September 2nd, 2010


Medieval Norway: Children at Work, and Sleeping Arrangements

I've got another question about medieval Norway, mid 1200s through mid 1300s.  I've tried myriad Google searches, even tried searching JSTOR and Amazon as well.  I've read numerous books about medieval Scandinavia, but none of them touched on either of these specific questions.  I've even found a website that gave me a partial answer to the first question, but didn't answer the specific aspect of the question I was curious about. 

Here are the two questions I have:

1)  In medieval Norwegian farms, what was the sleeping situation? From a website I have been able to gather this information: There was an open-hearth house (årestua) in which people worked in the daytime, and slept in, on benches covered with straw and animal hides. There was also a loft house (langeloftet) in which young women slept in the summer, and this was also where a newly-wed couple would sleep on their wedding night. This is really good information, but what I also need to know is this: did the landowners and their family sleep in the lofts, or in the hearth-house with the servants? Or did they sleep in a separate hearth-house from the one the servants used (the site said there were often multiple hearth-houses). Or did they sleep in a completely separate building from either of these? Also, I know there was a bed for the newly-wed couples which they slept in on their wedding nights. Did the family of the landowners also sleep in a bed, or on benches like the servants?

2)  In medieval Norway, at what age did children begin working on farms, and what kinds of work did they do? Specifically, I'm interested in the children of servants, but also the children of the landowners, for both boys and girls if possible.  

(Google search terms used: "children in medieval norway", "children in medieval scandinavia work", "children working in medieval scandinavia", etc., also "sleeping arrangements in medieval norway", etc.)

Severe phobic reaction

My story in question is set in a cross between Batman Begins and Batman: Arkham Asylum.  In it, my MC has accepted an internship at Arkham Asylum, interning under the Dr. Crane. 

My previous research has been 'severe phobias', 'severe phobia reactions' and most variations of those terms.  I read quite a few articles but haven't quite found what I need yet. 

This character has a very severe phobia of needles.  And in her current situation she is required to handle them.  My question is: what would her reaction be to having to handle them?  In this situation, it would be ideal for her reaction to be as bad as possible.  It hopefully will lead to a very important scene between Crane and the MC.

Anything that you can tell me will be extremely helpful.

EDIT: This phobia of needles, while knowing she had to go through training, has been decidedly caused by a traumatic event during her medical training.
indecision, that is.
  • milmari

experience in hospitals and little girl with acute leukemia's treatment

Hi all! Once again, here I am, in need of your great help.

I'm working on a story (the same as on this post) and one of my characters, now a healthy 18 year old girl, had leukemia as a child. I think 7 years old would work, but her age depends a lot on how long the treatment would take, and I can make her younger/older to my liking.

Setting: Santa Monica, California, USA.
Time: circa 1990. I can go up or down depending on my needs, though. Little girl is about 7 (though this can be changed), just for clarification,

I just had a Biology class on the subject and acute leukemia would be the best option, methinks, as it's caught earlier and has actual symptoms that would alarm most parents. Quoting this link

Approximately 60% of children with leukemia have ALL, and about 38% have AML.

I'm leaning towards going with ALL. I did try to do a research on the subject but nothing I wanted came up, even though this site was pretty helpful. I'd also like to say that said character will only remember bits and pieces of her whole experience, so I'm not really looking for detailed information on how the doctors would go about it, just general info, really! Some questions I can't find definite answers on the internet:
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Thanks in advance!


Second language acquisition

Research: I've googled 'adolescent language acquisition', 'language in a new country', and 'second language + adolescent', and gone through the 'languages: misc' tag.

Setting: retro-futuristic.

I have a character who immigrates from his native country when he's eleven. He has no prior knowledge of the new country's languages, and the alphabet and lingual group are different from his own, so he's starting from scratch. His native language is spoken at home, and he reads in it extensively (though less as he becomes literate in more available languages). There's no public education, but he's tutored with a small group of native speakers, and expected to do the same work with no special guidance.

He needs to achieve literacy and fluency in three of the country's primary languages, and grounding in several more (primarily for research purposes), by the time he's sixteen - at which point he enrols in university, where it's assumed he'll have been multilingual all his life. His native country is far more monolithic and isolationist, so he'll be monolingual going in, and completely unprepared in education or expectation for learning new languages or being a lingual minority.

1. When could he be expected to achieve fluency and literacy? Would he ever be as fluent as a native speaker? Would the number of languages affect this? Is he likely to mix them up as he learns them?

2. Are there stages he would go through, learning to speak (going from quasi-Germanic to quasi-Romance)? What's he most likely to mess up? When could he be expected to speak in broken sentences? In full, correct, but awkward sentences?

3. How long would it take for him to have a passive understanding, in listening and reading?

4. Would he remain more aware of the structure and mechanics of language than a native speaker, or would he internalise it eventually?

From what I've read, there's a huge range this could fall under, and it's all very hedgy as a result. What would be average?