September 6th, 2010

Authors/reading assignments in an US secondary school (6th to 12th grades)


1. I'm thinking of writing a story where one of the protagonists was born and raised on a remote and poor ranch somewhere in WY or MT. in 1959-60. Sometime during his secondary school (late 60ties-early 70ties, but the younger the better is my thinking; but I can adjust if needs be) he comes across a story (a short story is ok, but can be a novel; or maybe even an article about some real life events) which ignites in him the determination to leave home when he is legal and get to California, because that's where he thinks he would have a better life than the one he is having. Something like a 'California dream' maybe? What story or novel or article /event could it be?

2. An associated question: would secondary school students know or read such Am. authors as Jack London and Theodor Dreiser? Were they popular at all in 60-70ties?

Am not an American and have never lived in Am. So I have little idea what is, let alone was, taught in schools there.

I've browsed through the entries under USA education tag here, and browsed wiki and, but have not found relevant answers to my questions. Am hoping someone can help me with this.

Many thanks in advance!!

Functions of the RAMC?

Hopefully someone can shed some light on this, because it's been bugging me.

I'm writing a British character who was a doctor in the Royal Army Medical Corps. According to Wikipedia, doctors can carry weapons and such, but they can't use them unless it's for self defense or in defense of their sick/wounded charges.

But, I came across a news article where a young doctor over in Afghanistan says that, once he's out on patrol with the regular infantry, he functions as an infantry soldier as well as a doctor.

So what does that mean? Can he engage with enemies, the same as the other, regular soldiers, or does he have to basically hang out and wait til the shooting stops?

Misc. Italian Renaissance questions

*headdesk* Me again, with more stupid questions.  This time they're about the Italian Renaissance, specifically Assassins Creed 2.  I want to get my facts straight since so much research went into the game itself.

Prior research: I goggled 'renaissance mourning attire' 'mourning period' and 'renaissance attire'.  I've read many articles, but none truly weilded results (and Wikipedia was being an arse during my search)

Le Situation: This specific story is set in Assassin's Creed 2-verse, specifically during Ezio's stay in Venice.  My character is the daughter of Carol Grimaldi.  And obviously, throughout the course of the story, Carlo dies. 

So my questions: 

During this time period, what was the accepting mourning dress/mourning period for her?  And what would happen afterwards? Carlo was her only living parent, so would she have to move out of their home or would she be able to stay in their home? 

I also would like to know just general dress for upper-class women during this time period.  The extent of my knowledge on Renaissance attire doesn't extend far past what I wore to a Renaissance Fair last year.  Anything you can tell me can help. 

And finally- since Carlo was in league with the Templars, do you believe it would be acceptable for her to resume his business with them (of course, without the political influence her father had.)

EDIT: This part of the story takes place between 1480 and 1486.