“Please, call me Summer.”
Summer had a new adviser. By her count, this was the third – fifth if you counted that one who hadn’t lasted long enough to see her or that one who had kicked her out of his office, out of his classroom, and tried to kick her out of his department but failed.
Mattie MacEachern seemed like a pretty nice sort. New to the college but not new to teaching, looking to settle down someplace small and safe to raise three kids with also-a-professor spouse, and a pretty enthusiastic teacher most of the time.
At the moment, Dr. MacEachern was frowning at Summer.
“You’ve been here for six years.”
“Yes.” There was no point in arguing with the obvious. “It’s a really great college, Dr. MacEachern.”
“I don’t see any problems with the bursar’s office….”
Dr. MacEachern flipped through pages on the website, trying to access the correct file. Summer could have gotten right to the correct page – but that made teachers a little uncomfortable, at least their first year or two.
“The settlement for my father’s death left a generous stipend.” Summer didn’t inflect that at all. There were so many ways people could take it, and none of them ever ended up all that good. “My first three years here were also heavily supported by scholarships, and I did a lot of Work-study work.”
“Past tense? Not anymore?”
“Other kids need the scholarships, Dr. MacEachern.”
Summer had held one more major in her time here than the number of semesters she’d been matriculated, but in all that time, she had never stopped taking theatre classes and working in the theatre department, taking part in theatre club, and generally being a theatre kid. If she couldn’t give just the impression she wanted with any set of words, she really didn’t deserve to be here.
The thing was, at the moment, she didn’t want to give any impression. She wanted to see what Dr. MacEachern did when given nothing but facts to work with.
“So your family is paying for your education out of pocket, then–”
“No. The people responsible for my father’s death are paying for my education out of pocket. And they will continue to do so.” She lifted her chin and stared her new adviser down. “I mean, I keep getting money either way,” she added with a small quirk of her lips, because Dr. MacEachern really wasn’t all that bad, at least not so far. “But once I get my bachelor’s degree, the amount goes down considerably.”
Dr. MacEachern looked down at the notes sitting carefully in a light-blue folder; the professor looked at the computer screen. After a pause so long it couldn’t be called pregnant or expectant anymore, the professor looked back at Summer’s face. “You have-” The folder was shuffled. “You have had how many majors in your time here?”
“One per semester. Plus one time where, uh, things really, really didn’t work out.”
“You have an outstanding GPA. For a small school like this, you are doing wonders for its overall academic average – although not so much for its graduation rate.”
“I know.” She didn’t bother to be modest. She was book-smart. So was Winter.
“And you have – you have friends here?”
“Bishop’s doing grad work across the street at Zimmer U. Melinda’s working on her masters in education here, for the most part.”
“And you are continuing to pursue, it appears, a complete survey of every class provided by this college.”
“Well.” Summer leaned forward, smiling finally. “Only if you can help me. There’s a class – it’s actually a higher-level math class focusing on business statistics – that’s only offered once every four years normally, but I didn’t have the prereq last time it came around, and that was, ah, that was last year.”
Dr. MacEeachern pinched a generous nose. “I have to ask, Miss Roundtree. Are you asking for my help in getting the class offering scheduled moved? I do happen to know who would be teaching it, yes. Or are you asking for my help in finding other things to fill the remaining two and a half years until it’s available again?”
Summer chuckled. “Dr. MacEachern.” She half-bowed from a sitting position. “I think that you and I are going to understand each other just fine. Oh, I have my hopes for classes this semester. And since I haven’t tried your major yet… it seems like it’s time for me to change majors again.”
“I-” Dr. MacEachern studied the paper Summer passed her. “I think, Miss RoundTree, that I might enjoy having you in my classes. But- please bring aspirin next time.”
Originally posted on Patreon in October 2018 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
Here’s Autumn in autumn.
By the nature of her travels, Autumn tended to see places, if she saw them repeatedly, during the same season every year.
So she might have been forgiven for missing this particular place, since for five years, she saw it only in the stage when spring slides into summer.
She thought it a particularly bright place then, cheerful and full of excitement and a little bit too chaotic for her tastes, even when she was feeling a little excited and a little eager. She would stay a night, dance in their party – there always seemed to be a party – and move on with a smile, leaving behind one more drawing in their bustling bar.
It was autumn now, coming into the time when she would have to go further south or find a warmer place to settle for a few months, and a broken part in her van had pointed her in a direction she would not normally have taken. Continue reading
Originally posted on Patreon in September 2018 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
This story is not, per se, for this month, but since it’s about Autumn, here it is. This is because Eseme made an Autumn doll, but her hair faded, leaving me with the urge to write a story about Autumn’s hair fading.
The working title of this story, right up ‘till today, was ‘Autumn Hair.’
At over 7000 words, it’s a bit of a read.
The fest was just beginning Day Four — Thursday — when Autumn came into town to set up her booth. That was within the festival rules; as long as you were there for the weekend and as long as you paid for the time you were there, you could show you whenever. It was part of what had attracted her to the fest in the first place.
She unloaded her gear from the back of her van, set up her tent, and, from the pleasant shade of its canopy, looked around. Continue reading
“What… what is this thing?”
“It’s a van.” Autumn looked at her sisters in confusion. “You know, driver goes here, then park, sleep goes back there? Art supplies in the middle, passengers hold on for dear life?”
“Autumn…?” Spring raised her eyebrows. “Have you looked at this thing?”
“I had Cousin Jimmy look under the hood for me and Aunt Caroline did a thorough inspection…?” Autumn was hovering somewhere between offended and worried. “Guys, the paint is a little esoteric but it’s my van, it has to be a little weird.”
“No, no, I like the paint.” Summer patted the side of the machine lightly. “Good van. It looks like the dappling of sunlight on the forest floor. Autumn, when you were painting it, did you, ah, did you paint it?” Continue reading
He was actually interested in her art, which she probably should have expected, and knew things to ask about technique and had interest in both her process and her decisions, which was a pleasant surprise. It took her a while to pry them both away from talking about her art, and when she did, she found herself almost quoting that old saw “Well, enough about me, what do you think of me?”
“So, why do you like it? My art?” she asked, feeling a little shy. “I mean, I don’t think it was my pretty face that got you hiking till your feet bled, was it?” Continue reading