One of the fields of study offered here at Radford University is geology, the study of the Earth. This major tends to be boiled down to just looking at rocks, and while that is part of what geologists do, there is so much more to it. By just looking at rocks, they can learn what the environment used to be like in a specific area, if there are any dangerous activities going on, and they can find out how suitable the land is for any number of uses, such as construction. Geologists do many things and provide a great many services to society, not all of which will be mentioned in this article as there’s too many to list. Geology isn’t an outdated field and geologist isn’t an outdated profession; these people provide a great deal to the world.
For an example with some real world impacts, take the events at Yosemite Park several years ago. The park had built a visitor’s center on top of a cliff, and down below it were some camping grounds and hiking trails. The grounds had to deal with frequent falling rocks that injured and killed people. However, nothing was being done about it because no one knew why rocks were falling from the cliff face. A graduate student and a professor here at Radford University went to the park to investigate. They found that the visitor’s center was pumping its waste water into the rocks beneath it and this was causing an erosion of the cliff face and a loosening of the rocks. Because the graduate student and the professor discovered this and reported it, people became aware of the danger and they were able to avoid that area of the park. These geologists helped save more people from becoming injured or killed.
Geology is a big field with lots of different branches that many people can and do go into. Geologists have a profound effect on the world, and many do their job without much thanks. Geology is an important field and we would have a lot of serious problems without it.
Every year, spring break rolls around, and every year, the most popular thing to do is go to Florida for the week. And what’s not to love about sun, sand, and surf? But is it really all that it is cracked up to be?
One of the problems with going to Florida for spring break is that everyone goes there. It becomes an extremely crowded place where you have to fight for every step you take. It seems a little ridiculous to have to deal with massive overcrowding when you’re trying to relax. Then there is the drive to Florida. Obviously, it differs depending on where you are, but here in Virginia, it is roughly a 10 to 12-hour drive just to get to Florida, and the time increases the further south you go into the state. Now some people like road trips, and some people don’t, but I cannot imagine anyone enjoying being in a crowded car on crowded highways for 10 to 12 hours.
I am not trying to say that Florida and going to the beach cannot be fun. Being able to relax on sunny shores and swimming and playing in the ocean is a great way to spend your time. There are also great places to eat down in Florida and, of course, plenty of fresh seafood. There’s a reason why Florida is such a popular place to go, and this is a well-earned title. However, I do not think it’s all it’s cracked up to be.
Probably sooner rather than later, people tend to run out of things to do. There’s only so much beach sitting and ocean swimming you can do. And I can’t help but wonder if part of the reason everyone goes to Florida is because that’s just the thing to do. Everyone else is going to the beach, so why shouldn’t you? But, then again, not everyone enjoys the same things and if people have fun going to Florida and the beach, then why not? It’s spring break; do whatever you’ll enjoy doing.
She has a personal, destructive beauty, one not many can fall for. He is the only one to see it. With her red eyes and ebony wings, Aria holds Lucifer’s heart. Her love for the devil is only outweighed by the corruption inside her.
Lucifer ignores it, for a time. He understands she wants the same sensation he felt when he fell from grace. Only until she became his personal Pandora’s box did he take notice. Heartbreak, disease, famine, death. Aria has control of them, and much worse.
“My love, you must stop this,” Lucifer tenderly whispers, grasping her by the biceps with pleading eyes.
Aria growls and shoves him away. “You don’t tell me what to do!” Eyes like rubies in sunlight, her anger stems from his need to control her.
Lucifer knows he can fix her, but only by using the hope lying at the bottom of the box. He grabs her arm with a jerk and takes her to her fallen meadow. Lucifer holds Aria close until their skin seems like it will fuse together.
He speaks the only words that will free Aria. “I free you from my hold and the hold of God.”
Aria is left limp in his embrace, eyes fluttered shut. All that is left of her wings is a handful of feathers at his feet. A blush returns to her cheeks, and her slate-colored nails are replaced with clean, uncolored ones. Aria’s hair turns to a light chestnut as Lucifer holds her in his lap. She is mortal, human. He strokes her cheek as her eyes open, revealing two eyes of sea green. The only words to have broken the devil were her first mortal words of freedom.
For most of us in college, we tend to avoid talking with our professors and instructors for one reason or another. And they don’t usually have conversations with us unless we directly approach them. For some, talking to an instructor is no big deal, but for others, it can be frightening, anxiety inducing or anywhere in between. Whatever the case, it’s important for both the instructor and the student to maintain a respectful manner.
If either the student or the instructor becomes disrespectful toward one another then major issues can arise. There does not always need to be blatant disrespect or animosity to cause problems in the classroom. Passive aggressive remarks or responses can create
bigger problems than direct hostility. Passive aggressiveness is just pettiness; it shows a flippant attitude and a complete disregard for the other person. A student shouldn’t treat an instructor this way, and an instructor shouldn’t treat a student that way either. Doing so opens up hostility between the two people involved and the situation can, and often does, dissolve from there.
If an instructor is disrespectful toward a student then they have failed as a teacher; it is their job to be patient, and they should be willing to work with students to help them understand the material. It does not benefit anyone if an instructor disregards a student’s questions or concerns. And it’s just the same for the student; they have to be willing to meet the instructor halfway. They should make sure they try to resolve their problem or misunderstanding before approaching the instructor, so they don’t waste their time. However, they also run the risk of being seen as lazy for not approaching the instructor early on. Both the instructor and the student should do their best to maintain a professional and respectful relationship. Otherwise, the entire classroom environment falls apart.
Do you stay up all night practicing spells? If you answered yes to that question, then this article is for you. All I want in life is to be Hermione Granger, and this article will tell you what makes you two alike. You won’t need Felix Felicis for this one.
1. Puberty hit you like a train.
Like all preteens, we went through that phase we do not speak of. In the books, Hermione used magic to fix her teeth and hair. Unfortunately, because we Muggle folks never received our Hogwarts letters, we had to turn to the simpler stuff like flat irons, Invisalign and makeup.
You have a hard time expressing your feelings to your crush.
Honestly, most girls I know keep their feelings about their crush to themselves. There are times when your adrenaline is pumping and all you want to do is just grab him and kiss him. It can sometimes be hard because you do not know how the other person feels. But you never know. He could feel the same way, or you guys could be destined to defeat evil and have two children together.
You get mad when you get a B on an exam.
Sometimes just getting a C on a test that you studied hard for is better than nothing, but for people like Hermione, C’s do not get degrees.
You are a cat person.
Cats are not for the fainthearted. That is all I have to say about that.
You are often found reading or studying.
Rather than partying or watching the usual on Netflix, you are found with your nose in a book
You have a free spirit.
You are a bit of a free bird. You don’ let anyone tell you that you can’t reach your goal, and you don’t let anyone get in your way of achieving it.
You are a fighter.
On the rare chance that your life is in danger, you don’t just stand there and take it.
You are resourceful.
You always know just what to do in most situations. You always have a plan B because most of your plans do not go as planned — and that is what the Undetectable Extension Charm is for.
You know how to comfort a hurting friend.
You are always in tune with people’s emotions. You are the friend who knows how to comfort your friends when they are feeling down.
You are an avid rule follower. However, if the ones you love were in trouble, you would break every rule under the sun to protect them.
Hermione has broken the rules countless times to protect her friends, and you are no different. You think of the well-being of your friends rather than the possible consequences of your actions.
You will follow your best friends to the ends of the earth.
You are a loyal friend. Silly books and spells will not pick you up when you’re feeling down, give you a shoulder to cry on, or laugh with you. Friends will do all those things and more. You just have to be willing to take a chance on them.
The night was alive with crackling light and shifting shadows. In the dead of the night, the brilliant flames were alive with a seemingly insatiable hunger for fuel and fodder, eating through the wood and the walls. The people outside on the ground stood in silent awe of the gold and orange flames that danced in the windows of what was once their home. They could do little else. They had been roused from the depths of sleep by the heat and the smoke, going from groggy to completely awake and alert in a second, only to have the adrenaline disappear from their bodies as they made it to the safety of the street. No one had seemed to be hurt much, and the fire had only just begun to roar in full force. As if it had waited for the last resident to leave before it feasted.
Free of any human chains to slow it down, the fire seemed to start anew, growing and blazing with a strange ferocity. It burned brightly and quickly, tearing and clawing its way through the apartment building. The entire building would be gone in seconds, but for the residents on the street, it seemed to take an eternity. Every flame slowed to a crawl, creeping up through the windows and along the walls. The flames seemed to gently brush against their prey before slipping into the wood to consume it from the inside out. Black spots of destruction blossomed forward, spreading out in a slow wave like a drop of ink in water. It would spread and spread, becoming wider and greater while it weakened itself, until it began to crumble away from its center to its very edge, the ash falling through the air like snowflakes and dancing in front of the viewer on the street.
Most of our sources for power are fossil fuels, like oil and natural gas. But those are finite resources that are going to run out sooner rather than later, and the use and recovery of them causes environmental harm. Soon it will be time to start looking into other sources of power, new sources of electricity. One of the best methods is to use natural, renewable energy sources. The most famous one is solar power, in which the heat and energy that comes from the sun’s rays is harvested and converted into electricity. However, there is also another method that can help supplement our demand for energy: wind power and wind turbines.
The use of wind power and wind turbines has been on the rise in recent years and for good reason. One study shows that if used effectively, wind turbines can generate far more power than we currently use (1). Wind turbines have a lot of potential to generate the power that we need and use in our day to day lives. For example, one of the largest wind turbines out there generates enough electricity to power 600 U.S. homes (2).
However, there are a few drawbacks to the use of wind turbines. If there is no wind, there is no electricity being generated, but this problem can be solved by using other renewable energy sources in tandem with wind power. This is not a problem with a single, one size fits all solution.
The wind turbines could also be dangerous to flying animals like birds and bats. Another complaint is that wind turbines are noisy and ugly, though these problems are superficial and a small price to pay for clean, renewable energy (in fact, you have to wonder why they are even a concern at all).
All in all, the benefits outweigh the costs and we can work towards lessening or even removing whatever drawbacks may come with wind power.
In a bad mood or just need a boost? Here is a list of songs that will put you in a good mood and make you want to dance!
“Shout” by The Isley Brothers
Get up and shout with this classic throwback! With only one word you really need to know, this song is fun to sing and even more fun to dance to!
“Hula Hoop” by OMI
This song will go around and around in your head! Once you hear it, you can’t help but get up and dance, and you may even get the urge to hula hoop!
“Hold My Hand” by Jess Glynne
One part poppy, three parts upbeat, and two parts funky, this song is the perfect recipe for, well, anything!
“Hakuna Matata” by Nathan Lane
No worries for the rest of my days? Sign me up! This Disney classic will definitely take you back to your worry-free days when all you had to fret about was what color crayon to use. Who wouldn’t that make happy?
“Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffet
Because who doesn’t like Jimmy Buffet?
“Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani
This throwback will definitely make you feel like you can take on anything! Gwen Stefani’s catchy and true lyrics make us channel our inner girl power with this upbeat powerhouse song.
“Respect” by Aretha Franklin
This sassy classic will make anyone feel powerful! With old school horns and powerful vocals, singing along with Franklin will definitely earn you some respect.
“All Star” by Smashmouth
I cannot be the only person who thinks of the movie “Shrek” when I hear this song! The combination of catchy lyrics and memories of the hilarious movie make this the perfect song to bop out to with your friends in the car.
“ABC” by The Jackson 5
It’s as easy as one, two, three to get this song stuck in your head. This is another classic that is irresistible to sing along with, and the Jackson 5 will help you get back whoever you lost.
“Single Ladies” by Beyoncé
I couldn’t create this list without putting a song by Beyoncé on it. This song will make anyone put their hands up and declare their singleness boldly.
Just a sip—
That’s how the addiction began.
They said it’d fix everything,
An elixir for my inhibitions.
I was passed an overflowing glass of something
And I eagerly downed this liquid god
To atone for the sin
Of being boring.
Happy medium? Too mundane.
I’m only happy living by extremes
And now my happiness is attached to
An extreme buzz
With lows just as intense.
Maybe it was the regular blackouts
Or the sleazy boys who got too friendly
Or that time I vomited for two hours
While the world was spinning like that toilet bowl—
But I slowly realized my judgment had been flushed away
Long before my nausea.
As I walked away from the glamorous lifestyle
Of underage drinking,
Once-friendly chatter faded
And soon the loudest thing around
Was my own footsteps.
In their own coded dialect
They screamed to me—
Sobriety might be boring
But if it keeps you alive,
It’s worth it.
I didn’t argue—
Now I just keep myself busy.
The movies would have us believe that spring break is the pinnacle of all college students’ lives. They say you’re doing something wrong if you and a dozen friends with seemingly endless amounts of money don’t flock to the beaches of Mexico or California to have a non-stop party for a week. But some students have a calmer break planned and are either going home or staying where they are or at a friend’s. Their reason could be because they want to save money or simply because they prefer to spend their break that way. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you’re opting for a break without a movie destination, here’s some ideas of stuff to do.
Learn a New Skill
Pick up that guitar you haven’t touched since you were 14 and see what you remember. Learn how to ride a unicycle or solve a Rubik’s cube. Teach your dog how to roll over. Cook something you’ve never cooked before with your siblings. If it’s a success, you can make it for your roommates when you get back.
Read a Book
Reading is awesome and there are so many good books out there. On break, you don’t have the excuse of having homework or class to be too busy to read. So go by the library (or find out where it is if you’ve never been there), pick out a book that interests you, and actually finish it.
Visit Your Grandparents
They would love to see you. Even if it’s just for a little while, swing by for a visit. Ask them to tell you about how they met, what their first jobs were or what school was like for them, and in return, they’ll probably let you whine to them about what it’s like for your generation.
Look for Jobs
Again, you don’t have the excuse of being too busy with classes to look for a job, whether it be for after graduation or for the summer. You can get an idea of what the job market will be like after you graduate, or you can get a head start on learning who’s hiring over the summer.
The airport has always been a catalyst for my anxiety. The walk to the small plane, the trot up the stairs. I could die, ya’ know.
Sitting down in my window seat, I whisper, “At least I can see the clouds.”
The 6-month-old next to me should be kicked out for disrupting the small peace found looking out of my prized window.
A man with duck shoes stomps through the small isles. I imagine he doesn’t know his circumference. The empty seat next to me is praying for its vacancy, but all in vain. He smells.
A three-hour flight, next to a man that smells. Great.
The window seat has its disadvantages. The corner where one’s feet would go is rounded, allowing for virtually no foot room. In a fair assessment, the ceilings are 6 ½ foot tall, allowing little room for error.
The longest flight of my life had to be next to a man with incomprehensible body odor, a 6 ½ metal ceiling, and an infant screaming beside me.
The customer service industry is a demanding work environment with a lot of stress involved. It’s not easy helping to take care of countless people all day or night, whether you’re preparing and serving food, working in retail, or acting as the receptionist at a help desk. But the job isn’t made any easier when customers are difficult or unreasonable.
It may seem like the obvious thing to do, but many people do not seem to realize that they should treat the people who serve them with respect, not like they are beneath them. Contrary to popular belief, customer service employees are not paid to make the customer happy or take care of their every need, nor do they do or say things to spite a customer or make their life more difficult. For example, a cashier or waiter/waitress that says a customer can’t add something to their order or make a substitution is not trying to make the customer upset or ruin their meal; often times it is just the store’s policy. Not to mention that a customer should probably come into the place of service with a little foreknowledge and/or common sense.
The issue is not when a customer genuinely does not know what a specific product is (regardless of what it may be) and asks a simple question like “how does this taste?” or “where is this located?” The problem is when a customer does something like complain (or harass or yell) to an employee when they don’t get what they want after they asked for/ purchased something else. An example of this is when someone at a grocery store wants a discount on an item because it is similar to an item on sale and they harass the cashier because they can’t give them what they want ( they do not have the authority to do so; they couldn’t if they wanted to). Another example is when a customer is at a Starbucks and asks for something off the “secret menu” and then gets upset at the baristas because they say they do not know what the customer is talking about. This is because the “secret menu” does not exist. The menu usually just consists of drinks made up on the internet that you can technically get at a Starbucks, but one would have to tell the baristas how to make it and hope they are willing to work with you. The baristas are not obligated to do whatever you want or automatically know what you are talking about if you ask for something off the secret menu.
The simple fact of the matter is that people need to make more of an effort to treat people who work in customer service like human beings. These are actual people who deserve as much respect as anyone else and they are not there to take the abuse of others, nor are they obligated to meet the every whim of whoever walks in. They are hired to take food orders, help a customer purchase their items, prepare their food, or provide basic assistance like information (admittedly, they must do this politely and respectfully but a customer should treat them with the same courtesy), and nothing else. Customer service employees work hard to make our lives easier and it is time we returned the favor.
My boyfriend wears skirts. Not tunics, not man-skirts, and for sure not kilts. He wears skirts and he looks damn good doing it. Unfortunately, it took years for him to build up the courage to wear skirts as much as he wanted to. He suffered because of the male standards in our culture. I want to challenge these male standards and claim that continuing to follow them will be a detriment to our society as a whole.
Since around the 1920’s, it has become increasingly culturally acceptable for women to dress in pants. Today, women have access to blazers and suits that look great. Women have the choice to dress in a feminine or masculine way because they fought and earned that choice. Men have no choices at all. They must either dress in a masculine way or face ridicule. In our broader culture it is acceptable for women to want to be more like men, but for a man to give up his masculine power is a disgrace.
Men are culturally trained to reject feminine clothing in our society. This is because if a man wears feminine clothes, it implies the clothing and the people wearing it are as good as men. My boyfriend has been called sissy, fag, and other terrible names for wearing skirts. All these names come from other men. The idea of another man being happy and comfortable in a skirt is such a shock to them they feel the urge to tear down what they no longer consider a real man to preserve their own masculinity and their power.
Men need feminism just as much as women do. The core idea of feminism is that men and women are equal in society. True acceptance of this elevates women to the power of men, but it also unlocks the full breadth of the human experience to men. Feminist culture invites men to feel beautiful and powerful through makeup and clothing forbidden to them in a patriarchal culture. Feminism gives men a choice to be as masculine or as feminine as they wish, and it is not a mandate to become more feminine.
Even worse, modern masculinity standards are a parody of authentic manhood. We tell our boys to restrict their emotional expression, power through their pain, and never act like a girl. In order to preserve some idealized masculine fantasy, men are encouraging themselves to be less than full human beings. This unrealizable standard that men hold themselves to leads to corrupt and toxic masculinity characterized by external violence, hate, and internal self-loathing. Men, if you consider yourself a real man, call out your male friends when you hear them talking negatively about others in any form. A simple, “Hey man, that’s not cool,” is sufficient self-policing and is a start to changing minds. This is important if we want to work towards making our culture a more just and verdant society.
One of the ways most people relax is sitting down to a good show after a long day. Now, with Hollywood becoming more involved in the fight for LGBT+ rights, there are more LGBT+ characters than ever before. However, according to a new GLAAD study, LGBT+ people are still misrepresented (1) in most shows.
In their annual report, they found that there are no transgender characters on primetime TV. Also, the report said only 2% of shows on cable represent these people. There was also a finding that demonstrated the lack of racial diversity in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters in these shows (1).
It is a wonderful thing that shows are now including LGBT+ characters at rates we’ve never seen before, but these people need to be represented well. There are even cartoons, like Steven Universe, that show LGBT+ people in a great way. But yet, some shows seem to stick to the stereotypes of LGBT+ people.
While some shows do hold on to wildly negative views of LGBT+ people, there are shows like Orange is the New Black and Transparent that bring great representation to this community. Transparent is on its fourth season of production, and with the way Jill Soloway is presenting her characters, it’s bound to have more. It is said that Soloway has an authentic way of representing her character’s relationships with sexuality, spirituality, gender identity and mental health, making the show “one of the best television shows ever written” (2).
Not all shows that have a gay or lesbian character approach it the wrong way. Glee came out as one of the first shows that openly dealt with LGBT+ people being bullied, self-doubt, and families that did not approve of the character’s sexuality. So, using Glee as an example, I think that while yes, some shows don’t know how to represent the LGBT+ community, there are a majority of shows trying to improve the way the community is represented.
We all have our own favorite movies, movie series, and/or TV shows that we love to watch and can’t get enough of. Many of them have become a few (or more than a few) years old, and often popular movies or shows end up being remade. Someone out there in the land of Hollywood decides to revisit the shining glory of the past and revamp the old favorites. It’s happening more and more often in recent days, like with the Disney classics remakes. They have already made several and the newest one, the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, is almost here. Also, there are the new Star Trek movies that have come out in recent years, a revival of one of the largest fandoms ever. But is it worth it? Should we let sleeping dogs lie and not try to mess with a good thing? Or make it so we can relive the magic of those classic favorites?
There’s always a bit of an internal conflict when another remake is announced. Part of you is excited to see your favorite characters and story again but part of you dreads that whoever decided to add new life to your favorite movie or TV show will change it too much and ruin the magic. This leads to the core of the issue: remakes are not necessarily bad, but it depends on how the director decides to go about remaking the coveted form of media.
On one hand, if the director decides to follow the old script exactly (or close to it) then they aren’t producing anything new and exciting, though if it is worth a remake then chances are it will probably be good nonetheless. On the other hand, if a director decides to use the same characters and make a new story to replace the old one or a story that happens after the end of the last one, then we have to worry about the characters we love being changed too much, to the point they are no longer recognizable. Both versions have their pros and cons, but the main concern is how faithful a remake is to the original.
A remake can either create a new story or retell the old one, but at the end of the day, there are certain things that you cannot change from the original. You have to keep whatever traits that made the original so great. Let the remake have references to the original, as a way to help the audience enjoy the show and as a reminder that the director is keeping the original in mind. Remakes can be a precarious thing as there is a lot that can go wrong and a lot that can go right. The key point is to maintain a certain level of faithfulness to the original.
There are so many things that a Highlander can say they love about Radford. But to be honest, there are more things to complain about.
Now, I can handle bad food. But there is nothing worse than good food with a bad effect. I swear, every time I eat Dalton Dining, I have to run to the bathroom on the way out. But sometimes, I must brave the aftershock just to get the grilled chicken. The food also doesn’t cost a thousand dollars either, so that’s a plus.
There is a hill called the COBE Kyle Hill that will literally be the death of every college student. There have been multiple occasions in which I basically run out of air in my lungs by the time I make it to the top. Not to mention walking up that hill while it’s cold outside and then walking into that hot building is the absolute worst. The heat flashes I get are unreal.
The protesters on campus are known by every student. So, if you attend Radford University, you know which protesters I am talking about. They act like they are the best people on earth and that they have never sinned. This campus is one of the most diverse campuses in Virginia, and they decide to bash us?
But the internet is by far one of the biggest complaints made by the students. Radford is located in the mountains, but that is no excuse. The school website says that the whole campus has Wi-Fi. But if I have to keep logging in when I change buildings, then it’s useless. Also, I have stopped doing my homework on the Wi-Fi, because it randomly stops working and I lose all of my work.
Since we live in the mountains, I think that we can all say that we hate the random temperature changes. I can handle the occasional temperature spike, but something I can’t handle is cold wind. Radford wind is like someone is stabbing you with ice-soaked knives. By the time I get to class, I am basically crying my eyes out.
But when it all comes down to it, we all love Radford.
Sleep is a luxury to me, as it is frequently interrupted. As expected, Philip wakes me. Following him down the majestic wooden staircase, I see Mr. Addison waiting, tapping his foot on the beige carpet.
“What time did I fall asleep?” I ask Philip, trying to conjure a definite sense of time.
“Around nine,” he replies with certainty.
The large grandfather clock beside Mr. Addison reads 11:54. Judging by the lack of sun from the stained-glass windows overhead, I guess it’s nighttime. I suddenly remember why I could fall asleep. I grew bored, as I am not familiar with having nothing to attend. I take the valuable time to rest, physically and mentally.
The man waiting in his dining room appears no older than I. His dark hair looks to have never grown past his chin. His five o’clock shadow leaves me struggling to guess his age.
“Mr. Addison, this is Miss Richards, your new servant,” Philip introduces me, and Mr. Addison turns slightly, showing me his entire face.
I stare into his rainforest-green eyes and notice a scar sitting over his left eye.
“Ah, yes. Thank you, Philip, you can retire for the night.” Mr. Addison smiles.
Philip bows his head, walks to the back of the house, leaving Mr. Addison and me with only ourselves. As I try to avoid Mr. Addison’s gaze, I notice a flower pattern running along the room, stopping at each doorframe.
“My mother’s idea,” Mr. Addison noted. I blush because he notices my avoidance.
Mr. Addison must remember his mother by the framework; he stares at it reverently. “She adored flowers and convinced my father to have them all over. The only thing more dear to her heart were her children,” he says.
I nod my head slowly and clench my clasped hands.
“Please sit, Miss Richards,” he says while pointing to the chair behind me.
With a light chuckle, he grabs the plates nearest to him and walks toward me. “You are the first servant to have been close to my age since my parents were here,” he tells me as I watch for the subtle signs of permission to speak.
My eyes grow large as I notice him setting a full plate in front of him and me. I can’t help but salivate as I wait to be invited to eat.
“Hopefully you won’t find me a bad employer. I haven’t noticed any gossip from my servants,” he says playfully.
I nod my head in response and play with the hem of my shirt.
“Oh right… um, you may do as you please, Miss Richards. It’s only when there are others around that I will ask you to act appropriately,” he says matter-of-factly, like a schoolboy attempting to be the head-of-the-house.
I feel safer now, having been shown kindness, and I start to eat some of the food. For almost twenty minutes, we eat in silence, I having no desire to talk and he appreciating my company. I catch him sizing me up, playing guessing games with my history. I imagine him asking if I had been abused before and that’s why I do not speak. The less complex answer is I have nothing to say.
“I have one rule, Miss Richards,” he says, wiping his mouth with a cloth napkin. “Call me Zach, never Mr. Addison.”
I nod slightly, taking in the one rule. Zach sighs casually, sitting back to look me over. I see no point in looking back so I finish my meal. I eat until I can’t anymore; this is the largest meal I’ve eaten in the last year! My last home was beautiful until the master’s son took over, treating me like the servant I am. He refused me food but always stood behind his parent’s rule: never beat a female servant.
“Tell me something about you, Miss Richards,” Zach requests. He supports his chin with calmly fisted hands, resting his elbows on the marble table.
Tell me something about you….I haven’t the slightest clue of what to say. Nothing about myself could be as interesting as the man in front of me.
Playing copycat, I reply, “I like being called Cassie.”
He nods respectfully. “Okay, Cassie, what do I need to know about you?” Zach says, trying to dig deeper.
“I’m allergic to lemon juice and bees,” I say as I remember Mother Ester telling me that notifying owners of allergies is always a good idea if you have nothing else to mention.
He says, “Good thing I hate lemon juice and my gardener keeps bees away from the roses after spring.” He chuckles lightly.
“I also like to read.”
He leans forward, straightening his posture. “Maybe one night a week you can sit with me in my study and read before we go to bed,” he says with a smile.
My grin seems to overpower his as I reply, “I would like that, Mr. Zach.”
He pats my hand lightly and says, “Rogue will get these things for us, but I’ve had a long day. I assume you have too.” He stands and sets the dishes neatly atop one another.
He’s right. Leaving North Carolina that early in the morning after having served my previous home’s party, arriving at my new place, and meeting my master has drained me.
“Yes, Zach, you’re right,” I murmur and stand up, pushing my chair in.
“Good night Cassandra.”
I bow, returning the good night, and retire to my bedroom. I decide Mr. Addison is a sweet, gentle man. However, as a veteran servant, I know first impressions can be deceiving.