Q: How does a mineral reflect light?
Luster: luster, even more so than color, is the best aspect of a mineral to identify first. It describes whether light bounces off the surface more like shined shoes or dirt or a brand new house key.
Carbon-dated at five and a half years old and
with a speech impediment, I spent weekday
evenings learning how to speak. How to form
words out of the sounds that didn’t quite fit in
my mouth. My parents saw my frustration with
my lack of communication.
They hired a speech therapist, who would come
to my house. She would watch me
eat bananas and make faces with me in the
mirror. She’d sit, red nails taking notes, in a
folding chair as I colored at a wooden table
made for kids. Every time I talked it was a
Metallic: dark silver
The English classrooms in my high school were
situated in a different building (House 1) than the
science classrooms (House 2). With six minutes
between classes, I would rush with my two best
friends, Xinhui and Zoe, across the school as quickly
as we could to move from Biology to English.
Inevitably, we would hit the traffic of the student body
when we passed through the wide auditorium atrium
and into the narrow hallways that always smelled
faintly of corn chips.
My friends didn’t love English. Of course, they were
scientists. They tossed the subject off to me, since I
was one of the few in the class that read the books in
full and didn’t mind the essays.