1. author97

    author97 New Member

    Apr 3, 2011
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    A Realistic College Guidance Counselor

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by author97, Apr 26, 2011.

    I'm currently writing a story from the viewpoint of two different teens who are pursuing college with two completely different scenarios. The counselor who helps students pick out colleges (I could use help figuring out what title that person has, by the way.) is a no-nonsense, practical, strict, but helpful in a way kind of a person. I don't want her to be perceived as a typical person in this field, so what could I do to add or take away from her to make this possible?
  2. TheSpiderJoe

    TheSpiderJoe New Member

    Apr 10, 2011
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    Developing a solid characterization is key. I always go back to history when dealing with these kinds of situations.

    Why does the counselor act the way she does? Is it because she's bored with their job, disgruntled, overly realistic because the harsh environment of our world has dealt her a bad card? A lot can be said about a person's past. William Shakespeare pretty much nailed it with "what is past is prologue."

    Think about why your counselor got this job in the first place. A unique twist could be that she is actually a wealthy philanthropist of some sort who only has this job because she's bored and wants to provide practical insight to today's youth. If you don't want something typical, you're going to have to reach outside the box. Definitely consider looking at developing the counselor's past. It can only be to your future benefit.

    Good luck!
  3. teacherayala

    teacherayala New Member

    Apr 7, 2011
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    Our high school guidance counselor is really quite gruff with kids. At first, I didn't know how to take him. When he would come to my class to do an announcement, he would jump all over my kids and make some aggressive demands for them to pay attention when he hadn't really done the precursor work to make it happen. Then he would complain about their general laziness and misbehavior. He would hand me recommendations to fill out for students, but always with the comment that I shouldn't lose sleep over it and that it was no big deal. I really didn't get him at all.

    However, he really does know quite a lot about colleges, and he's not the kind of guy to be shocked about anything. He has a military background in the past, I believe, and he developed this entire computerized Naviance system to help kids guide themselves to summer programs and colleges. There's a college search engine in the system and students can click on their own criteria for colleges. The other day, I heard him joking with one of my more obnoxious seniors about which college he can drink more at when the senior expressed the difficulty of making a choice. I was a little like--um ok. But it seems that kids rather understand his gruffness and seem to get along with him. I'm seeing kids in his office having these long conversations with him while he plays music and makes jokes about being old.

    I don't know if this description helps you at all, but it just goes to show that a person's rather no-nonsense exterior doesn't necessarily have to mean that she can't sit down with a kid and give them an objective point of view when they have questions and refrain from judging them. Sometimes kids don't mind an adult being blunt and somewhat harsh as long as they give them a straight answer and don't judge them for having issues.

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