I had a lot of time to think as I was driving home from Reno. I was thinking of "Model Student" and "Triptych." I'm about halfway through writing the prologue for the new work and anxious to get started on the first chapter. But I want to get some things right and when I named things the first time, I was a little rushed.
I managed to go through two and a half chapters of "Model Student" without naming Tony's college or really giving a hint as to its location. When the plot point of having Tony do a dual degree arose, I had to have names for the schools. I chose Connelly College of the Arts and Thomas C. Mullen College (TCM). I hate them both. In the next-to-last chapter, I finally confessed that Lissa was headed home to Portland. I don't really like that, either.
So, before I talk about the renaming, let me talk about reality. TCM and Connelly are very loosely based on two schools in Portland that have a dual degree program--Reed College and Pacific Northwest College of Art. Students can major in Art at Reed and receive a BA degree while they complete studio work at PNCA and earn a BFA degree. It usually takes five years. There is no real athletic program at Reed except several club sports (racquetball not included). All this really does is validate the fact that there are schools that cooperate together to offer a dual degree similar to what I've outlined for Tony.
Now, on to the naming and location. First, I want to move the location to Seattle. I made the mistake in one chapter of mentioning that Lissa's home had a view of the water. There aren't any of those in Portland unless you count the River. There are also some interesting things happening in Seattle that I'd like to include in the next book that would be out of place in Portland. And, the fact is I'm not keen on going through the work of making up an entire new metropolitan area while I'm making up colleges.
Next, college names. I want something for the art school that is a little broader. I want it to include a full range of studio arts, but also theater, dance, and applied arts, like design and photography. There's a similar school in Minneapolis called The Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In order to broaden that just a little, I'm thinking of either the Pacific College of the Arts and Design or the Seattle College of the Arts and Design. I'm thinking that P-CAD makes a better acronym than S-CAD. Any thoughts?
Then for the College. Thomas C. Mullen just didn't do it for me. But, I want something that has a 3-letter acronym. So, looking at the Seattle Map and historic names, I'm thinking that a name like Elliott Bay College (EBC), Cascade Teachers College (CTC), or Mercer Liberal Arts College (just Mercer). I could use some other ideas. If you live there and could suggest something, I'd appreciate it. I'm thinking it is located somewhere near the Space Needle.
So, I could also use some input, if you want to play along. I need suggestions for classes that Tony and friends need to take, both at P-CAD and at TCM. The main students at P-CAD are to be sophomores. Check the brief overview of their subjects on the Cast List page at http://storiesonline.net/s/70895:131424.
Finally, are there any volunteers who want to investigate the various racquetball tournaments? Usually regional and national collegiate racquetball events are a little earlier in the spring than what I portrayed in "Model Student." Where will Tony (and Lissa) be competing in the next year?
I really appreciate all the email I've received since the last chapter of "Model Student" went up. Love it when people participate, so speak up!