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

  1. #91
    BleedINink
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    Starbucks is a good one, but Prof. Dick would have to be from Seattle, Washington. Here is the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starbucks

  2. #92
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equinox Chick
    Another question.

    What major coffee houses were around in America in late 70's? I'm going to make something of the tea/coffee difference as well as cold/warm beer.

    In UK at that time I think coffee was very much instant and really vile. Were Americans into cappucino's and the like at that time?
    Most Americans hadn't heard of cappucinos or lattes or espressos or most of the other things you'll find on a Starbucks menu today.

    "Coffee houses" were not very popular outside of big cities and a few college towns.

    But it has always been true that Brits cannot make a decent cup of coffee, and Americans cannot make a decent cup of tea.

  3. #93
    beccleroo
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    Just a quick clarification. "Coffee House" can often be misconstrued as a place to enjoy illegal substances (aka pot). "Cafe" is where most people drink coffee.

  4. #94
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    How do you all believe American education would differ from the education offered at Hogwarts? Any opinions at all would be welcome.

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  5. #95
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    How do you all believe American education would differ from the education offered at Hogwarts? Any opinions at all would be welcome.
    You mean American wizarding education? Er, I have a few thoughts on that. (See Alexandra Quick link, below.)

    In general, though, I believe American wizarding schools would be more multicultural. Rowling pays lip service to multicultural Britain, with a handful of non-white students, but they're all pretty much mainstream Brits, culturally.

    There would be more schools. If America's wizarding population is proportionate in size to its Muggle population, there's no way you could have a single school that most of the country's children go to, like Hogwarts.

    Tradition wouldn't be as important as it is at Hogwarts. Not to say they wouldn't have traditions, but it's not the same as going to a school that's been around for (literally) a thousand years. Since they'd probably get looked down on by the much older European wizarding schools, they would likely be very proud, and more prone to nationalism, and dedicated to competing in quality of education.

    No houses. I suppose it's possible the first school European wizards settling in America would set up might be modeled after Hogwarts, but I don't think the house tradition would stick. If it did, it wouldn't be taken as seriously as it is at Hogwarts.

    Everything else depends largely on how you describe American wizarding culture, and whether you want to introduce variant "magic systems" or assume that magic will always break down into Charms, Transfiguration, etc.

  6. #96
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Do you think that American student might not respect their teachers as much as the students do at Hogwarts? I know that there are plenty of stories circling around my old high school about how new teachers had to be "trained" or "broken in" before they would be deemed acceptable by the general population. (I will not go into detail of how this was done as I am not sure how much time is left on the statute of limitations)

    Or do believe the fear of retaliation by the teachers might be enough to inspire good behavior in the students? I'm certain even the worst teacher in the world wouldn't be messed with if the student had a firm belief that the teacher may curse them in their sleep.

    In general, I just don't feel like teachers would be given the same respect in America as they would in other countries. Even in the universities, I feel like this sometimes (as much as it humiliates me to admit). What do the rest of you believe?

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  7. #97
    Rhi for HP
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    Well, a wizarding school would probably be private (tuition, boarding, etc.) like Hogwarts. I used to go to a private school, and there the student/teacher interaction was, while casual enough at times that students would speak without raising their hands and not hesitate to ask about off-topic things (and certainly not address teachers as "Professor" or "Sir"), formal in that more politeness was due than, say, we might give our parents ( ) and certainly a barrier there. I definitely think American students would be less formal than British ones, though I don't envision hellraisers either. In Hogwarts students and teachers are formal to the extreme and Harry is always somewhat taken aback when there's an insertion of "teachers in real life." American students would probably be a lot less intimidated by their teachers and realize that they too are people.

  8. #98
    alexthecheesepuff
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    Take Trelaway, for example. While she obviously is not the most gifted teacher, students do show some amount of respect for her - they don't call her foul, derogatory names nor do they show enough disrespect to always take advantage or walk over her.

    However, I had a teacher last year - taught Latin, actually. Plainly put, her class was a disaster. Students showed zero (if not very little) respect for her. Jumping on tables, making really gross noises/comments ect. - it happens every minute in that class and only very few actually listen. I, for one, did not learn a thing.

    Back to your question. Firstly, I think it depends on how you what to portray your story. For example, while Harry Potter contains dark themes, but its not classified as a teen/young adult book. Any teen knows that that an institution that houses teens ages 11-17 will cause much more trouble than portrayed in the series - and I'm not talking about pranks trouble, if you get my gist. Really, if you're going for a more realistic feel, America students aren't afraid of their teachers and equally unafraid to bash/insult them. Usually, a teacher that is considered 'good' is someone who can connect with the kids, which obviously requires some of the standard proprieties/mannerisms to be dropped. A teacher like, for instance, McGonagall would be considered really bad/boring and probably called derogatory names behind her back.

    Kids will be kids. Especially when they don't respect the teacher.

    Hope that helped!
    - Alex

    Edit: I don't go to a private school in the US, but I'm not sure the school would house all students (ages 11-17) under one school or split them up in Primary/Middle/High schools. Though there would be more than just one magic school.

  9. #99
    beccleroo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity

    No houses. I suppose it's possible the first school European wizards settling in America would set up might be modeled after Hogwarts, but I don't think the house tradition would stick. If it did, it wouldn't be taken as seriously as it is at Hogwarts.
    Houses may not be totally out of the question; I have known large public high schools to have hallways (north, south, east, west) into which portions of the student population are split into. All your core classes are pretty much in that one part of the school with the same group of kids. Some schools will even name the wings as a variation of the school mascot.
    i.e. if the school's mascot was the wildcats the wing mascots would be panthers, leopards, tigers, and lions.
    It's probably the closest thing to a house system. Not all schools do this, but some do. You could split the kids up randomly, by age, by geographic area, by brains, or even by what they want to be when they grow up.
    The halls could be based on the main magical subjects: charms, transfiguration, potions, herbology, arithmancy, etc. The students could all start out together with the basic core classes and then slowly decide which one to enter.

    Hope this is helpful.

  10. #100
    alexthecheesepuff
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    Yeah, it really depends on where exactly the school would be located. New York or Nowhere, Alaska or Suburban, Ohio. For instance, if the American school was a very old institution in Boston, then there's a high possibility there might be houses as well as a more-British feel (especially if was founded during when the Brits were colonizing). On the other hand, if your school should be in a decently-sized modern suburb, there would probably be less of 'houses' and more of that 'American schooling system'. Same goes for a very expensive NY Private school which would probably be very modern and jazzy.

    In end, most anything would be fine (houses or no houses, NY or Suburb), so long as its reasonably logical.

    - Alex

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