January 28th, 2009

Heath Book, Bookish

Young adult learning to read for the first time.

Setting is a late-renaissance analog of the UK. (Not exact, but that will get you there.)

I have a 16- or 17-year-old country girl, very smart and determined, who cannot read at all when we first meet her. She has a familiarity with the letters of her own name but is fuzzy on the rest of the alphabet. She's taken in by a tutor who, in addition to teaching her to fence, spends time each day teaching her and her two younger sisters to read and write.

A year passes offscreen.

When we come back, how well can we expect her to read?

Assume she is highly verbal, quick-minded, working at it for about two hours a day, and that her tutor is a good one who spends a lot of that time with her. She is learning on worksheets her tutor draws up for her, and on easy-intermediate material with which she quickly becomes acquainted; about the level of a good romance novel or dime novel, say. She is also very, very good at remembering things she hears read aloud or spoken, which is how she has compensated for her illiteracy so far.

Is it reasonable to expect that after one year she would be able to pilfer someone's mail and read it, or would she have to look for keywords to identify which one contained important plot elements? Could she could write a legible "I went out to do such and so, will be back whenever, please do xyz" note reasonably free from embarrassing spelling errors, or would she need help?

If that's not possible, I can have her slightly more literate at the beginning, already knowing a few basic words and her alphabet.

I've tried googling for adult literacy information. "How long does it take adults to read," "adult literacy," "acquiring adult literacy," "acquiring literacy," "learning to read as an adult," and so on. I keep getting information on educating illiterate people in a second language, not teaching them to read and write their own language for the first time. I'm also getting lots of interesting stuff on how to teach adults to read, but no ballpark figures on how long that takes, or where a dedicated student would be after about a year.
Coffee: foamy

Growing up in Boston 1990's

First time posting here so thanks in advance for any help!

I'm role playing a character, this lovely lady in my icon actually, Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She is Boston Irish. I am, annoyingly, British and know very little about Boston. Given that she came from a dirt poor, rough background (mother was an alcoholic) is there a part of Boston she could have reasonably have come from? She left when she was 16 in 1998.

And are there any websites that could work as a good guide to Boston I can use as a reference when talking about her childhood?
fractured sun


Hi I'm trying to get my character drunk, but not too drunk. The character is in his 50's relatively healthy and a regular but not particularly heavy drinker (he's American if that makes any difference). He and a group of friends (with unusual metabolisms so they have different rules) are playing the drinking game 'I have never'. They start off playing with scotch (a drink I have realitively little experience with) and at some point his friend switches him over to beer to prevent alcohol poisoning and later still they switch him to Pepsi. I want him drunk enough to talk about things he wouldn't normally and maybe need help up the stairs but I don't want him losing conciousness or need an ambulance.

I know the various suggested government limits and so forth but I am looking for more anecdotal suggestions, how much Scotch should he drink before switching over to something softer to keep him going for an evening? (I'm thinking about 3, based on observation of those few people I know who drink scotch) And then how much beer on top of that before switching to soft drinks? I know there is a lot of variation I just want something that sounds reasonable.

mental retadation in how it might affect a child being raised by someone of that capapcity

I've already done some research but couldn't find the specifics of what I'm looking for. The story is fanfiction based but I want it to be as realisitc as possible. I've already hinted that the character involved is somewhat delayed and underdeveloped mentally as it is, but was wondering if this affect would be permanent due to his only having been raised by a mentally retarded individual from the age of six to the age of ten, then taken in by another one on the streets after the first one died. There were no other adults present in his life from six until the age of twelve as he needed to bne hidden away for safety.

The problem is compounded by memory loss. He doesn't remember his family or even the man that raised him from six to ten due to a traumatic event that left him on the streets until he is found at the age of eleven/going on twelve. I want the character to be accurate and to be portrayed well, without the threat of insulting those who truly suffer from this problem. I'm wondering if anyone has come across a site I can use or knows anything about this type of thing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Teens in Mental Hospitals

Hi Guys,
Here's what I need: I have a teenaged girl in the United States in a mental hospital due to being emotionally unstable, suicidal, traumatized, etc. Essentially, she had a very difficult childhood that caught up to her during her teen years and caused problems that eventually landed her in this hospital. I'm wondering if there's any sort of seclusion where she would be restrained but still be allowed visitors. I'm thinking perhaps that she might be behind a screen where she can't touch or be touched, or perhaps have guards that prevent her from approaching or being approached by other people. I assume that teens aren't physically restrained (i.e., strapped down) unless they're violent. Essentially, all I need is for this character to be unable to hug her visitors, and vice versa. What kind of behavior would necessitate such precautions and how exactly would she be restrained?
Googled: "Mental Hospitals" teens, "Teens in Mental Hospitals", "Mental Hospitals" restraints, "Mental Hospitals" Teens Behavior, etc. etc.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance,
Caitlin :)
fanfiction/fanart, eureka

Female US war reporters in WWII

Setting: World War II and shortly after (Battle of the Bulge, liberation of the concentration camp Buchenwald, Nuremberg Trials)

Research: Google and wikipedia, also crossposted at military_beta - I tried the general entries on the mentioned theaters of war, war reporting, tried to find specific female US war reporters (as stated below) and tried looking for information on women serving with and in the US Armed Forces in WWII, didn't get anything really satisfying (yet). Hope someone here can help me with my questions:

1. Were all female US war reporters and photographers civilians or did some of them hold military ranks? Wikipedia is unclear on the two I just found (Marguerite Higgins and Margaret Bourke-White). In the German version of the entry on Higgins, it's specifically stated that there are still reports saying that the first soldier (instead of person) to enter Dachau after the liberation was said to be a woman. That really confused me because I always thought all the female war reporters were civilians.

2. Did any female US war reporters cover the war in the Pacific? I don't seem to find any but maybe I just didn't use the right search words. I'd be very glad if anyone could help me :)

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to answer any of these questions.
Fluffy Vulcan

Inheritance Law--United States (NY or NJ, present day)

I posted this at Fanfic Law, too... but that community seems pretty quiet lately. I Googled 'Inheritance Law United States intestate' and checked Wiki, but I have to admit, I'm no closer to an answer.

I'm wrapping up a Batman fanfiction. Gotham, being a fictional city, I have some flexibility, but I usually try to make the rules conform to either NY or NJ law unless it's a canon-trumps-RL situation.

Collapse )

I would guess that the disposal of the estate would, IRL, be the subject
of a lengthy court battle, but since I just need this detail for a
throwaway line, what would the 'default' breakdown be? Five-way split?
Everything to the biological son? Something in the middle?

EDIT: Thanks all! I've got my answer!
buffy spike black&violet by gilkurtisctx
  • tabaqui

Medieval fantasy 'fairy tale' exchange rate....

I have a story set in a quasi-Medieval fantasy world, a fairy tale, so obviously i have some lee-way.

However. I have a woodcarver who has made a large - think travel-sized - trunk for a customer. The trunk will have iron bands/corner pieces, and it's carved all over in a decorative way. The customer is the town Miller, so i'm thinking he'll pay in flour, which makes sense. However. I'm not sure *how much*.

Twenty pounds? Fifty? Five? I don't really know the relative value of flour in this type of society. The trunk probably took a month to make, if that's helpful.

Thank you!