Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Golden Age essays

The Golden Age essays In the essay "The Myth of the Golden Age" by Mary Beth Norton, Mary did not agree with historians that is was a "Golden Age" for women during the colonial period. She feels that women's lives outside the home were severely limited. Mary felt women never achieved a status later to be lost. The colonial period, even comparatively speaking, was not a golden age for women. During the colonial period most white women were expected to devote their chief energies to housekeeping and to the care of the children. As husbands where expected to support them by raising crops or working for wages. Women also did some outside chores such as gathering fruits and vegetables. They also made clothes for their family. Only the wealthiest women who had servants escaped some of these labors. Native American women had similar work roles. They did not do the spinning of wool or weaving but they did make clothes by tanning and processing the hides of the animals their husbands killed. Like their white counterparts the Native American also drew a division between the domestic labors of women to the public realm of men. Black women were more inclined to work both in field and in house. More often black women engaged in labor out of doors then the whites. Contact with persons outside their immediate family for both white and black females was rare. So many women would take advantage of social interaction by attending church. Important information was passes on by person to person mostly at the local taverns of the county courthouse, both of which were male bastions. Urban women where not so isolated. Their housing where closer then those in the farm and plantation area. They could visit friends and family. They also had the opportunity to attend school. Plus their household tasks was less demanding they had time to take up some of the amenities of the urban setting. Faced with a paucity of alternatives, colonial women made the best of their situation...

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Case Study The Vermont Teddy Bear Co Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words

Case Study The Vermont Teddy Bear Co - Essay Example This study will carry out an environmental scanning basically to assess the elements having profound bearing on the Vermont Teddy Bear Co. Accordingly, a SWOT analysis has been conducted to identify the strategic factors (external and internal both) which will determine the future of the company (Wheelen, 2006, p. 9). While considering opportunities in external factors, on top of the list is the bear grams. Despite the huge toy market, Vermont Teddy Bear Company has remained a front runner in this field. As pointed out by the Wheelen and Hunger "Bear-Grams were personalized teddy bears that were delivered directly to recipients as gifts for holidays and special occasions. Bear-Grams were gift-boxed in unique containers complete with air holes for the bear"(2006, Case 22-9). This reflects the exclusivity and distinctiveness of the product. The second factor considered is the distribution method. After having experimented various methods, the company concluded that the direct marketing strategy of Bear-Grams was the most profitable. Methods of distribution used were the company owned retail stores, direct mail catalogs, and licensing and wholesale agreements. In order to expand its product line and cut costs, the company went into offshore sourcing.

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Advertising Effect on Adolescents in Saudi Arabia and United Essay

The Advertising Effect on Adolescents in Saudi Arabia and United States - Essay Example This essay looks at historical and contemporary examples to research the gap in generational identity patterns and the conflict between traditional and modern values in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, widely considered to be one of the most conservative governments and political societies in the world. The availability and effect of modern media, particularly from Western sources of production, such as television, movies, and music in Saudi Arabia will be reviewed from contemporary reports and placed in the context of wider social change movements such as the â€Å"Arab Spring†, democratization, and reform that seemingly threaten traditional values and identities in the Kingdom. The introduction of Western and modern values or identity constructs through commercial advertizing will also be analyzed with reference to youth movements and new developments in the Saudi economy resulting from lifestyle pattern changes. The economic and social results of this process will be further re lated in context to the issues of globalization, democratization, and modernization as they portend a change in values in Saudi Arabian culture. The emphasis of this study will be in analyzing the effect of advertising on Saudi adolescents particularly, as this is psychologically when the most important aspects of personal character definition are formed, and socially this represents the time period when human individuals are most open to experimentation with patterns of identity, character, and personality formation. The research methodology of this essay will include a comparison of research into adolescent identity structures and behavior in the U.S. and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in order to determine the similarities and differences between the two experiences both subjectively and objectively. Rather than assuming that Saudi and American youth culture will develop on the same patterns of expression, the essay will instead look to build an understanding of the similarities and differences between the two adolescent experiences referencing the mainstream national culture and its values as the main social variable to which individual experience reacts, conforms, or rebels personally. The essay concludes with a review of the ways that both local and global mass-media values influence adolescent identity patterns in Saudi Arabia, and the way that these expressions differ fundamentally from adolescent experience in the USA due to the different constitutional historical and religious beliefs of both cultures. Modernity and Saudi Arabia The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the most traditional countries on earth currently due to the combined effects of the political monarchy and royal system which rules as a protector of the religious and cultural values of Islam, represented in the most sacred holy places of the religion. The yearly travel of millions of Muslims to Saudi Arabia annually for the Hajj pilgrimage and to visit the holy places of Islam has made th e country the traditional center for international Arabic learning. The protection of the holy places and Islam is arguably the highest duty that the Saudi

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Genetically modified organism Essay Example for Free

Genetically modified organism Essay The controversy over genetically modified (GM) food, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is viewed in diverse manners worldwide. Some individuals believe that GM food is more beneficial to society than not, while others bear strong beliefs that they may cause negative and harmful effects in the future. There are several reasons that could lead a person to believe that GM foods have a variety of advantages. However, there are various factors that could lead a person to believe otherwise as well. In the article entitled, â€Å"Counterpoint: Genetically Modified Foods Should be Carefully Regulated,† Sally Driscoll and David Morley discuss their opinions regarding GM food. Genetically modified foods are produced and sold nationwide. However, the United States government does not require GM food to be labeled as such. Therefore, when Americans purchase food, they are predominantly unaware of what they are buying and consuming. Everyone has their own opinion regarding this matter and whether or not the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) should regulate and identify GM food from the rest. Many argue that consumers should have the right to decide whether or not to purchase GM food as well. In order to do so, GM food would have to be regulated and labeled accordingly before placed on store shelves and sold to consumers (Driscoll Morley, 2011, p. 1). In the article entitled, â€Å"Genetically Modified Foods: An Overview,† written by Alex Rich and Tom Warhol, 92 percent of Americans feel GM ingredients in food products should be labeled. However, members of the FDA argue that GM food is indeed very similar to non- GM food and bears no potential risk. In other words, they feel labels are an unnecessary part of GM marketing (Rich Warhol, 2011, p. 2). Europe eventually made it illegal to sell GM food without labeling it. When labeling became mandatory, the sales of genetically modified food dropped drastically. Many Americans believe if this were to become mandated in the United States as well, many consumers (when afforded the opportunity to have a choice between the two) would chose food that does not contain GM ingredients. Since there is no way to differentiate between GM food and unaltered food, consumers that wish to steer clear of GM food purchase organic food (Driscoll Morley, 2011, p. 3). Research showed that several Americans do not have a side in the issue regarding GM foods. Studies showed the majority was actually â€Å"unaware of, an unconcerned about† GM cropping and marketing (Rich Warhol, 2011, p. 3). Critics of genetically modified food view this situation differently. They believe the primary reason Americans are so laid back with this issue is due to the fact that they are uninformed as to which products they purchase have been genetically modified (Rich Warhol, 2011, p. 4). In other words, how can Americans have an opinion on a topic they know nothing about and have never been educated on? Food is an essential and significant part of everyday life. For thousands of years, humans have been consuming the same types of food. However, genetics have become more advanced throughout the years, allowing scientists to alter plants and animals. Traditionally, animals are the subject of scientific research â€Å"but it is now humans who are being treated as guinea pigs, every time they are subjected to GM meats and other products. † In 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deemed it safe for humans to consume cloned animals, while the USDA recommended that GM foods stay off the market indefinitely. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove that GM food will bear any negative long-term effects (Driscoll Morley, 2011, p. 2). Environmentally, some farmers believe herbicide and insecticide-engineered plants are not as beneficial to the environment as they are made out to be. This method discontinues weeds and/or insects temperamentally because it allows them to become immune to crops. However, because they build up a resistance to crops, additional pesticide spraying is needed regardless (Driscoll Morley, 2011, p. 4). Cross pollination is an area of major concern as well. For crops being grown outdoors, cross pollination can occur from the wind or insects. Because cross pollination is an event in which farmers have little or no control over, those who attempt to grow organic food should reconsider their techniques and produce their crops strictly indoors (Driscoll Morley, 2011, p. 3). This is the only true way to prevent these unwanted mishaps. In the essay entitled, â€Å"A Cure for World Hunger or ‘Frankenfood,’† Justin Petersen discusses the benefits and negative aspects of GM food. His argument solely depends upon the situation given at hand. If GM food can prevent malnourishment in some countries, why not produce mass amounts of GM food? However, why are Americans not demanding stricter regulations and research studies so they may decide for themselves whether or not they want to put these types of food into their bodies? These are some of the questions he attempts to answer and he also tries to inform his readers of both the negative and positive outlooks on GM food (Veit Gould, 2011, p. 519). For nearly twenty years, scientists have argued that GM crops can assist in the prevention and elimination of citizens starving in countries where the majority of the population is in poverty. Because GM food can withstand pests, diseases, and droughts, costs can be reduced and larger yields of crops can be harvested. This is one way to alleviate the amount of malnourished people residing in less fortunate countries. According to Petersen, in the year 2000, â€Å"more than 800 million people throughout the world were starving or malnourished, while five million children died each year as a direct result. † Although it is not guaranteed to end world hunger completely and indefinitely, GM technology is continuing to grow and advance (Veit Gould, 2011, p. 510). If utilized properly in underdeveloped countries for people in great need, GM food would terminate a significant amount of starving and suffering families throughout the world. The FDA does not test food for safety before it is placed on store shelves. Instead, they allow the companies themselves to test their own products. Many companies, however, voluntarily test their products before placing them on the market. There are allergens that are introduced into some genetically modified foods in certain companies but since they are not tested by the FDA, they cannot be placed on the labels. Therefore, buyers of the products are uninformed of the ingredients in their food, making those with allergies more susceptible to allergic reactions. As Petersen said, â€Å"That just underscores why it’s so important that the government require companies to test genetically engineered foods for new allergens (Veit Gould, 2011, p. 515). † Several people must consume certain specific GM products in order for a company to be absolutely certain of which proteins will and will not result in an allergic reaction. A recommendation made for the FDA is to â€Å"require companies to test every newly introduced protein to see if it resembles known food allergens (Veit Gould, 2011, p. 516). † Whether or not society is for or against GM food, it will always be an issue of growing concern. As advances in technology progress and people become more open minded about the situation, laws will either be created to provide certain regulations or people will just have to accept the fact that GM food is not labeled. If it is that much of a concern to an individual, organic food is always an option. While fortunate countries may be primarily concerned with government regulations, it would overall, as in Petersen’s essay, be a very beneficial idea for the less fortunate countries since they literally have people starving to death. Petersen’s essay best depicted the overall views of both sides. Several factors made it possible to decipher for oneself what is adequate. References Driscoll, S. , Morley, D. C. (2011). Counterpoint: Genetically Modified Foods Should be Carefully Regulated, 1-4. Retrieved from EBSCOhost Database. Rich, A. K. , Warhol, T. (2011). Genetically Modified Foods: An Overview, 1-4. Retrieved from EBSCOhost Database. Veit, R. , Gould, C. (2010). Argument: Reading, Writing, and Research. Writing, Reading, Research. Boston, MA: Wadsworth.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

What is the role of the river in The adventures of Huckleberry Finn? :: essays research papers fc

What is the role of the river in The adventures of Huckleberry Finn? The Mississippi river seems to control the form of the story. In Mark Twain’s The adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck’s adventure is affected by the river in three parts; These parts are before the river, on the river and after the river. Huck’s adventure is steered by the river to show that, in any story, the beginning and end are undefined.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Before the river, Huck and all of his friends are introduced, and he is in civilization, which Huck despises. Eventually, Huck his to escape. Huck eventually gets to the river, when his real adventure begins. Huck meets Jim on the island where he is hiding for the time being. This is when the river seems to start to influence them. They both decide to go on the raft, and travel down the river, unknowing of what could happen. T.S. Eliot says â€Å"What we call its headwaters is only a selection from among the innumerable sources which flow together to compose it† (154.) This beginning of the story starts in the middle, which reflects the river; One does not see the beginning of the river, only all of its sources moving together. Huck’s story is just like this. The story also develops and progresses while on the river.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Huck and Jim continue on the river as it guides them and forms the story. The river â€Å"cannot tolerate any design, to a story which is its story, that might interfere with its nce. Things must merely happen, here and there, to the people who live along its shores or commit themselves to its current† (154). The river surely seems to do this in Huck’s adventure, casting them into unsuspected adventures, introducing them to odd new people. Huck and Jim also come across problems that they need to figure out on the fly, problems that seemingly come from nowhere. The river also seems a sanctuary to Huck and Jim. These things are undefined especially because they seem random, or unpredictable. Of course, the river has these paths that it steers Huck and Jim on, and they accept them and go with the flow, no pun intended. Huck and Jim also finish the story with something that doesn’t seem to end their story- merely a continuation.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  A continuation, like the river always displays because â€Å"at the end it merely disappears among its deltas: it is no longer there, but it is still where it was, hundreds of miles to the North† (154).

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Shadow Kiss Chapter 29

Twenty-nine NEARLY A WEEK LATER, I showed up at Adrian's door. We hadn't had classes since the attack, but our normal curfew hours were still in effect, and it was almost bedtime. Adrian's face registered complete and total shock when he saw me. It was the first time I'd ever sought him out, rather than vice versa. â€Å"Little dhampir,† he said, stepping aside. â€Å"Come in.† I did, and was nearly overwhelmed by the smell of alcohol as I passed him. The Academy's guest housing was nice, but he clearly hadn't done much to keep his suite clean. I had a feeling he'd probably been drinking nonstop since the attack. The TV was on, and a small table by the couch held a half-empty bottle of vodka. I picked it up and read the label. It was in Russian. â€Å"Bad time?† I asked, setting it back down. â€Å"Never a bad time for you,† he told me gallantly. His face looked haggard. He was still as good-looking as ever, but there were dark circles under his eyes like he hadn't been sleeping well. He waved me toward an armchair and sat down on the couch. â€Å"Haven't seen much of you.† I leaned back. â€Å"I haven't wanted to be seen,† I admitted. I'd hardly spoken to anyone since the attack. I'd spent a lot of time by myself or with Lissa. I took comfort from being around her, but we hadn't said much. She understood that I needed to process things and had simply been there for me, not pushing me on things I didn't want to talk about – even though there were a dozen things she wanted to ask. The Academy's dead had been honored in one group memorial service, although their families had made arrangements for each person's respective funeral. I'd gone to the larger service. The chapel had been packed, with standing room only. Father Andrew had read the names of the dead, listing Dimitri and Molly among them. No one was talking about what had really happened to them. There was too much other grief anyway. We were drowning in it. No one even knew how the Academy would pick up the pieces and start running again. â€Å"You look worse than I do,† I told Adrian. â€Å"I didn't think that was possible.† He brought the bottle to his lips and took a long drink. â€Å"Nah, you always look good. As for me †¦ well, it's hard to explain. The auras are getting to me. There's so much sorrow around here. You can't even begin to understand. It radiates from everyone on a spiritual level. It's overwhelming. It makes your dark aura downright cheerful.† â€Å"Is that why you're drinking?† â€Å"Yup. It's shut my aura-vision right off, thankfully, so I can't give you a report today.† He offered me the bottle, and I shook my head. He shrugged and took another drink. â€Å"So what can I do for you, Rose? I have a feeling you aren't here to check on me.† He was right, and I only felt a little bad about what I was here for. I'd done a lot of thinking this last week. Processing my grief for Mason had been hard. In fact, I hadn't even really quite resolved it when the ghost business had started. Now I had to mourn all over again. After all, more than Dimitri had been lost. Teachers had died, guardians and Moroi alike. None of my close friends had died, but people I knew from classes had. They'd been students at the Academy as long as I had, and it was weird to think I'd never see them again. That was a lot of loss to deal with, a lot of people to say goodbye to. But†¦ Dimitri. He was a different case. After all, how did you say goodbye to someone who wasn't exactly gone? That was the problem. â€Å"I need money,† I told Adrian, not bothering with pretense. He arched an eyebrow. â€Å"Unexpected. From you, at least. I get that kind of request a lot from others. Pray tell, what would I be funding?† I glanced away from him, focusing on the television. It was a commercial for some kind of deodorant. â€Å"I'm leaving the Academy,† I said finally. â€Å"Also unexpected. You're only a few months out from graduation.† I met his eyes. â€Å"It doesn't matter. I have things to do now.† â€Å"I never figured you'd be one of the dropout guardians. You going to join the blood whores?† â€Å"No,† I said. â€Å"Of course not.† â€Å"Don't act so offended. That's not an unreasonable assumption. If you're not going to be a guardian, what else are you going to do?† â€Å"I told you. I have things I have to take care of.† He arched an eyebrow. â€Å"Things that are going to get you into trouble?† I shrugged. He laughed. â€Å"Stupid question, huh? Everything you do gets you in trouble.† He propped his elbow up on the couch's arm and rested his chin in his hand. â€Å"Why'd you come to me for money?† â€Å"Because you have it.† This also made him laugh. â€Å"And why do you think I'll give it to you?† I didn't say anything. I just looked at him, forcing as much womanly charm as I could into my expression. His smile went away, and his green eyes narrowed in frustration. He jerked his gaze away. â€Å"Damn it, Rose. Don't do that. Not now. You're playing on how I feel about you. That's not fair.† He gulped more vodka. He was right. I'd come to him because I thought I could use his crush to get what I wanted. It was low, but I had no choice. Getting up, I moved over and sat beside him. I held his hand. â€Å"Please, Adrian,† I said. â€Å"Please help me. You're the only one I can go to.† â€Å"That's not fair,† he repeated, slurring his words a little. â€Å"You're using those come-hither eyes on me, but it's not me you want. It's never been me. It's always been Belikov, and God only knows what you'll do now that he's gone.† He was right about that too. â€Å"Will you help me?† I asked, still playing up the charisma. â€Å"You're the only one I could talk to †¦ the only one who really understands me†¦.† â€Å"Are you coming back?† he countered. â€Å"Eventually.† Tipping his head back, he exhaled a heavy breath. His hair, which I'd always thought looked stylishly messy, simply looked messy today. â€Å"Maybe it's for the best if you leave. Maybe you'll get over him faster if you go away for a while. Wouldn't hurt to be away from Lissa's aura either. It might slow yours from darkening – stop this rage you always seem to be in. You need to be happier. And stop seeing ghosts.† My seduction faltered for a moment. â€Å"Lissa isn't why I'm seeing ghosts. Well, she is, but not in the way you think. I see the ghosts because I'm shadow-kissed. I'm tied to the world of the dead, and the more I kill, the stronger that connection becomes. It's why I see the dead and why I feel weird when Strigoi are near. I can sense them now. They're tied to that world too.† He frowned. â€Å"You're saying the auras mean nothing? That you aren't taking away the effects of spirit?† â€Å"No. That's happening too. That's why this has all been so confusing. I thought there was just one thing going on, but there've been two. I see the ghosts because of being shadow-kissed. I'm getting†¦ upset and angry†¦ bad, even†¦ because I'm taking away Lissa's dark side. That's why my aura's darkening, why I'm getting so enraged lately. Right now, it just sort of plays out as a really bad temper†¦.† I frowned, thinking of the night Dimitri had stopped me from going after Jesse. â€Å"But I don't know what it'll turn into next.† Adrian sighed. â€Å"Why is everything so complicated with you?† â€Å"Will you help me? Please, Adrian?† I ran my fingers along his hand. â€Å"Please help me.† Low, low. This was so low of me, but it didn't matter. Only Dimitri did. Finally, Adrian looked back at me. For the first time ever, he looked vulnerable. â€Å"When you come back, will you give me a fair shot?† I hid my surprise. â€Å"What do you mean?† â€Å"It's like I said. You've never wanted me, never even considered me. The flowers, the flirting †¦ it rolled right off you. You were so gone for him, and nobody noticed. If you go do your thing, will you take me seriously? Will you give me a chance when you return?† I stared. I definitely hadn't expected this. My initial instinct was to say no, that I could never love anybody again, that my heart had been shattered along with that piece of my soul that Dimitri held. But Adrian was looking at me so earnestly, and there was none of his joking nature. He meant what he said, and I realized all the affection for me he'd always teased about hadn't been a joke either. Lissa had been right about his feelings. â€Å"Will you?† he repeated. God only knows what you'll do now that he's gone. â€Å"Of course.† Not an honest answer, but a necessary one. Adrian looked away and drank more vodka. There wasn't much left. â€Å"When are you leaving?† â€Å"Tomorrow.† Setting the bottle down, he stood up and walked off into the bedroom. He returned with a large stack of cash. I wondered if he kept it under his bed or something. He handed it to me wordlessly and then picked up the phone and made some calls. The sun was up, and the human world, which handled most Moroi money, was also up and awake. I tried to watch TV while he talked, but I couldn't concentrate. I kept wanting to scratch the back of my neck. Because there was no way of knowing exactly how many Strigoi I and the others had killed, we'd all been given a different kind of tattoo instead of the usual set of molnija marks. I'd forgotten its name, but this tattoo looked like a little star. It meant that the bearer had been in a battle and killed many Strigoi. When he finally finished his calls, Adrian handed me a piece of paper. It had the name and address of a bank in Missoula. â€Å"Go there,† he said. â€Å"I'm guessing you have to go to Missoula first anyway if you're actually going on to anywhere civilized. There's an account set up for you with †¦ a lot of money in it. Talk to them, and they'll finish the paperwork with you.† I stood up and stuffed the bills in my jacket. â€Å"Thank you,† I said. Without hesitating, I reached out and hugged him. The scent of vodka was overpowering, but I felt I owed him. I was taking advantage of his feelings for me in order to further my own devices. He put his arms around me and held me for several seconds before letting go. I brushed my lips against his cheek as we broke apart, and I thought he might stop breathing. â€Å"I won't forget this,† I murmured in his ear. â€Å"I don't suppose you'll tell me where you're going?† he asked. â€Å"No,† I said. â€Å"I'm sorry.† â€Å"Just keep your promise and come back.† â€Å"I didn't actually use the word promise,† I pointed out. He smiled and pressed a kiss to my forehead. â€Å"You're right. I'm going to miss you, little dhampir. Be careful. If you ever need anything, let me know. I'll be waiting for you.† I thanked him again and left, not bothering to tell him he might be waiting a long time. There was a very real possibility that I might not be coming back. The next day, I got up early, long before most of campus was awake. I'd hardly slept. I slung a bag over my shoulder and walked over to the main office in the administrative building. The office wasn't open yet either, so I sat down on the floor in the hallway outside of it. Studying my hands as I waited, I noticed two tiny flecks of gold on my thumbnail. They were the only remnants of my manicure. About twenty minutes later, the secretary showed up with the keys and let me in. â€Å"What can I do for you?† she asked, once she was seated at her desk. I handed her a stack of papers I'd been holding. â€Å"I'm withdrawing.† Her eyes widened to impossible size. â€Å"But†¦what†¦you can't†¦Ã¢â‚¬  I tapped the stack. â€Å"I can. It's all filled out.† Still gaping, she muttered something to me about waiting, and then scurried out of the room. A few minutes later, she returned with Headmistress Kirova. Kirova had apparently been briefed and was looking at me very disapprovingly down her beaklike nose. â€Å"Miss Hathaway, what's the meaning of this?† â€Å"I'm leaving,† I said. â€Å"Quitting. Dropping out. Whatever.† â€Å"You can't do that,† she said. â€Å"Well, obviously I can, since you guys keep withdrawal paperwork in the library. It's all filled out the way it needs to be.† Her anger changed into something sadder and more anxious. â€Å"I know a lot has gone on lately – we're all having trouble adjusting – but that's no reason to make a hasty decision. If anything, we need you more than ever.† She was almost pleading. Hard to believe she'd wanted to expel me six months ago. â€Å"This wasn't hasty,† I said. â€Å"I thought a lot about it.† â€Å"Let me at least get your mother so we can talk this out.† â€Å"She left for Europe three days ago. Not that it matters anyway.† I pointed to the line on the top form that said date of birth. â€Å"I'm eighteen today. She can't do anything anymore. This is my choice. Now, will you stamp the form, or are you actually going to try to restrain me? Pretty sure I could take you in a fight, Kirova.† They stamped my packet, not happily. The secretary made a copy of the official paper that declared I was no longer a student at St. Vladimir's Academy. I'd need it to get out the main gate. It was a long walk to the front of the school, and the western sky was red as the sun slipped over the horizon. The weather had warmed up, even at night. Spring had finally come. It made for good walking weather since I had a ways to go before I made it to the highway. From there, I'd hitchhike to Missoula. Hitchhiking wasn't safe, but the silver stake in my coat pocket made me feel pretty secure about anything I'd face. No one had taken it away from me after the raid, and it would work just as well against creepy humans as it did with Strigoi. I could just make out the gates when I sensed her. Lissa. I stopped walking and turned toward a cluster of bud-covered trees. She'd been standing in them, perfectly still, and had managed to hide her thoughts so well that I hadn't realized she was practically right next to me. Her hair and eyes glowed in the sunset, and she seemed too beautiful and too ethereal to be part of this dreary landscape. â€Å"Hey,† I said. â€Å"Hey.† She wrapped her arms around herself, cold even in her coat. Moroi didn't have the same resistance to temperature changes that dhampirs did. What I found warm and springlike was still chilly to her. â€Å"I knew it,† she said. â€Å"Ever since that day they said his body was gone. Something told me you'd do this. I was just waiting.† â€Å"Can you read my mind now?† I asked ruefully. â€Å"No, I can just read you. Finally. I can't believe how blind I was. I can't believe I never noticed. Victor's comment†¦ he was right.† She glanced off at the sunset, then turned her gaze back on me. A flash of anger, both in her feelings and her eyes, hit me. â€Å"Why didn't you tell me?† she cried. â€Å"Why didn't you tell me you loved Dimitri?† I stared. I couldn't remember the last time Lissa had yelled at anyone. Maybe last fall, when all the Victor insanity had gone down. Loud outbursts were my thing, not hers. Even when torturing Jesse, her voice had been deadly quiet. â€Å"I couldn't tell anyone,† I said. â€Å"I'm your best friend, Rose. We've been through everything together. Do you really think I would have told? I would have kept it secret.† I looked at the ground. â€Å"I know you would have. I just†¦ I don't know. I couldn't talk about it. Not even to you. I can't explain it.† â€Å"How†¦Ã¢â‚¬  She groped for the question her mind had already formed. â€Å"How serious was it? Was it just you or – ?† â€Å"It was both of us,† I told her. â€Å"He felt the same. But we knew we couldn't be together, not with our age†¦and, well, not when we were supposed to be protecting you.† Lissa frowned. â€Å"What do you mean?† â€Å"Dimitri always said that if we were involved, we'd worry more about protecting each other than you. We couldn't do that.† Guilt coursed through her at the thought that she'd been responsible for keeping us apart. â€Å"It's not your fault,† I said quickly. â€Å"Surely†¦there must have been a way. †¦ It wouldn't have been a problem†¦.† I shrugged, unwilling to think about or mention our last kiss in the forest, back when Dimitri and I had thought we'd figured out a solution to all of our problems. â€Å"I don't know,† I said. â€Å"We just tried to stay apart. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't.† Her mind was a tumble of emotions. She felt sorry for me, but at the same time, she was mad. â€Å"You should have told me,† she repeated. â€Å"I feel like you don't trust me.† â€Å"Of course I trust you.† â€Å"Is that why you're sneaking off?† â€Å"That has nothing to do with trust,† I admitted. â€Å"It's me†¦well, I didn't want to tell you. I couldn't bear to tell you I was leaving or explain why.† â€Å"I already know,† she said. â€Å"I figured it out.† â€Å"How?† I asked. Lissa was full of surprises today. â€Å"I was there. Last fall when we took that van into Missoula. The shopping trip? You and Dimitri were talking about Strigoi, about how becoming one makes you something twisted and evil†¦how it destroys the person you used to be and makes you do horrible things. And I heard †¦Ã¢â‚¬  She had trouble saying it. I had trouble hearing it, and my eyes grew wet. The memory was too harsh, thinking of sitting with him that day, back when we were first falling in love. Lissa swallowed and continued. â€Å"I heard you both say you'd rather die than become a monster like that.† Silence fell between us. The wind picked up and blew our hair around, dark and light. â€Å"I have to do this, Liss. I have to do it for him.† â€Å"No,† she said firmly. â€Å"You don't have to. You didn't promise him anything.† â€Å"Not in words, no. But you †¦ you don't understand.† â€Å"I understand that you're trying to cope and that this is as good a way as any. You need to find another way to let him go.† I shook my head. â€Å"I have to do this.† â€Å"Even if it means leaving me?† The way she said it, the way she looked at me †¦ oh God. A flood of memories flitted through my mind. We'd been together since childhood. Inseparable. Bound. And yet†¦Dimitri and I had been connected too. Damn it. I'd never wanted to have to choose between them. â€Å"I have to do this,† I said yet again. â€Å"I'm sorry.† â€Å"You're supposed to be my guardian and go with me to college,† she argued. â€Å"You're shadow-kissed. We're supposed to be together. If you leave me †¦Ã¢â‚¬  The ugly coil of darkness was starting to raise its head in my chest. My voice was tight when I spoke. â€Å"If I leave you, they'll get you another guardian. Two of them. You're the last Dragomir. They'll keep you safe.† â€Å"But they won't be you, Rose,† she said. Those luminous green eyes held mine, and the anger in me cooled. She was so beautiful, so sweet†¦ and she seemed so reasonable. She was right. I owed it to her. I needed to – â€Å"Stop it!† I yelled, turning away. She'd been using her magic. â€Å"Do not use compulsion on me. You're my friend. Friends don't use their powers on each other.† â€Å"Friends don't abandon each other,† she snapped back. â€Å"If you were my friend, you wouldn't do it.† I spun back toward her, careful not to look too closely into her eyes, in case she tried compulsion on me again. The rage in me exploded. â€Å"It's not about you, okay? This time, it's about me. Not you. All my life, Lissa †¦ all my life, it's been the same. They come first. I've lived my life for you. I've trained to be your shadow, but you know what? I want to come first. I need to take care of myself for once. I'm tired of looking out for everyone else and having to put aside what I want. Dimitri and I did that, and look what happened. He's gone. I will never hold him again. Now I owe it to him to do this. I'm sorry if it hurts you, but it's my choice!† I'd shouted the words, not even pausing for a breath, and I hoped my voice hadn't carried to the guardians on duty at the gate. Lissa was staring at me, shocked and hurt. Tears ran down her cheeks, and part of me shriveled up at hurting the person I'd sworn to protect. â€Å"You love him more than me,† she said in a small voice, sounding very young. â€Å"He needs me right now.† â€Å"I need you. He's gone, Rose.† â€Å"No,† I said. â€Å"But he will be soon.† I reached up my sleeve and took off the chotki she'd given me for Christmas. I held it out to her. She hesitated and then took it. â€Å"What's this for?† she asked. â€Å"I can't wear it. It's for a Dragomir guardian. I'll take it again when I †¦Ã¢â‚¬  I had almost said if, not when. I think she knew that. â€Å"When I get back.† Her hands closed around the beads. â€Å"Please, Rose. Please don't leave me.† â€Å"I'm sorry,† I said. There were no other words to offer up. â€Å"I'm sorry.† I left her there crying as I walked toward the gate. A piece of my soul had died when Dimitri had fallen. Turning my back on her now, I felt another piece die as well. Soon there wouldn't be anything left inside of me. The guardians at the gate were as shocked as the secretary and Kirova had been, but there was nothing they could do. Happy birthday to me, I thought bitterly. Eighteen at last. It was nothing like I had expected. They opened the gates and I stepped through, outside of the school's grounds and over the wards. The lines were invisible, but I felt strangely vulnerable and exposed, as if I'd leapt a great chasm. And yet, at the same time, I felt free and in control. I started walking down the narrow road. The sun was nearly gone; I'd have to rely on moonlight soon. When I was out of earshot of the guardians, I stopped and spoke. â€Å"Mason.† I had to wait a long time. When he appeared, I could barely see him at all. He was almost completely transparent. â€Å"It's time, isn't it? You're going†¦you're finally moving on to†¦Ã¢â‚¬  Well, I had no clue where he was moving on to. I didn't know anymore what lay beyond, whether it was the realms Father Andrew believed in or some entirely different world that I'd visited. Nonetheless, Mason understood and nodded. â€Å"It's been more than forty days,† I mused. â€Å"So I guess you're overdue. I'm glad †¦ I mean, I hope you find peace. Although I kind of hoped you'd be able to lead me to him.† Mason shook his head, and he didn't need to say a word for me to understand what he wanted to tell me. You're on your own now, Rose. â€Å"It's okay. You deserve your rest. Besides, I think I know where to start looking.† I'd thought about this constantly over the last week. If Dimitri was where I believed he was, I had a lot of work ahead of me. Mason's help would have been nice, but I didn't want to keep bothering him. It seemed like he had enough to deal with. â€Å"Goodbye,† I told him. â€Å"Thanks for your help I †¦ I'll miss you.† His form grew fainter and fainter, and just before it went altogether, I saw the hint of a smile, that laughing and mischievous smile I'd loved so much. For the first time since his death, thinking about Mason no longer devastated me. I was sad and I really would miss him, but I knew he'd moved on to something good – something really good. I no longer felt guilty. Turning away, I stared at the long road winding off ahead of me. I sighed. This trip might take awhile. â€Å"Then start walking, Rose,† I muttered to myself. I set off, off to kill the man I loved. As always, I can never express enough gratitude to the friends and family who hang with me through the ups and downs that go along with writing a book – let alone one as powerful as this. Many thanks to David and Christina for their speedy beta reading; to LA. Gordon and Sherry Kirk for their help with Russian; to Synde Korman for her help with Romanian; to my agent Jim McCarthy who is wise and does all the hard stuff for me; to editors Jessica Rothenberg and Ben Schrank for all of their guidance; to the Team Seattle authors for their distraction and good cheer; and to Jay for being infinitely patient†¦and even making a good joke once in a while.

Monday, January 6, 2020

A Profound Southern American Catholic Novelist, By...

A profound Southern American Catholic novelist, Flannery O’Connor concealed her true spiritual intentions into many of her grotesque stories. Many of her writings involve a tale of a displaced person that is eventually lead to redemption and mercy from God. Through plenty of hardships and mistakes, her protagonists endure a spiritual transformation that leads her characters into enlightenment. O’Connor weaves blatant instances of sacramentality, mediation, communion, mercy, and human dignity into the development of each of her stories. O’Conner revealed sacramentality in thousands of examples throughout her literary marks of genius. In â€Å"Wise Blood,† Hazel’s car exposed sacramentality as a symbol of himself. The car’s beat-up, rugged state and unreliable features mirrored Hazel’s own broken-down spirituality. When the car broke down on the side of the road, Hazel proclaimed, â€Å"This is a good car, Mister! This car can take me a nywhere I wanna go!† (film). He argued that the â€Å"well-built† car could not break down due to its prime initial quality. His connection with the car resembled a part of himself. The car served as Hazel’s longed-for home, podium, and sanctuary; the vehicle even provided him a place to sleep. Also, he found a homebased security atop of his car when he preached about the â€Å"Church Without Christ.† Hazel even declared, â€Å"Nobody with a good car needs to be justified† (film). He used his car to steer himself, literally, away from the truth of God. Hazel tried to