Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Setting notes for "What I Choose to Become"

These are the setting notes for "What I Choose to Become."


Turq's family in River City has a large house because they foster many children.

See the basement floor plan. The rec room includes toys and games for all ages. Things get cycled in and out of the high-use areas based on current interests of the household. The bedroom can be either a teen bedroom or a guest room, depending on household makeup at the time. The basement bathroom has a sink, toilet, and bathtub with shower.

On the first floor, the kitchen has white cabinets and a hardwood floor. The common bathroom has two sinks, a toilet, and a bathtub with shower. The mud room includes a washer/dryer, sink, and storage cabinets. The dining room and family room have glass doors that open onto the back terrace. This shows part of the living room with the two-way fireplace dividing it from the family room. The whole front of the living room is a bay window filled with plants.

On the second floor, the girls' room is the back 9.6x10' bedroom. It has four corner bunk beds of white wood, each dressed in a different color. Bamboo ladders provide access. The children's bathroom lies between the girls' room and the boys' room. The boys' room is the front 10x12' bedroom. It has four corner bunks of white wood, each dressed in a different color. Ladders are incorporated into the bunks. The nursery is the back 9x10' bedroom. It has a crib and two toddler beds. The master bedroom is decorated in Chinese motifs, and so is the master bathroom.

This is the backyard with playground equipment. Raised beds for vegetable gardening line the right edge of the yard. The children have their own garden.

The side garden by the dining room has benches with cushions. Turq's caney bed offers a sheltered spot.


The Technical College of New Jutland was located in the least-inhabited eastern part of Douglas County, Missouri. It's about halfway between the towns of Ava and West Plains, also fairly close to Springfield. Most students came from there, but it also drew some from River City and Kansas City. TCNJ was an expensive for-profit college aimed at upper-middle-class students who could not get into state or private colleges due to poor academic performance, disciplinary problems, or other reasons. Like many for-profit colleges, it had a high rate of dropouts and defaults, but the campus itself was actually quite good. TCNJ went out of business in 2006 due to tightening regulations. Court costs and red tape sent the property into foreclosure, and it sat empty until 2008. The original market value of the campus property was $76.459 million. Carl Bernhardt bought it in a short sale for $.10 on the dollar, for $7,645,900. The campus included the STEMZ Building (Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering), Forum, Biology Building, Science Complex (Mathematics and Statistics, Physics, Chemistry), and Armstrong Hall (Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Technological Studies). It also had two dormitories to the east of the STEMZ Building (Zeise Residence Hall and Bohr Residence Hall), the Ørsted Administrative Building south of the STEMZ Building, and the Lehmann General Education Building south of the Science Complex.

The technical departments include Engineering (Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering), Biology (Botany and Zoology), Science (Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, and Zetetics), Mathematics (Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Theoretical Mathematics, and Statistics), and Computer Science (Computer Programming, Information Technology, and Technological Studies). Biomedical Engineering is an interdisciplinary major/minor spanning the Engineering and Biology departments. Electrical and Computer Engineering is an interdisciplinary major/minor spanning the Engineering and Computer Science departments. Actuarial Science is an interdisciplinary minor spanning the Mathematics and Science departments. There is also an interdisciplinary STEMZ major/minor that incorporates classes from all of the technical departments. Logic is an interdisciplinary major/minor spanning the Mathematics, Science, and Social Sciences departments. Each department offers a broad major in its field along with several specialized majors, and a matching minor for each major; for instance Biology includes a broad Biology program and specialized programs in Botany or Zoology. Some also offer certificates aimed directly at employment: Engineering (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning; Renewable Energy Technician), Biology (Horticulture and Nursery Work; Lab Animal Management), Science (Laboratory Assistant), Computer Science (Computer Game Development; Computer Installation, Maintenance, and Repair; Cybersecurity; Website Development), Mathematics (Tax Preparation).

The second floor of the Lehmann General Education Building has 17 classrooms. The empty rectangle above the women's room is a nursing room. The long empty rectangle adjacent to the lower right classrooms is a quiet room.
This building hosted most of the regular classes that didn't belong to one of the major STEMZ fields since those had their own building. What's left was a handful of core classes, general education requirements, and electives. These included Communication, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Fine Arts; the GE requirement was to take one class in each department. The college offered a minor in each of those four fields plus an interdisciplinary minor in General Education that combined all four. One major, Scientific Ethics, included a much larger portion of classes from these departments, and there was also a minor for it that concentrated mainly on Social Sciences and Humanities. Additional minors were available in Science Fiction Writing, Science Fiction Art, and Science Fiction Media. These combined scientific classes with humanities and fine arts, and one of TCNJ's few real successes is that it turned out a number of very capable creators. In addition, these fields offered a few more certificates aimed at gainful employment: Communication (Sign Language Interpretation), Social Sciences (Peer Counseling), Humanities (Cultural Program Management), Fine Arts (Printing and Printmaking), General Education (Office Skills; Small Business Management).

College certificates are concise programs that either teach a specific, complex skill useful in the workplace or provide training for a particular job. Some aim at a certain test or license required by the intended profession, which students take after completing the certificate. These programs are designed to enable students to obtain gainful employment immediately after graduating. T-America generally indicates which are for individual skills of professional development, and which are complete training for a job. TCNJ certificates may include Chemical Operator, Industrial and Manufacturing Crafts, Practical Nursing, Addiction Care, Child and Family Studies, Emergency Medical Technician, Emotional First Aide, Medical Office Clerk, Retail Management, Live Modeling.

Proposed departments to add: Business and Management, Family Studies, Health Care, Human Services, Nanotechnology, Peacework, Personal Development, Superpower Studies. Personal Development spans subjects including College Skills, Coping Skills, Job Skills, and Life Skills. It also includes individual disciplines within those areas such as Budgeting, Meditation, Time Management, and Yoga some of which have clusters or skill trees instead of single classes. Someone might take a full set of Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Yoga followed by classes on Public Program Design, Teaching, and Small Business Management; this would enable starting a yoga studio.

Broaden Science Fiction to Speculative Fiction including fantasy, horror, etc. Upgrade the non-technical minors to majors. Diversify by adding specialized tracks or minors. For instance, Social Sciences would have a major and a minor; the major could include a specialization in either Psychology or Sociology. If the college grows, those could become separate departments.

Three possible areas of expansion: add more technical subjects, upgrade non-technical subjects to full departments with majors, and add whole new fields of study.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, education, fantasy, fishbowl, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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