Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Character Sketch

I said I wouldn't post the character sketch that I used for my use case, but what can I say, I've got nothing to say today.



Deborah Tuttle works as a high school teacher and has done so for the last thirteen years. She hates every minute of it. The kids bring her down every day. She never wanted to be a teacher in the first place, but what else does a history major do with herself? For the past ten years she’s been trying to get a master’s degree in something so that she can earn more money, but finding the money, time, and, most importantly, the motivation to go back has proven more difficult than any master program would.

She didn’t always live in Detroit. She actually grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota surrounded by dinosaurs, reptiles, and dead presidents carved into a giant blob of granite. When high school graduation rolled around in 1989, she drove off to Capital City, Michigan—Lansing. There she attended Michigan State University, which she had confused with the University of Michigan. Instead of a big ‘M’ emblazoned on sweaters, she got a big ‘S’ and a giant terra cotta Spartan statue in the middle of campus.

That was her first set back. The second was realizing that not everyone who gets a Bachelor of Arts degree in history can work for the History Channel. In fact, they didn’t even call her for an interview when she applied for an administrative assistant job. Not wanting to take this disappointment, Deborah (who, by the way, despises being called “Deb,” “Debbie,” “Little Debbie” or having her name spelled D-e-b-r-a) packed her bags and headed to what she thought was the hippest, happening town in the mid-west: Detroit. Deborah forgot that she had driven through Chicago on her way to Lansing.

GM pisses her off. She hates their factories, she hates their brand, and more than anything, she hates their cars. Every time she passes by the GM plants or a dealership, she raises her middle finger in a salute and shouts, “Fuck you, Detroit!” Deborah drives a Volkswagon Beetle, which just so happens to be her crowning glory. On the dash she has a Mt. Rushmore bobble-head and claims that it’s superior to all other bobble-heads because it has not one nodding head, but four. The Beetle gets Armour Alled once a week and goes to the car wash once a month. The car wash isn’t one of those put-the-quarters-in-and-drive-through deals either. Someone wipes every part of her shiny green Beetle with a cloth.

Deborah belongs to an underground quilting cult. This brings her happiness. These women meet monthly, but also keep up via cyberspace on their quilting blogs. They share patterns, techniques, and pretty much stitch n’ bitch about everything from their husbands to their students.

Ms. Tuttle is single. She had a serious boyfriend once in Rapid City. They kept their relationship up while they were in college, but for some god-forsaken reason, he ran off to Canada to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing. She told him that if he left the country, he was leaving her. He didn’t seem to have a problem with it.

Every Christmas is celebrated back in Rapid City with her parents and her three older brothers. They party it up Rapid City style—decorating the lawn with miniature wire dinosaur sculptures covered in little lights that slowly swing their head back and forth. They go to church on Christmas, the only time Deborah ever does. And, they bake cookies and cakes, eat a lot, and get tipsy on egg nog. This is the highlight of Deborah’s year.

Deborah Tuttle is done with history. She works furiously at not being bitter about the History Channel anymore and wants to do something else. Deborah’s also done with teaching. Her dream is to become a famous quilter. She mastered the Log Cabin way long ago. She’s been working on experimental quilting—bringing in materials other than just the regular cotton or radical polyester some quilters use—like various GM symbols stolen from cars. One day, she wants to have her own art show. She wants her quilts displayed in galleries. She wants to tour universities and give talks about her work. She wants to be on the Today Show. Matt Lauer is her dream man. Al Roker is hilarious. And that hootchie, Meredith Viera should have stayed on The View. She knows that if she was invited to do just a two and a half minute spot on the Today show discussing her quilts, they’d want her. They’d give her a regular spot where she could comment on various movements in folk art across the country and the world. She just knows.


At 12:07 AM, Blogger Bezzie said...

Do you think Deborah went on strike this past fall? Or was she a scab?

Oh and the best news ever out of Detroit: They stopped making Ford Tauruses. You're driving an antique baby!


Post a Comment

<< Home