December 6th, 2009

University admission and A levels in England

So, I think I understand A levels enough to write about them in passing. But I can't make sense of a couple of, well, little details:

-do you take three "classes" each term (around 4-5 months) or is it for the full year?

-how many A levels does one normally take? I know three is typically required for university, but is it extremely exceptional for students to take more than three?

-what would be a doable but somewhat difficult amount for someone to take?

-when do most people actually start university? It says in a few places online most people stay in sixth form until they're 19; would starting a few days after one's 18th birthday be considered relatively early, or is that the norm?

character in question is a seventeen-year-old who is tired and stressed. I need her to show that she's somewhat gifted, and I'd like her to feel like she's starting school a year too early. Any thoughts on this? I'm completely overwhelmed!

I read five or six different wikipedia articles and googled around a little, but honestly I'm not sure how to google "how many A levels can I give my seventeen-year-old to make her cranky?" or "would this make my character feel like a freak?", lol. Seriously, any help is appreciated! The UK school system is so different from ours, and I really don't understand ours that well to start with, so... yikes! Thanks in advance.

Also, forgot to ask: Would a public school student (i.e. privately paying) wear a school uniform in sixth form? Thanks!
alkanphel

Manual strangulation and heart rate

One of my characters in a fanfic I'm writing has a sense of touch - as well as all his other senses, but the one I'm focusing on is touch - that's been enhanced greatly from what would be normal for a human. Now, my question: if he were to strangle someone until they blacked out, with his finger pressed against their carotid artery, what would he feel?

Now, the victim's going to be putting up a struggle, but they're going to be bound and gagged, so it won't make much of a difference.
robot rock

Burns, healing, scars

Setting: Japan, 1996
Searches: "Burns scars" "types of burns" "treatment of burns"

Okay, so, what I'm looking for is quite specific. The character in question just knelt on and pressed his forehead and hands to a blisteringly hot, smooth surface for 12 seconds before wrenching himself away from it. I have a couple of questions.

I'm assuming he'll have scars. What would they look like? Would it be the same as branding but on a larger scale? Would there be nerve damage and if so, how does this effect him? He'll have received the best treatment money can buy but the severity/appearance of the scars is making me stop and think.
ostrich riding

Louisville Circa the 90s

Hello all! Back with a question.

I know a lot about the Louisville, Kentucky of today, and recently started a story set there. However, I ALSO started writing the back story of one of the characters, who was born in the late seventies/early eighties and grew up in Louisville in a poor, probably sketchy neighborhood, and preferably in one of those dinky shotgun houses that are all over Louisville (and pretty cute and gentrified now, though still relatively cheap to rent).

My problem is, I don't know enough about Louisville in the eighties and early nineties to say just where that neighborhood is. I know Germantown used to be pretty rough, and some people have told me that Bardstown Road and the waterfront were also not places you wanted to be after dark.

If anyone was living in Louisville from around 1985 to 1998, or knows anything that might help me out, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks a bunch!