrodite, um...she has an...active social life. Don’t get me wrong, she’s actually really sweet, and she’s been very nice to me. She just...enjoys spreading the love. At night. In our dorm room. Which, no judgement, she’s living her best life, I just wish she would do it at a less awkward time. I don’t even know what power she has yet, so I’m just waiting for our room to explode or something and take me with it. Which, at this point...not the worst option.
...I guess that’s the whole story of how I came to be here. At the university. Not this room. I’m in this room because this school is a labyrinth. Literally, I met a Minotaur here….His name is Carlos, he’s pretty nice.
I know it’s only a matter of time before I’m found out, of course. I should probably just get ahead of it and leave now. Honestly, though, I’m still getting to learn stuff. I mean, the literature courses here are fantastic. And even if I can’t do magic, I’m learning a lot about the science behind it, and...it’s cool. Plus, there’s the fact that if I leave, I have nowhere else to go, so...I guess...I’m just going to stay here until they get rid of me. That’s a decision I just reached right now, after spilling my guts to a station no one has tuned in to for a million years. And once they finally kick me out...I guess I’ll figure out what to do next from there.
...This was kind of cathartic. Talking to no one. I guess I haven’t talked about everything that’s happened...ever, so...yeah. Thanks, mysterious unused radio room inexplicably filled with empty boxes.
Well, it’s about 2:30 pm, which means if I start looking now, I should make it just in time for my 7pm night class. I guess it’s sort of cool knowing this is here. I hope I can find it again.
...I think Carlos is coming by, so I’m gonna go. I feel like I need to say something to wrap it up? I mean, I know I’ve been doing this under the impression that no one is listening, but it seems weird to jet and not say anything final, so ummm…
I guess...this is Pandora Wordsworth, signing off.
[Theme song begins to play softly]
[[SFX: Shuffling footsteps, cardboard moving, general movement]]
[[SFX: Door opens]]
[Distantly] Oh, sorry, Carlos!
[[SFX: Door closes]]
[[Theme song "Medusa" plays]]
Raeanna Nicole Larson: Mount Olympus University is an original story conceived and written by Raeanna Nicole Larson. Sound editing done by Luuk Van Hoomissen. Music by Teddy McKrell. Our icon was designed by Jess Reed.
The role of Pandora is played by Raeanna Nicole Larson.
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[["Medusa" fades out]]