Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Strangely Qualified But This Is Much Harder Than I'm Used To

To be honest, writing work for students with disabilities is a lot harder than one might imagine. Especially with trying to generate content that is original. And then you realize, that Project Alpha is completely about non-fiction works of places I've never been.

So, my readers will be getting realistic looking villages, cathedrals, minerets all drawn by me in whatever illustration program I have at my finger tips. Probably Form Z because I'm that sort of precise. One would imagine my background would pay off here.

But it's the location of the information that is the hard part. I'm 900 miles away from my preferred library with all of this information archived. My hand is proving untrained as I approach black and white drawings.

Of all the things I've done for Project Alpha, this is the one thing I'm the most qualified to do. I've spent years studying ancient architecture, most of my formative years in college were about all the developments to just past the Renaissance in architecture. And architecture at that time was the kingpin in all things cultural, religious, and social. Martin Luther did not tack his 95 theses to a random tree. He tacked them to the church door. Roman aqueducts still are in use in Europe. What is built and what is not built before the era of Exploration is key in the way that we view our world today.

I'm also troubled by the precision that exists of the types of materials I have had in the past. Normally, if I were doing this work at work, I'd Google up some images and paste them into my file and print like mad. There you go. That's it. And I would hope that at least hundreds of the best teachers were doing that at least for their students. But it's time to move away from this time consuming project. Project Alpha wants to stop that part. Not because it's time consuming, but because case managers and teachers have better things to do with their time.  And the information has got to be correct because I have met all too many well intentioned staffers being too vague when they need to be specific or making the information up. (This is not to say the time I offered a student two answers to the question, "What was the Gettysburg Address for?" A. President Lincoln to summon the zombies at the Gettysburg field to rise up and fight for the South, B. President Lincoln's attempt to write about the loss of life at Gettysburg and why the North must continue to fight the Civil War and my student chose 'A' because she heard the word "zombie" and that HAD to be the right answer.)

Except right now, I'm drawing a Roman Army. I wonder if the students will notice that they're stick figures because there are a TON of these pesky little soldiers waiting to 'die' for their Emperor.

So Project Alpha has history, science, we're open to discussions of covering specific health topics. We are also working on a lit circle book for students. The first phase of Project Alpha even includes information about Adaptations and Modifications, a How to and why to. Project Alpha will have multiple levels to access the same information. There's a lot of work being done to make this worth while. It currently does look like it may just be more than 3 books worth of material here.

But I've got to get back to my illustrations. Maybe I'll take a break from Rome and work on some armor for knights or work on the towers of an Western African Mosque.

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