had been accepted to Tulane it had been one of the most exciting moments of her life. She'd get out of the bayou, away from the almost heart-wrenching poverty of her parish. Most of the kids her age didn't even graduate, and those that did ended up at LSU or in Lafayette. She got to go to Tulane
! About as far away from the dirty Red River and the slummy country towns north of Shreveport. Sure, some might call New Orleans names, but for her it was the Big Easy, the capital of the world, and it had been amazing to get move there. Scholarships and everything! It was too good to be true.
As most things that are too good to be true, it really was, and while Clarissa loved living in New Orleans, loved attending a Southern Ivy, loved the challenge of the course work as she started pursuing a degree in Environmental Biology, she did not
love how poor she was. The scholarship covered tuition, room, and board- and that was only from September to May, when school was in session. Most of her new peers were rich- old rich, plantation rich or oil rich- this wasn't an issue. She couldn't keep up though, and last summer, between her first and second year, most of them were taking fabulous vacations, or internships, or short study abroad programs. Claire was back outside of Shreveport, living in her parent's trailer, and swearing that never again
She'd found some employment of course, enough to cover insurance on her crappy Civic she'd been driving since high school, and to fund a little bit of recreation. Waiting tables and that sort of thing. It wasn't steady though, and constantly interfered with her school schedule. Tulane isn't the kind of university where one can just show up and half-ass some papers at the end of the semester, it was demanding, it was challenging. She needed time to get into the library, to work in the lab. Besides, $300 a week part time might get her through during the school year, but as it was coming to a close, she knew that would barely make a dent in the expenses of summer, especially if she wanted to stay in New Orleans. Shreveport, Oil City, Red River, she couldn't go back there, not again, had worked so hard to make it out.