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  1. Lonely Shadow

    Lonely Shadow Member

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    How to describe a classroom?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Lonely Shadow, Jan 5, 2017.

    For my current novel, I will be entering a new chapter where a character enters a classroom for the first time in his life. It would be one of the nicer, more comfortable classrooms where students would find it much more easier to relax and learn. I was thinking blues and greens and grays. Lots of pastel colors as well. How would one describe such a place? And for reference, my character is an angel. All of your answers are appreciated.
     
  2. Seren

    Seren Member

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    Find some pictures of classrooms that fit your ideas to help you write the description. Though for a few pointers to get you going, I suppose there would be fabric chairs rather than plastic ones, and the tables wouldn't be engraved with drawings done using compasses.

    Generally, most books don't spend a great deal of time on describing classrooms: almost all of us know what one looks like. So don't get too caught up in describing it in perfect detail.
     
  3. Lonely Shadow

    Lonely Shadow Member

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    Thank you so much!
     
  4. watermark

    watermark Member

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    Oh wow. It's surprising how little I remember about the classrooms of my youth now that you mention it.

    I think one detail worth mentioning may be the overall technology change. Only like a decade or so ago classrooms still use big wheel in TVs with video tapes, tape recorders, overhead transparencies projectors, and blackboards. These days it's my understanding that the better classrooms are outfitted with projectors, computers, interactive whiteboards, document cameras, and all sorts of wireless gizmos in addition to more comfortable chairs. The really high tech ones even got voice recognition locks, trackers of temperature and number of students in room, and 360 cameras so you can record the class and upload everything to the net. All very sci-fi-y, but it's true that these technologies are in actual use now.
     
  5. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    What kind of place is he used to being in? Someone who's only ever seen a modern bathroom would be struck by the soft fabrics, the wood instead of porcelain, the strange fact that the walls are dull instead of gleaming white. Somebody who's grown up in a mansion with luxurious furniture would find a classroom stark and utilitarian. Someone who lives on a cloud would find it dark and hard.

    Description in a close POV (which it sounds like you're writing in) is totally dependent on the character, so the way people on this forum would describe a classroom is irrelevant. When I see classrooms, I see them in relation to my own school days. I don't really notice the colours, I see the classrooms I spent much of my childhood in, and the people I spent them with. Your angel has different experiences and memories and reference points, so he won't see what I see.
     
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  6. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    What grade level? Elementary school classrooms (KG to 5th or 6th grade) tend to be festooned with colorful posters--- educational, motivational, or just plain humorous. In some rooms, all the blackboard space is covered with them, because the teacher depends on technology alone (and doesn't that irritate me as a sub teacher!). Middle and high school rooms can have the same, but tend to be less decorated than those in the lower grades.

    The high school social studies room I'm in right now has gray walls, a variegated reddish-brown carpet, and a high, concrete coffered ceiling. The blackboard (never used) is hung with student art, an electoral map of the US, and posters re: school events. The desks, metal with plastic laminate tops, are arranged in groups of four. This room has one small window; many modern classrooms have no windows at all.

    Other rooms have the desks in rows and might have more stuff on the walls. Teachers often bring in artwork and sculpture reflecting their own interests, whether it has anything to do with their subject or not.

    But what your character sees and reacts to totally depends on his situation. Your angel--- has he taken on an appearance as a human, so he can interact with people as if he were one of them? Does he retain his supernatural knowledge and wisdom, or has that somehow been stripped from him? Why is he there, and what human age does he appear to be?

    Or is he present in his spiritual form, perhaps as an unseen guardian for one of the students? Or even, as a minister of death?

    Either way, if he retains his heavenly awareness, you might have him reflect ironically on the motivational posters because he knows the slogans on them are platitudinous bull. (A short Google search will bring up some pretty awful ones.) And if the mottos are true, maybe he knows these young humans can never live up to those principles and he shakes his head over it?

    I have no idea how much liberty you're taking with the nature of angels as traditionally understood. (Heaven knows, people come up with some pretty wild things these days.) But the Bible records that the good angels experience curiosity and wonder (both positive and negative) when looking upon mankind, so those reactions wouldn't be out of place in your classroom.
     
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  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributing Member

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    How would you describe it because you're the writer and you already kind of started to describe it to us. So, what's the problem?
     
  8. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Marvin was our teacher. He wore dungarees, a woolly jersey and smiled from ear to ear. I knew early doors he was an asshole, or 'arsehole' as he corrected in his squeaky diction. 'You may sit anywhere you like,' he said. I sat in his chair, and before me the array of lurid cubes, hoola hoops and stickle bricks all hurt my eyes. 'Where can I piss?' I said. 'Down the hall,' he replied. I stretched, pissed over the artwork stretched long the boring corridor.

    [gotta go, tea's ready] WIP
     
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  9. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    I fall in love with every post.
     

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