NOTE: One might say that this is Version 1.1 of the Afterword, seeing that I changed a few data points and added a few little things. (11/14/1998)
story is loosely based on a single inspiration I had one evening in June
(the sixth, to be exact) reading an e-mail from Greg Baker, replying to
a letter in which I sent him my student number:
Wait a second, 964? What school did you go to in grade nine?
That was all the inspiration I needed. Although the story didn't turn out quite like I planned, it still has a lot of bits harkening from those first few thoughts of 'ones', 'twos', 'threes', and 'fours'. I thought of the Tantalon 'threes' as a minority group, and I also had a fleeting thought about them, what if they wanted to separate from CPA?
The novella didn't really follow that track as you now know. But this novella was something entirely knew for me, instead of thinking of the entire story as a whole all at once, I made most of it up out of bits and pieces in my head. Some of the scenes in this novella existed in my head long before I even had the basic concepts laid out for "The CPA Revolution".
This novella was written on paper to begin with, I started the actual writing in Art class one day, (to Ms. Harbord's utter dismay) then I wrote more and more little parts in every class (it was the end of the year, so we weren't doing much), and I even wrote a little on my Ontario trip. The paper continued to around 1100h - Tuesday, then the rest of it took form on my Uncle Shane's computer in Souris PEI using Netscape Composer. I just sat down one day, and tiring of games, I started typing. I never thought I'd finish this fast. (I finished the novella per se around 1440h on Thursday, August 20th, 1998... that means I created the last 70% of the novella from scratch in a little over a week!!)
There is one constant in this novella... clichés. Here follows a breakdown:
2342h - Monday: I don't know for sure why I wrote the opening scene in present tense, but I did.
0858h - Tuesday: In theory, it would be possible to create such a batch program, provided that the batch files were kept on the floppy disk as well as the hard drive of Workstation 13. But I don't know anything about hacking or phreaks, I just made that stuff up. I suppose a real hacker would laugh at what I typed up there.
0901h - Tuesday: The disciplinary files are computerized now, I believe. Actually, Ms. White let me see mine, and it only had one entry. It might have more now, but I sure hope it doesn't.
0923h - Tuesday: The part where Mr. Burke asks Jen Holdway to teach the class is based upon an actual incident. Our substitute in Grade 10 Science wasn't so hot with balancing chemical equations I suppose, so Jen actually ended up explaining it to everyone from the blackboard for half the class. If it wasn't for her, I would really never have learned to balance chemical equations. Kristen Todd was in that class with me too.
0945h - Tuesday: I needed a mediary scene here, so I invented 'L&D&D Locksmithing', like the guys on 'Newhart'.
0950h - Tuesday: The part where Shawn listens to the TSF guards talk before he gets Devon to help him escape by making it sound like Will was with her was heavily inspired by a scene in the alternate ending of King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow.
1035h - Tuesday: I realize the TSF anthem sounds silly, but I was pulling at straws.
1242h - Tuesday: The part where Will 'escapes' from the Student Support Room was lightly inspired from the Deep Space Nine episode "Our Man Bashir", where the good doctor and Garack attempt to escape from a chamber about to fill with lava. Needless to say, the holodeck safeties were off.
1315h - Tuesday: According to CPA Emergency Protocol, Rooms 102 A&B, 103, 302, 303 A&B and 305 are 'non-useful'. Some teachers may disagree, those are the Family Studies, Art, Drama, Computer, and Student Support Rooms.
1323h - Tuesday: a) Hal really did do the lights for one of the plays, I'm not sure if it was 'High School: It's A Concept'. b) Note the many '666's in the frequency. Also, '969' is one of my favorite numbers. c) 'oivaizmir' is the egg (ask Will) to activate the Debug menu in the Windows version of SimCity 2000. d) The video conference heavily parodies Grand Moff Tarkin's meeting on board the Death Star in Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
1323h - Tuesday: A few days before school was over in June, CBC News did a story on the defective metal roof support of CPA. Ha-ha! How nice!
1405h - Tuesday: Well, how did you imagine the Staff Room?!
1425h - Tuesday: I was running out of ideas, so I used a lame one. This idea was borrowed from another scene in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow where Prince Alexander rescues Lady Celeste from the Minotaur by taunting the beast with a red scarf and letting the horrid thing dive straight into a deep fiery pit.
1435h - Tuesday: My mom really did do the cover art for "Cooking Liberally". But she can do better, you know. She's a really good artist.
1457h - Tuesday: The whole thing about Shawn and Ms. Beazley with a map, and me the one being directed through the vents was loosely inspired by a scene in Jurassic Park.
1511h - Tuesday: Devon and I haven't always gotten along so great. The idea for the "Remember when I said..." and "I meant every word." bit was inspired by DS9's "The Ascent", where Odo and Quark, freshly rescued from certain death on a mountain side, reconcile with each other.
1528h - Tuesday: You and I both have seen lots of people getting knocked out in comics, movies, you name it. Ms. Beazley knocking out Robbie with her survival kit is pretty standard fare.
1530h - Tuesday: Ken Hubbards and David MacLean are two well known CPA Bus Drivers.
1542h - Tuesday: The whole bit about the Student Council in the Drama Room was indeed lightly inspired by something else... but I can't remember what.
1548h - Tuesday: Devon being put to sleep parodies what Doctor Brown did to Jennifer in Back to the Future - Part II to prevent her from seeing stuff she shouldn't see.
1607h - Tuesday: A few hours before the Prom started, I was sitting in Mr. LeRoux's office watching him organize some transcripts. We were the only ones in the entire Main Office, and you know how you can sit in Mr. LeRoux's office so you can be clearly seen from the office entrance? Well, Mr. Whitman saw me, but he didn't see Mr. LeRoux at his desk, and the office was locked. He said "You aren't supposed to be here!", but then Mr. LeRoux shouted "It's okay! He's with me!". With all due respect to the principal, you should have seen the look on his face!
1654h - Tuesday: I can't say I was ever a big fan of Lisa's "Supermodel Erin" comics.
1655h - Tuesday: The three Tarot cards foreshadow the three endings to this story.
WORST CASE SCENARIO
1720h - Tuesday: In Star Trek, the Secondary Command Processors are responsible for processing Auto-Destruct requests. This scene was inspired by a scene in the Voyager episode "Basics: Part I", where Janeway discovers the Kazon had a reason for specifically attacking the Secondary Command Processors.
1335h - Wednesday: Julie Brownell and I don't exactly get along. In fact, all of her friends hate me too. They kind of helped me create this ending in a way.
1720h - Tuesday: Wouldn't it be nice to have such an easy solution to our ventilation problems?
1415h - Thursday: I had this scene mulling about in my head for quite a long time, it was refreshing to finally be able to write it. I like the part where I 'never return to CPA'. Well, it theory, anyway.
BEST CASE SCENARIO
1135h - Friday: I wanted Angela to return to normal the way she did, it's just more romantic and happier that way.
1345h - Friday: The story effectively ended on a humorous note. I like it that way. Oh, if you don't remember, Will was sent out to escort Ms. Cosman because he was the only one with a free that period, and Jer and Angela didn't like having to send him.
I hope you enjoyed reading "The CPA Revolution", "The CPA Revolution - 2nd Phase", and the endings. I don't know if I will write much more about CPA, but if and when I do, you can be sure you'll find it here.
ADDENDUM for 11/14/1998: I actually wrote quite a bit more about CPA, just check the essay list on the main page.
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