To begin the story at the beginning, read "Part 1: Post 1: Beginning Again," published in January, 2013. To consult a description of the campus, read "Part 1: Post 14: The Greening of Campus," published in March, 2013.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Year 4: Part 1: Post 7: Standards

As I expected, it has snowed again. We got three inches yesterday morning and nearly all of it melted by noon. I slept outside that night and woke in an odd darkness, since my tarp was covered in a thin layer of snow. I pushed it back and watched the flakes falling around me all pretty and white and silent. On the way way back to the Mansion the snow lit on my hair and my eyelashes and filled in my tracks behind me as I walked.By late afternoon I was carrying around landscaping rocks in a wheelbarrow in short sleeves.

I'm getting to know the new students--I know most of their names, now, which is kind of surprising because there are thirty-five of them, but I've been working at it. As usual, there are weird double-ups, notably Michael, Michelle, Mickey, and Mike, and yet another Raven, except this one is male. There is now a second Nora as well. She is twenty years old and works in the Dining Hall, though she says her interest is in medicine. She has three years of college behind her (and two to go, given our unusual graduation requirements) and was a sociology major, but now wants to become either a doctor or a nurse (I had lunch with her the day before yesterday and we talked).

The original Nora is doing fine. She's starting her second year as a fully enrolled student, and you wouldn't know she started here really young unless she told you.

I was about to say she's getting pretty normal, but of course I mean normal for here. I tend to forget, these days, those most people on the outside are not intellectually gifted witches.

Anyway, it's weird thinking about how I must seem to these new people. I'm the quiet guy who seems to know everything about everybody and who lives in the woods half the time. I wear my uniform even when I don't have to, like Charlie does, and, like Charlie, I'm usually barefoot unless there's actually snow on the ground. I watch bugs, I listen to birds. I am entirely entertained watching one of the house spiders build its web in the corner of the library.

To myself I'm still awkward and ignorant, but to them I'm getting downright wizardish.

I don't think they're wrong about me, in all honesty, but I don't think I'm wrong about myself, either. My standards have simply been raised.

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