April 21st, 2005

(no subject)

I was picking at a story earlier and noticed that I may have overlooked a little something.

One of my characters is sort of a cougar-selkie. He has a cat skin that he needs to wear to change shape, but the actual catalyst of the change is some hard-to-explain magic bolognium in powder form. Because he doesn't like the physical sensation of changing shape, he cuts the magic some kind of opiate to numb the feeling. Because he's the kind of person who just doesn't think, he mixes the stuff with rum (or something else hard and fairly sweet)to kill the weird flavor. If I had to guess, I'd say his Magic Brew was probably around 1.5 parts morphine, three or four parts booze.

But leaving the magical aspect out of the equation, I just have to wonder: is he going to be remotely functional once that crap works its way into his system? Reading up confirmed my general impression that mixing alcohol and opiates is not a good idea, but nothing I've found really gets into amounts necessary to achieve certain results. He's a pretty big guy, around 6'1 and two hundred pounds. He isn't really taking it in huge doses, either. Probably an ounce or less at a time semi-frequently. I assume that it isn't enough for instantaneous death or coma, but is he going to have it together enough to behave normally?

And if is going to completely knock him out, would I be stretching my believability to fall back on "it's maaaagic!" as an explanation for why he's up and around and coherent?
lonely girl

Education in New Zealand

Can anyone give me some information about the education system in New Zealand and how it works? I'm mostly looking for information on the younger grades (children aged five through fourteen, equivalent to primary through junior high in the US), but any information you could give me up through high school would also be welcome, including typical classes and when they're taken.

Also, is there a single standardized testing system administered regularly to see who's at grade level? If so, what're the exams called and what do they usually cover? (Writing, math, history ...?) For private schools, is the system similar -- and do most students in NZ attend private or public?

Thanks so much!

eta Rephrased the post a little to hopefully make it more clear what I'm looking for.

European Teachers/Education

Tried Googling this one, but I'm not sure if I'm not typing in the right stuff or what. Hopefully you can help.

If one were to be educated in a European school to be an English teacher, how many years would it require before graduation? Would their teaching certificates be valid in the United States? Are there any additional steps to transferring from Europe to America in terms of all the required junk? Would they have to spend additional years studying in America? Would they have to take any tests to show they are proficient enough to teach here?

Thank you!
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Facial injuries

So, there's this 10-year-old boy who's going to be attacked by a birdie. It's small by their standards, large by ours. Not the point.

The bird is two-toed, two in the front, one in the back, and its talons are decent enough to somewhat rip through soft tissue. It attacks the boy, aiming for the eye, and resulting wounds are one tear from just under the cheekbone to the underside of the eye, and the other two are from mid-forehead to the edge of the brow. The eye is fine. The talons are...mmm, maybe 1/3 an inch in width at its base. Maybe some bone fractures in the cheek, but overall I'm aiming to leave scars on his face.

Can anyone tell me how profusive the bleeding's going to be (and if he could bleed to death in the short run; if so, how long would it take?), how badly it'll need medical attention (by somewhat modern standards), how much time it might need to heal, and what else besides gauze, antibacterial meds/painkillers, and an 'eye patch' would this patch-up job need?

I'd ask Google, but o_O I wouldn't know where to begin.