1) Darcy took an extended summer break after high school that lasted two years. She spent the first working for her uncle in his law firm, delivering documents and being amused when people assumed they were subpoenas. He’s the one that gave her the taser for when she had to go into the ‘bad side of town’, which was of course, where her friends were living.
The next year, her uncle decides that he’s running for State Representative, and she’s hired on as an assistant to his campaign manager. She majors in political science because her uncle is a moron. She could have run a better campaign than her uncle’s used car salesman friend, without even trying. He failed miserably, and while Darcy gained a passion, her uncle just went back to work.
What she finds inspiring is the arrangement and working through the system that she sees the other side doing. Making changes from within the shadows? She wants to run with that. She thinks she can make a good show of it.
2) Darcy is a late bloomer. No one informed her how the Lewis side of the family has a second growth spurt in their early twenties. It literally shapes her freshman year. She’s just turned twenty and her perfectly normal, if slightly ruler straight frame suddenly becomes a roadmap of curves. Her roommate sighs when she has to drive her to the mall for a third time in six months because nothing fits anymore, and then outright refuses to go to the slightly seedy side of the college town when her cups run over what can be found at the mall. But the seedy lingerie stores has a surprising amount of pretty in it, and she spends her meager savings supporting the goods.
She develops her brashness after the fifth party that consists of an eighteen year old peering down her shirt for hours on end. When her attitude just endears them more to her, and a more blatant stare, out comes the modern modest wardrobe over the frills and matching sets. It doesn’t stop anything, but she rather make the morons work for their ogling.
3) One of the biggest gen-ed courses is about War. It’s called something like War: Culture and Conflict, but everyone knows it as the class that ends with most of the sections waging battle with squirt guns on the quad, having spent the semester drawing up battle plans.
Darcy is the only one not disappointed when the professor of her section is clearly unaware of the entire reason people take the class and instead of crafting battle plans, he takes them through the culture of war, a tour through a modern history of the aftermath of conflict through literature.
And while she loves it, her classmates bristle and groan whenever the professor isn’t around. “I don’t want to think of this shit,” a broish business major says, “ I want to graduate and get a job with a cubicle and go home and watch TV. What use is this?” Years later, Darcy wonders about that kid and if he got what he wanted.
Darcy is sent out on clean-ups, job after job and thinks that maybe it’s true, that behind all this some great happiness is hiding.
4) Darcy avoids frat parties and doesn’t really enjoy the college bars and clubs. She tags along with townies and grad students and finds the shitholes they go to. She develops a fondness for whiskey sours and plays hearts in dark corners, slowly getting wasted in the company of good friends.
It’s better this way, she thinks, because who wants to get drunk with strangers? When the polisci honors club “Political Scientists Do It With Institutional Restraint” pub crawl, she’s the only one still standing at the end of the night and that’s a testament to the power of not only drinking the cheap beer at a frat house on Friday nights.
5) It isn’t that Darcy doesn’t like the hard sciences, that’s not why she ended up short during her senior year and didn’t graduate on time. No, she actually really loves science. It’s just that she’s spent three years avoiding lab sciences after a disastrous biology class her first semester, and her GPA can’t handle a hit like that. But Natural Disasters? Earth Sciences? Safety Science? —Those she eats up.
So it’s actually a shock when her adviser tells her that she needs 6 credits of a lab science to graduate.
“But I’m supposed to graduate next semester. I can’t fit two more classes into my schedule and be a functional human person. How am I supposed to do that?” Darcy asks.
Her adviser looks her over and sighs, “You won’t graduate next semester then. But, I’ve got a friend in the physics department,” he hands Darcy a handout, carefully stapled, “He’s got a post-doc with funding who needs an intern. She can’t seem to keep anyone interested.”
Darcy reads it over, “But…it’s paid.” Not much, but it’s enough to keep her alive for another semester, “Why can’t she find anyone?”
“Traveling. It’s in the back end of New Mexico.”
Darcy perks an eyebrow; she’s always wanted to travel.