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Thread: U.S.A. Culture and Language Help

  1. #21
    Yippee! A thread that I can be helpful in! Ahem... to the questions!

    Regarding Indian Territory, aka Oklahoma, where I am from!

    We have two major tribes (though I know there are more) based in Oklahoma, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the Cherokee Nation. Muscogee is pronounced just like the city Muskogee, that being muh-skoe-geee. I mention this because I have heard it butchered many different ways. This tribe is based out of Okmulgee County, I believe, and actually encompasses about 7-8 other counties as well, though I can't remember them all to name. They are a very modern tribe that provides many benefits to its members, such as free health care, WIC programs(basically a government program that assists underprivileged pregnant mothers provide food for their growing babies in their tummy and up to a couple months after birth I believe), commodities(sp?) (this is food that is provided for those that are less fortunant within the tribe - the cheese makes excellent nachos!) and also schooling grants.

    The Cherokee Nation is based out of Tahlequah, Oklahoma which is also well known for Northeastern State University which was the very first college established in the state. This tribe provides much of the same assistance as the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

    Each tribe also has their own Police, the Creek Nation Light Horse and the Cherokee Marshal Service. They use these agencies to patrol the counties that encompass their territory and also back up local law enforcement when needed.

    In your opinion, do you believe that using "Howdy" and "y'all" and "fixin-to"(one word, verb) and "jeet?"(did you eat?) and "Bubba"(I do know kids named that) and "supper" (dinner), are corny and overused by Texans? What about cowboy hats and boots? What about constant Mexican food and Whataburger(Best fast food ever)? Rodeos? Would they make my characters too stereotypical Texan, or more realistic?
    *giggles uncontrollably* Well, being in Oklahoma I hear all of these words used quite often. "Howdy" isn't heard so much unless it's from someone older or a younger person trying to be sarcastically funny. 'Y'all' is used on a regular basis here, though the English teachers aren't to happy about it. The same with 'ain't' which you seem to have forgotten.

    Bubba and Sissy, well - truthfully that's what I call my brother and sister though it isn't their real names. Sissy is also what my husband calls his sister (though with a name like Willeen I think I would prefer it ) and she calls him Bubba... so that tends to get a little confusing. To take my hickish backwoods tendencies even further, I call my brother-in-law(my sister's husband) bubba-in-law... you've got to say it really fast and run the words together!

    Rodeos are over-rated, and that's coming from someone who went to them quite frequently when I was little, though the Prison Rodeo in McAlester is an awesome spectacle!

    Constant Mexican food isn't really something I'm aware of people doing around here, but then again I'm a little further North than Texas. A normal down-home breakfast might consist of biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, fried or scrambled eggs, and orange juice or milk... at least that's what my mom always cooked, on occasion we got flapjacks. Lunch would probably be something light, like a sandwich or a burger and supper consisted for such things as roast surrounded by potatoes and carrots, smothered steak, chicken and rice, country fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy and a side of corn or green beans, and so many more that I can't even name right now because I'm making myself hungrier by the minute.

    I think that some of these mannerisms can be used to enhance a character that was raised in the area, however if you're wanting to convert Harry and Ron into calf roping, bronc busting buckaroos, you might think twice about it.

    Now all that being said, let me get down to OliveOil's questions.

    For one thing, the Native Americans didn't leave behind huge castles for us to use for magic schools. What could be used instead: a plantation, a ghost town, entire neighborhoods, their own Hawaiian island?

    I've thought on this one quite a bit, and we do have old forts that were used in colonial times, some are still standing around the country that would be a wonderful backdrop for a school. Also, what about a mansion like in X-Men that is hidden away in the Rocky's or the Catskills... that would be acceptable.

    What subject would be taught in American schools that wouldn't be taught in British schools? Maybe classes in Native American shamanism or folk magic? Classes that focus on people's different hertitages?

    I tend to think that shamanism, or Native American magic, was something that was very guarded in the past, and possibly still is today. Also the fact that most of these stories are passed down orally in the tribes own language could have made it difficult for the colonists to decipher what exactly it was.

    I think you also have to take into account that America is a melting pot of many other different nations, not only New York City but other areas as well. You would have magic that has been brought over from Africa via the slave trade as well as willing immigrants from various other countries.

    Over time I'm sure that most of these magics have mixed to form their own unique blend that, much like our accents, would vary from area to area. I doubt that you would be likely to find the same type of magical influences in New York City versus what you would find here in Oklahoma.

    What would the school structure be like? Would their be houses, or just dorms? What would the teacher be like? How old are students when they start school? Are they eleven, like in Britain, or do they wait until their older.

    I do know of some private schools that have dorms where students stay overnight, though I'm not sure if they are split into separate houses or not. You might reference CoTH by Snapes_secret, which is an awesome read by the way, which I think gives a very realistic view on what a magic school might be like here in the states - however brief that view is before... well, you'll just have to read the story won't you!

    Some larger cities have several different schools within the same school district. I'm going to use Tulsa for an example, just because I know more about that area than Oklahoma City. I know that the Union school district is split up into about four different schools. If I'm not mistaken, and it's completely possible that I am seeing as I didn't go there - my cousin did(that's why I know more about it than OKC), the Kindergarten through Fourth grade is Elementary, Fifth through Eighth is Junior High, Ninth and Tenth (also known as the Frosh and Sophmores) are Intermediate, and Eleventh and Twelfth (known as Juniors and Seniors) are the big bad High Schoolers. I know that each of these schools are spread out away from each other within the same area.

    Now in smaller cities, it's not split up so much. The school that I went to had Elementary as Pre-school/Kindergarten - Fifth grade, Middle School was Sixth through Eigth, and High School was Ninth through Twelfth. Also the buildings are all in the same complex, though spread out from each other. For example the Elementary school is down the hill from the Middle School and High School which sit together atop the hill. Those two buildings are actually connected by a corridor and also by the Library.

    As far as subjects go, I remember studying Oklahoma History, American History, World History, Social Studies, Geography, Biology, Speech, Typing, English I - IV, and various math classes.

    And that was my two Galleons!


  2. #22
    It really, really depends on where in America you live. I live in Ohio, so my experiences are completely different than everyone else's, it seems.

    Living where I do, the largest religion is Catholicism, and I've gone to religiously-affiliated schools my entire life. Even my preschool was Lutheran! But since then it's been straight Catholic schools.

    I've never heard of a school having dorms. Ever, except in books. Again, my school is private, and other schools in my area are private, but the only thing that's different about our schools is that we have higher test scores! (I'm totally not insulting public schools, by the way. My school district just happens to be utter crap.) Actually, the entire school system is different than the one laid out two posts behind me.

    Preschool: Usually for two years, when the child is 3 and 4. Only a couple days a week.
    Kindergarten: Every day a week, but usually only a half-day. Kindergarten is really becoming like a normal grade; children have to pass.
    Grade school: In the Catholic/private schools around, it's from 1st-8th grade, but public schools have a junior high from 7th-8th grade.
    High school: 9th-12th. The years are called Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior (in case Brits don't know that).

    And I'm pretty sure school is compulsory here until you're 18 and a legal adult. But from a school like mine, almost everyone goes to college.

    Most Americans on these forums seem to be from the south or west, so I just want to put in my two cents' worth.

    We say pop, NEVER soda. One of my friends says soda for some weird reason, and I argue with her about it.

    To a mid-westerner with a very mild accent, most southern accents are very strange. We never say the word 'y'all', and I barely even know what a rodeo is. Things seem very different in the south, and it isn't just the slang. But as for slang, girls in my school say the word 'like' about every three words, we love the words 'totally', 'seriously', and screaming 'oh my God!' at all possible moments. I'm not saying all girls are like this, obviously, since I'm not, but it's really rare to go an entire sentence without the word 'like'. Except, it isn't used the the valley girl type of way. It's kind of hard to describe, but it's used more like just saying 'um'. Yeah, definitely.

    I'm woefully unaware of of what it's like in other states, since I've only been to four of them, and all bordered Ohio. But I've read other posts, and I can honestly say that they sound pretty much like foreign countries. It's imperative that you pick the right setting. Not all of America is like the south, with the drawl or something. (Don't get me wrong--I would love to go to the south!) There are other places, ones that don't have Indian reservations or rodeos or something like that.

    As far as Indians go, we learn to respect the, but I know of some place close to me that built a large mall on top of a huge Indian battle ground. Some people protested, but most people were just glad to have another mall.


  3. #23
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
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    [And I'm pretty sure school is compulsory here until you're 18 and a legal adult. But from a school like mine, almost everyone goes to college.
    I'm not sure about Ohio, but in Arizona, school is required until you are sixteen; but where I go, almost everyone goes to college.

    Also, something that you should probably know is that what is taught in schools differs depending on the state, and in some cases even the school district. For instance, in California, the "normal" math for ninth graders is Geometry, and in Arizona, the "normal" math for ninth graders is Algebra 1-2. We get people in my school district who are taking Geometry as a seventh grader and walking over from the middle school. Religion would definetly not be accepted in my school, but that's because of the community; we are a community of not very fervent believers. So religion in schools typically depends on the community.

    We say soda down here, Alison; I've never heard anyone call it pop.

    In Arizona, one of the major tribes are the Navaho Indians; I'm not sure about any others. Indian territory is very respected in Arizona, we don't try to develope it or anything.

    For one thing, the Native Americans didn't leave behind huge castles for us to use for magic schools. What could be used instead: a plantation, a ghost town, entire neighborhoods, their own Hawaiian island?

    Native Americans did leave ruins behind though, and I'm sure that with some modification, they could be made into a school. There is also a private island in Hawaii called Ni'ihau, or the Forbidden Isle. It's owned by the Robinson family. Kahoolawe is also uninhabited because of the lack of fresh water. Either of these could work for your school.

    There are also several smaller islands beyond Ni'ihau; They are called the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, or the Hawaiian Leeward Islands. All of those are uninhabited.

    Hope this helps
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  4. #24
    Well, I'm a West Coast girl and, by the sound of it, it's different over here!

    For one thing, the Native Americans didn't leave behind huge castles for us to use for magic schools. What could be used instead: a plantation, a ghost town, entire neighborhoods, their own Hawaiian island?

    Even though the uninhabited Hawaiian islands have that crazy, awesome, magical, appeal, I don't think that they would really be the place for an American School of magic. See, they weren't even added into the United States until 1898 and American missionaries didn't even visit until the early 1820s. Quite honestly, if I had to chose a place to put an American magic school, I would choose the Eastern Seaboard. Of course, Salem (MA) is very famous for it's witch trials back in the day, so that might be a good place to use.

    I've definitely spent time touring ghost towns (left over from the mining booms) and I would say that those are another very unlikely place to have a school. Although, I do understand the appeal. Since they're deserted, Muggles wouldn't be there and since they're dangerous, those "dangers" may have very well been placed by magicians.

    Personally, for magical places, I would try a nature reserve or a national park, as they are "protected" Gorgeous ones that you might want to consider are Yosemite, Yellow Stone, and the Grand Canyon. Or, choose a mountain range (Rockies, Appalachians, or Sierras) and kind of do what Hogwarts did - completely hide a school away where the Muggles can't find it.

    Hope I helped!


  5. #25
    Wow! What a sudden burst of intrest we suddenly see in this thread. When I brought it back to life, I was a little worried that some people misunderstood my questions. I am equally worried by the fact that it seems like people think I'm not an American myself. I am, born native of Minnesota, and hopeful resident of somewhere warmer in the near future.

    But enough of that; let's throw out some more little ideas to mull over.

    Let's start thinking more about the actual schools themselves. The American population is more than five times that of the UK, so I doubt we would have just one school. What are some possible locations. You've shared your opinions on the locations I've listed, let's talk some more. I guess I'm still personally in love with the idea of a big, old Southern plantation being used as a school. My mother read Gone With the Wind to me when I was nine.

    The reason I raised the question about shamanism is because I wonder how American magic differs from British magic. I know there would be a lot of similarities, but at the same time, it wouldn't be a mirror image. Or maybe it's just fun to play with our imaginations. I know all about the respect given to the natives, at least now. That's why I think they would at least teach some basics of Native American magic.

    We saw in GoF that not all wand models are identical. How to imagine American wandmaking. What system of wood could be used (see Celtic wood chart at ref desk)?What would be used as cores? Because unless unicorns have been sneaking over here in the fuel ducts of airplanes, it is something to think about.

    How about the actual structure of the schools, not physical, but socially. Remember, these are boarding schools, so again I raise the dorms vs houses question. What would be some classes taught in American schools that wouldn't be taught at Hogwarts? What challenges would the teachers face with the student body that maybe wouldn't be seen as much by the Hogwarts teachers?

    Well, there are some more thoughts. Go at them like the little pirana children I know you all are!

  6. #26
    Well, I live extremely near Washington D.C., and that city has a ridiculously complicated layout. Everywhere you go, there are large, important-looking buildings with intensely cryptic names, like "The Department of the Interior of the Exterior of the Anterior of the Anteater." Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a teeny bit, but not by much. My dad and I are always looking for the American equivalent of the Ministry of Magic. (I don't know what it would be called. The Bureau of Thaumatology?)

    In any case, I'm sure there's some kind of Diagon Alley dealie going on in D.C., complete with "The Other President." Let's see, Minister of Magic sounds so catchy. He'd be the President of Prestidigitation, probably.

    Remember that the USA was established after England and as an English colony. I'm sure their wizarding traditions would be continued to some extent. Actually, I once wrote a story (not up on fanfiction, because it wasn't a Harry Potter fanfiction; it was a weird alternate-universe original fiction) where America was a colony where the British shipped magical people because they were intimidated by them. Then, of course, when the Americans had their revolution, they won because of magic.

    British magicians are the descendents of those who had eluded capture by the Muggles (obviously not called that in my story) in the colonial days. American Muggles are all either Squibs, descended from Squibs, descended from people who came to America AFTER the colonial era, or hiding their powers.

    As for their Hogwarts, America is way bigger than Britain, so I'm sure that they'd have more than one magical school, and that they'd have dorms like Hogwarts due to the sheer distance people would have to travel to get there. There are probably about five wizarding schools in the USA. I'd guess one would be the Salem Witches' Institute in Massachusetts, one would be in DC (because I want one where I live, and it makes sense to have one near the equivalent of the Ministry), one would be in the midwest, one would be in California, and one would be in Texas.

    I like the idea of the Native American magic, but I think that would be an entirely different tradition, and that the white settlers in America would actually try their best to wipe out the Native Americans solely because they felt threatened by their different brand of magic, which they'd see as dark. And I could see their extensive use of slavery caused by their inaccurate belief that Africans are either all Muggles or practice an inferior brand of magic-- everything can link back to magic in the end, and the prejudice is good old British blood prejudice.

  7. #27
    Snape's Talon
    That's why I think they would at least teach some basics of Native American magic.
    I think given the closed-nature of Native Americans regarding their shamans, the subject wouldn't be covered in even a magical school. A quick reference, perhaps, but not covered in depth by any means.

    We saw in GoF that not all wand models are identical. How to imagine American wandmaking. What system of wood could be used (see Celtic wood chart at ref desk)?What would be used as cores?
    What about trees native to the US, like redwood/sequoias?

    In two of my stories, instead of a Ministry of Magic, I used the United States Bureau of Magic and Supernatural (USBMS). Sounds exactly like what some pompous bureaucrat within the Washington Beltway would think to name our equivalent. It's almost like alphabet soup the way they refer to entities over here. CIA, FBI, DOD, DEA, DHS, USMC ... why not USBMS?

    I also placed a Diagon Alley type place in New York City, specifically the Greenwich area.

  8. #28
    Amanda Vega
    There are probably about five wizarding schools in the USA. I'd guess one would be the Salem Witches' Institute in Massachusetts, one would be in DC (because I want one where I live, and it makes sense to have one near the equivalent of the Ministry), one would be in the midwest, one would be in California, and one would be in Texas.
    Coming from a person who has travelled many, many places throughout, and also someone who feels the need to justify every statement:
    Five is a good number, but once again, we have to remember, that even though the country is extremely widespread, wizarding populations are pretty small. And, even though I dislike maths, let's also think ratios.

    There are about 280 students at Hogwarts (no matter how illogical it seems). Frankly, especially by American standards, that is a SMALL school. There are about 11.9 million people, from the ages of 0-16, in all of the UK, which includes Northern Ireland, for those of you who do not know the difference between terms, which many do not. See what I mean about illogical?

    Anyway, if we really, really want to go with that kind of proportion, which by all means you do not have to, then we can figure out about how many wizarding children there would be in the U.S.

    Since the numbers include ages of children who are not school-age, you have to divide and approximate for those who would be of school age. For the UK, I'm seeing that around 8 million.

    In the US, the corresponding number, with non-school age children unaccounted, is about 45 million.

    Big difference, eh?

    Anyway, basically what it winds down to is that if there are 280 Hogwarts students, there would be about 1575 American wizarding students. Unless I did all of that maths wrong, which is probably true, but it does seem pretty correct.

    Anyway, my school has 1175 students. It's considered small, where I'm from. Thing is, why divide things up when they don't need to be? I'm an academic person, and just saying, I've visited schools with students from all over the world, much less all over the US. Just making a point.

    However, you could just argue that the wizarding population is bigger here, or something. I dunno.

    But from a traveller's perspective, if you're going to do multiple schools, here's where I'd put them (just keep in mind that they'd be smaller, more Hogwarts sized than general American boarding or day school sized):
    1. Massachusetts.
    Not necessarily Salem, especially since there really isn't any room for anything in that whole area, but the more rural areas. They're beautiful, and there's room for a magical school [:
    2. South Dakota.
    Next to North Dakota, the most boring state ever. Basically, you have nice scenery, and you have hours and hours of nothing. Once again, great place for a hidden school, because there's NOTHING THERE. Honestly. The only thing worth seeing at al
    3. Mid-Northern California.
    Ever driven on Highway 1? No? Do it. Now. It's so gorgeous, and there is a very mystical feel about it. It's inspired a lot of spooky and/or magic-inspired books, that area, as well. Isolated, but absolutely gorgeous. This would also be better for Alaskan and Hawaiian students.
    4. Smokey Mountains/Blue Ridge Mountains (Appalachian Mountains).
    The Smokies and the Blue Ridge are both sort of sub sects of the Appalachian Mountain Range. Once again, beautiful, beautiful scenery, and they also have a bit of a mystical feel, the Smokies especially.
    Okay, maybe I'm a bit biased, but whatever.
    5. Somewhere in Texas.
    Texas is pretty much the only contiguous state I've never been to, but there's plenty of land out there to build a spooky magical school in! Also, it's an extremely

    Okay, so, enough with that.

    If you're just doing the one, I'd put it in Massachusetts, simply for the principle of it.

    Anyway. New topic.

    How about the actual structure of the schools, not physical, but socially. Remember, these are boarding schools, so again I raise the dorms vs houses question. What would be some classes taught in American schools that wouldn't be taught at Hogwarts? What challenges would the teachers face with the student body that maybe wouldn't be seen as much by the Hogwarts teachers?
    I don't know, but I go to a private school, and, yes, we do have houses! Only there are seven, and it's only in the lower grades.
    Well, maybe I should top trying to explain. My school is organized really weird.

    For houses, I don't think you should include it, though, especially because it is so seldom seen except in certain religious schools, like mine.

    Boarding schools have dorms. That's the end of it. Honestly. You have two choices, though: either you have college-style/room-mate dorms, where you just share a room with one or two other students, or you can have the big dorms, where you have like twenty girls or boys all living in the same room. Your pick.

    Honestly, about the classes, it'd generally be the same. Maybe the subtle nuances of the subject would be different, especially in things like History of Magic, but you're still learning the same thing, right? Right.

    A larger student body, no matter how you organize the schools, will require the need for greater teachers. If students take the same examinations everywhere, then maybe you could have two teachers in every subject, one for the 1st-5th years, and one for NEWT students? This is, of course, hinging on the fact that the school is organized in a grades 6th-12th fashion, like Hogwarts, and I can assure that many schools are simply 6th through 12th grade.

    What about trees native to the US, like redwood/sequoias?
    I like this idea [:
    Redwoods, sequoias, maybe depending on things you could also have plants like magnolias (southern charm at it's best xD) and dogwoods, although since I'm not an expert on plants, I have no idea whether those grow elsewhere or not.

    Also, I really don't think any American Indian magic would be taught. It's pretty secretive already, and from what I understand fairly different than traditional wave-a-wand-and-say-an-incantation magic.

  9. #29

    Lightbulb *tromps in loudly*

    Haha, Stubby has stuff to say. I've actually designed my own American wizarding school for fun, so I've put a lot of thought into it.

    First off, you get the abridged/censored life story.

    I was born in southern California. Yes, California. LA area. I lived in a really suburby-type place, though, with picturesque sidewalks and such. We actually had a small community elementary- about... 600 or so students, K-5. Schools are pretty large, usually: more than 1,000 and 2,000 students is not only common in a lot of places, it is the norm. How about this? In the heart of LA, there's Crenshaw High, grades nine through twelve, with 2,600 students enrolled.

    After nine years of California sunshine, I moved to southern Oregon. I'd say I'm more of an 'Oregon girl' than a 'California girl'; the years I spent in Oregon were my 'formative years', so to speak. I lived in the 'zone' of the seventh largest city in Oregon with a pop. of 70,000. One of the two local public middle schools is the largest in Oregon as it hosts such a broad area and there is only one other option. Current enrollment is around 955 students. Again, there are two public high schools in the city creating more 'cramped' student bodies. 2,006 students are at North and 1,834 are at South.

    I myself actually lived in a tiny town of 2,000 people less then ten minutes from the big town. We had one small high school that closed the year I moved and an elementary school that I went to with 400 students K-6.

    When I went on to middle school, I went to a small private school. We were a very tight-knit community, with lots of clubs and extracurricular sports and activities. No 'houses' or dorms (more of a college thing). Now I've moved back to southern CA.

    In my opinion, an American wizarding school would be a tad less formal than Hogwarts or the like. I can see bigger cities having a secret magic school to themselves, and a large smattering of smaller establishments and 'private' schools. When I made up a school, I had the San Fransisco Academy of Magic, a school of about 100-150 students from the age of 14-18 (middle school graduates). I would think the air of magic would be more diverse and 'advanced' than that of classic British sorcery, with classes- electives, maybe- on African Sorcery, Latin Spellwork, Native American Natural Magical Arts, etc. We are the metaphorical melting pot, so you'd have plenty of different places that the ideas about magic would be coming from. My imagination leans towards the feeling that wizarding schools would be more like Muggle high schools, with lockers, perhaps, uniforms if it's stricter, and dorms if it's a boarding school.

    At my San Francisco Academy of Magic, it was a boarding school located on Alcatraz Island (the old prison had been charmed to fool Muggles). Students there were placed in one of six 'sets' of people based on intrests/personality. Pretty much cliques. There weren't an even amount in each and sometimes there wouldn't even be any people in one- it was more of an identifier than a Hogwarts house. Quidditch was prominate. Younger students had supervised trips to the surrounding area while older students could venture into San Francisco more frequently if they felt like it. Lots of electives, ranging into the arts. What about wizard movies and music?

    Wizarding college?


  10. #30
    It's so much fun to hear everyone talk about the different schools they've come up with. I suppose now it's my turn.

    Quick Warning: If you happen to be a fan of the story Harry Potter and the Skat-Hatokha Reaction, you may want to skim over this post. But, if you've never heard of this story and have no plans to read it, by all means, scroll on down!

    The Salem Witches Institute: An all-girls school located in, yes, Salem, MA. A friend of my went there and said the people and the tourists go really nuts with the whole witch gimick. I can just imagine having a school there, the students able to walk around town in their robes, and nobody will care because they'll think they're just more freaks playing dress up! I can see the actual school as being a very large, very historical house with one of those "Historical Area: Do not enter" signs.
    Everyone would know it's there, and maybe even that it's some kind of small girls school, but wouldn't know it's an actual magic school. The girls would be more exposed to the Muggle culture because of the need to blend in, somewhat, and I also imgine this as the school to go to if you wanted a more European-style education. There might be some strange people coming and going, and the occational explosion, but then again: Witch town, no one cares.

    The Bell Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry: This is a school located in northern Georgia at the foot of the Blue Ridge Moutains, possibly even in an area declared as a national park or a wildlife preserve, so they wouldn't be disturbed. The actual style of the house would be a plantation with lots of space and magnolia trees...Ah, let me have a moment to remonise about the south........okay, done!
    This school would probably stress southern manners and be the most formal of all the schools. There would be some European influence, but not as much as at Salem. I also imagine there would be a bit of an emphsis on American folk magic. It breeds like bunnies down there. Plus...southern boys!

    The Hardscrabble Creek School of Magical Arts: This school would probably be out in North Dakota or Montana, one of those "Oh, give me a home" states where there's nothing for miles. I can even imagine them using an old ghost town as the structure of the school. But that just may be my imagination running wild.
    This school would be very American in it's teaching style, and probably more informal. I also suspect the student would be taught to have a lot of respect for Native American culture and spend a great deal of their lesson time outside. Lots of tall prarie grass all over the place too.

    The Kailani Shamanic Institute: This is the school I would want to go to myself. Why? Because it's on it's own Hawaiian island! Sorry, I went to Hawaii on a choir tour when I was younger, and have been in love with place ever since. The island itself would be unplottable, so they wouldn't have to worry about people finding them.
    I can imagine this as a relativly new school, possibly founded during all the revolutionary furver in the '60s. This school would be different from the others because it would have a strick emphsis on shamanism and be the least formal of any of the schools.

    The Skat-Hatokha Academy of Magic: This is the school I'm working on for my story. I don't have a lot of details worked out yet, but I can tell you that it's on the northern coast of New York state and it's run out of a building that was once a prison.

    Well, that's it! I'm going to be.

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