So, I've realized I haven't talked much lately about what a lot of my friends here are doing. Here, for your reading pleasure, is an update:
Nora's nineteenth birthday is this week. It's strange to think she's as old now as I was when I started--she still looks so young to me....
But she's obviously matured a lot. She's not rebellious so much as independent, now. When she started, she was only taking half as many credits per semester as the rest of us, since she hadn't finished high school yet. Now, she's gotten her GED and while she has two more years to go, she seems to have mostly caught up with the rest of us in other respects. She's been studying Wicca, bee-keeping, and aromatherapy, and seems very much a witch in her own right, now. The big news is that she's raising money to start her own business making scented candles, massage oils, and lotions.
Kayla is sixteen and looks and acts like a teenager now, instead of a child. Since she's no longer nursing Aidan, her relationship with her son is much more like if she were an involved big sister or an aunt, which is probably how it should be. She's still taking just one class per year, spread out over the entire year, while otherwise home-schooling. Her mother is concerned that she's too isolated from other kids her age, so this summer Kayla got a job off-campus as a junior counselor in a day-camp for children. She seems to like it.
Andy is in his final year here. He is physically healthy, clean from drugs, and seems...more grown-up. It sounds odd to say that, since of course he's something like fifteen years older than I am, but for the first year there was definitely something childlike about him, and that wasn't always a good thing. Now, there's still a trace of that, but he seems almost, well, normal. He, too, is going about going into business. He has an off-campus job in a bicycle shop and the owner is seriously considering making him a partner. Once his credit is rebuilt, he wants to buy the place.
I haven't talked to Arther much this year. He's on campus as a candidate, and he often teaches workshops on various aspects of Wicca. He seems happy.
Joanna is still a puzzle to me. She is not kind, but I seek her company anyway. Being on the receiving end of her teases and jabs, as I often am, is rather like being tickled--you laugh and try to get away at the same time. Maybe that's it--she makes me laugh. I've been told my writing seems overly serious. Maybe I'm overly serious. Maybe I need to laugh more?
She is working on becoming a yoga instructor and she makes, and sometimes sells, ritual implements, like chalices, wands, and alter cloths.
Rick is mostly living indoors again, though I can tell he still has mixed feelings about it. This is his final year, here, and he's spending it completing a few credit requirements he'd skipped earlier. He still does trail work with me, sometimes, and we go tracking together. I am still learning from him. We don't talk often, or at much depth, but I know he's wondering what he's going to do when he leaves here--and, more broadly, what he's going to do with his life. He doesn't have any clear answers on that, yet.
I have not talked to Ebony in a while. I don't really know what she's doing. She's been spending a lot of time off-campus and seems unhappy, for some reason. She insists she's fine.
Ollie is, of course, off-campus, having graduated. He's not in Absence yet, though, so he did come to visit at Litha. I don't hear from him very often, but his fiancee, Willa, does, and she gives us updates. He's starting graduate school in the fall, going for a masters' in Divinity.
Of course, there are multiple women named Raven in my story, and I really should have established some way of differentiating them from the beginning, but I didn't.
There are four women named Raven left on campus, three of whom are Allen's students and planning on graduating this year. Two of them are in the Reiki group with me and one of those is a good friend of mine--she's studying totemic animism with Kit and there are overlaps between that and my studies with Charlie.
The fourth Raven is graduating next year and is one of Charlie's students. She's on the groundskeeping team with me, and we get along well.