20 Fun Facts about “A 38 Day Education” and “Change Rising”

Now that Change Rising has been released, it’s time to share some interesting and fun tidbits about both books of The Scope series.

Fun Facts About A 38 Day Education (buy here)


1.  While South Central College was modeled partly on Georgia Southwestern State University, there is one critical difference between the two colleges – South Central College’s police force is called Student Security, whereas Georgia Southwestern’s is called “Campus Police.”  This is owed to the fact that, despite officers having to be certified Law Enforcement Officers to be be qualified for hire, having arrest powers and the authority to carry sidearms, South Central’s agency does not possess certain necessary certifications due to budget constraints

2.  President Earl Falconer’s character is inspired, in part, by Londo Mollari from the 1990s television series Babylon 5.

3.  The Student Judicial Process at South Central College is, in reality, quite transparent compared to most colleges and universities around America.  SCC’s process was made to be such due to a series of Student Government scandals in the mid 1980s.

4.  SCC has never had two different female students serve successive terms as Student Government President.

5.  When A 38 Day Education was first conceived, it was to be a memoir – it was adapted to a fictional story when legal issues were considered possible.

6.  The college’s colors of crimson and gold were inspired by Florida State University, but the nickname of Mastodons was derived by the movie Ice Age.

7.  The central character, Jay Ferragamo, despite being Italian by heritage, has a distinct aversion to Italian cuisine.

8.  The idea for Schenectady, New York as Jay Ferragamo’s hometown was inspired by the series Will & Grace, as Grace Alder’s mother hails from the city.  Other cities considered were Binghamton, Wilkes-Barre, Virginia Beach and Paterson, NJ.

9.  There was never a question about where Jay lives when school is out – Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida was the choice from the start.

10.  Almost half of the novel was written on a first-generation smartphone.

Fun Facts About Change Rising (buy here)


1.  Much of this novel was inspired by an actual election scandal at Georgia Southwestern in the mid 1990s.

2.  The original name of this book was to be “Homecoming of The Scope,” but that was changed in favor of something simpler.

3.  The physical appearance of William Harting, President Earl Falconer’s successor, was based on Bruce Boxleitner.

4.  Harting’s name is a play on the name of President Warren G. Harding, who was not only considered a lousy president but, ironically, owned a newspaper in Ohio prior to being elected.

5.  Cassandra Owinger was raised Pentacostal, but she converted to Methodism in high school.  She never discusses it in this novel, though it is a plot point in a later story.

6.  Kenny Strasburg, Cassandra’s love interest, was designed to have the greatest potential for shocking revelations in the story arc.

7.  Student Government President Tasha Davidson, who succeeded her boyfriend, Danny Winters, comes from a family which survives by name only and some modest real estate holdings – in reality, the Davidson family is flat broke from a cash standpoint, owing to why Tasha enrolled at South Central and not a tonier private school.

8.  DeMarcus Milton, the principal antagonist in this story, discusses his history with Craig Johannsen in private – it is never revealed to Jay, though he is able to cobble together a functional knowledge which allows him to effectively work with Milton.

9.  Jay has a mild crush on Dr. Juliet Montague, but keeps it to himself, going so far as to deny it to his staff.

10.  The Mastodon’s main rival, Northern Highlands, is inspired by both the University of North Georgia and Kennesaw State University.  Both of which were considered major basketball rivals to Georgia Southwestern.

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