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Thread: Being British XII

  1. #61
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    Lori

    Traditionally, the night before the wedding was the stag night. Thankfully, thatís stopped. I donít think Iíd have enjoyed being hung over on my wedding day.

    The rector/vicar/priest will want a rehearsal, preferably with bridesmaids, parents, bride and groom some time before the wedding (but not necessarily the evening before). So far as Iím aware there is no great tradition for anything.

    Bride and Groom need to be reminded what they are doing, where they will be standing, and where they will go to sign the Register. My parents and I had a meal with my then prospective in-laws.

    All marriages must be registered, they arenít legal until that happens and the signing of the register represents (I think) the only way anyone can legally change their name without using Deed Poll.

    The reception description in After Breakfast was fairly typical, not particularly fancy. The format for the day is pretty standard.
    Wedding
    Reception (including the Wedding Breakfast)
    Speeches
    Party

    Fights, in my experience are optional and only occur when some of the males in the wedding party are in full dress kilts. (I apologise to all Scots for the sleight, but Iím speaking from experience).

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  2. #62
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    Thanks so much, Sarah and Neil. I think I will go with having a short rehearsal and then a dinner with both families and a few friends. I don't have to deal with the reception, as the story ends at the beginning of the wedding.

    Many thanks!
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  3. #63
    Pheonix Tears
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    I'm aware this is a very old topic but...

    Bristol isn't a run down place! Ok, some of it is (if you're taking your knowledge from Skins), but not all of it. A lot of it is very expensive and exclusive - areas like Clifton. And you wouldn't neccessarily have an accent - many people in Bristol go to private schools because the local ones aren't that great because of government funding and stuff. The accent depends on the school - Private schools you're probably more likely to have a posher one than a public school simply because of the people around you. There's been a huge redevelopment and rebranding scheme in Bristol, transforming the docklands and things like that, and it's now got everything a really good city should have. Ok, it has its rough points, but it's like every major city in the UK now and believe me, there are much worse. Bath has a great history behind it, but I mainly go there for the shops. There are a lot of tourists there, and they gravitate to the Roman Baths, but it's rich in culture and everything which I'd expect Hermione to grow up around. Emma Watson is from around Oxford I think, and I'd say that's a fairly good place to put her. Oxford is another amazing city

    A lot of JKRs names for people are towns from around the South West, Dawlish is one of them I think, but there's others as well. I know this was posted in December, but I just wanted to talk about areas which are very familiar to me, and point out any misconceptions.

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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pheonix Tears
    I'm aware this is a very old topic but...

    Bristol isn't a run down place! Ok, some of it is (if you're taking your knowledge from Skins)
    I'm taking my knowledge from Being Human . I don't watch Skins.

    So, Bristol isn't the biggest center of vampire activity in the UK?

    Shame.

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  5. #65
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    I'm aware this is a very old topic but...

    Bristol isn't a run down place! Ok, some of it is (if you're taking your knowledge from Skins)
    I'm taking my knowledge from Being Human . I don't watch Skins.
    Lol! Sorry, where I'm from (near Yeovil if that means anything) we like to laugh at Bristol. Probably because Yeovil's not that much better. But places like Bath and Winchester just have better reputations and seem more likely to me for Hermione to live.

    Sarah x


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  6. #66
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    Everyone in the UK is probably fiercely defensive about the city they come from - if I were to say I'm from Manchester I'm sure there'd be some people who don't think much of it but home is home and I like it, so I think we should move away from the current conversation as we don't want to anyone to feel offended by someone else's opinion of where they live . (I'm not saying anyone has or telling off just giving a friendly warning.)

    I'm sure there could be explanations for Hermione to come from pretty much anywhere in England - all cities have their 'posher' parts and with dentist parents it's likely she lives in some sort of middle class suburbs. A lot of the stories I've read don't place a particular name on a place - they just give a general description of what it's like and the type of street etc. Obviously it adds a bit of realism if you do have a specific town in mind but there are lots of places that can work.

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  7. #67
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    I have a point coming up in a story where I need some knowledge about British university. Knowledge that needs to sound more personal that something just randomly looked up on the Internet.

    I have a scene in my story, Hermione, where Minnie tells a family friend that Hermione went to Oxford, when she had told her parents years before that she had attended a different university. It is a good university, but certainly less prestigious than Oxford. Hermione later tells them that she started out at this less prestigious university, then transfered to Oxford when she had better grades.

    Is transforing universities very common in Britain? Does this sound like something that could be possible?

    As to the second point, what are some universities that seem like they could fit the bill for this scenerio? I don't really need a lot of statistics, just a general opinion.

    Also, how does the process of a high school student applying to university work? Is it all test scores, or do high school grades factor in? I heard something about A-levels, but I'm not quite sure how they work. Could someone please give me a general idea?

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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly
    It is a good university, but certainly less prestigious than Oxford. Hermione later tells them that she started out at this less prestigious university, then transfered to Oxford when she had better grades.
    I don't think Hermione would be able to transfer to Oxford, exactly. She could have started at a different University and then dropped out and then re-applied to Oxford. There is a case for her doing furthur study at Oxford - like an MA or PHd perhaps. But Oxford is such a prized university that she'd only get a place if she re-sat her A levels and applied all over again.

    What do you plan on having her study? Certain Universities have better reputrations or focus more strongly on particular subjects. (Cambridge very strong medically, Oxford shades it on the Classics and Law)

    Cambidge and Oxford are seen as our two best Uni's. The next tier down would be St. Andrews (Scotland), Bristol, Reading, Manchester and possibly UEA (University of East Anglia). It really depends on what you want her to have studied. Cardiff, in Wales, is another very good one - certainly for the late nineties.

    University entrance is done using A' level results (there's a points system) and interview. I had a friend who was offered a place to study Law at Oxford if she got 2 E grades. Her interview went so well, that they offered her a place on very low grades (She actually got 4 A grades). Other people get offered a place only if they get the top grades in their subject. My nephew has been offered a place at Cardiff to study psychology if he gets 2 A's and a B.

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  9. #69
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    Durham uni is also a good one. My sister's science tutor failed to get in at Oxford because they thought he'd be too young to cope with it (he's only 17), and so he chose Durham as the next best thing. There's also several London ones that are good; King's College London (KCL) and University College London (UCL) are the best. The top ten universities (I think for this year) are:

    1) Oxford
    2) Cambridge
    3) Imperial College
    4) London School of Economics
    5) Warwick
    6) UCL
    7) York
    8) Durham
    9) St Andrews
    10) Loughbourough

    I don't think Hermione would be able to switch universities as it's a problem I'm having at the moment! I want to switch courses, but the university I'm at doesn't offer it, so I've got to go to the other one in Leeds, but I can't just switch. I'm having to drop out of my current one and re-apply for the other. That's the only way to do it.

    To get into uni you have to apply through an organisation called UCAS, (I can't remember what it stands for). These days it's all done online, and you start you application in September of your last year of sixth form or college. The way I did it was write a personal statement about yourself, submit it to the UCAS website, and then chose what universities and courses you want. The maximum is six uni's, and generally you chose the same course because your personal statement has to be course specific.

    Not everyone interviews, for degrees like History and Geography etc they chose you on the basis of your personal statement. Lots of people at my sixth form never had an interview. Only courses like medicine, nursing, physio and teaching interview, and I think medicine you might have to have two.

    The universities decide if they want you before the A-level results come out in August, and they give you either a conditional (they'll have you if you get the grades) or an unconditional (they'll have you whatever), or just reject you completely. When the A-level results come out, the unis change their conditional offers to unconditional if you've got the grades. If you haven't there's still a chance you could get onto your chosen course, you've got to ring them up and plead. There's also something called Clearing, which is where universities put places on courses where students haven't got the grades on offer again. So you might ring up to plead your case for your chosen course, but they'll offer you another one instead because you've got grades to match it. Several people I know got into uni through Clearing.

    Sarah x


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  10. #70
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    Wow, thank you for the help, especially setting me straight about transfering. See, in the United States, most of the time it's easier to tranfer universities than it is applying to the straight from high school. I think I will say that Hermione went to St. Andrews for her undergrad work, and then Oxford to study law.

    Which brings up more questions. Hermione told her parents she is a barrister, which I assumed was the British equvilant of a court-appointed attorney, but listening to people talk on the forums, I think I'm understanding that a barrister may not be at the same level as an attorney. Do barristers need to be educated higher than the undergrad level, or do they typically just have B.A.s?

    Also, are the first four years of college called undergrad in Britain as well, or is there another word for it?

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