How Do You Spell G-E-E-K?
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When did you ever feel stupid?
Every year we practice for the spelling bee, you start up where we left off last year. I have to relearn every word from aardvark on. Don't talk to me about feeling stupid. Even oblivious Kimberly noticed. She lowered her eyes. I'm just under a lot of pressure.
How do you spell geek? (Paperback) - Young Adults - Catalog
This is our last chance, and I really want to win. Everyone expects me to win. Especially you-know-who. I knew who. Her parents. The little Hitlers. They expected Kimberly to be perfect. The one time she brought home a B on her report card, she had to do extra credit for the class. In fact, I'm going to Washington and I'm going to win there, too.
So there. The air between us suddenly chilled as we tried to intimidate each other with frozen stares. Naturally I blinked first. That was my problem—no killer instinct. She studied the page. The warning bell jolted us back to reality. Hastily we shoveled the remainder of our lunches into our mouths and scrambled for the cafeteria doors. Kimberly waved over her shoulder while I slammed my locker in unison with—as usual—the late bell. Study hall. A whole hour of pretending to do algebra while sneaking a peek ahead in my Webster's.
Okay, I admit it: I'm a glutton for punishment. What was the definition? Kimberly was right. I was maladjusted. Definitely kidding myself about my chances this year. Everyone knew she'd win. She was the best. Plus, last year's first and second place winners had graduated to the ninth grade, leaving Kimberly alone at the top.
I glanced at the next word. Why wasn't it spelled m-e-e-g-e-r? Long e , right? Was it medal, meddle, metal , or mettle? You'd need bionic ears to hear the difference. Dad teased me once that Ann was short for Analyze.
The next word was a doozie. The Greek goddess of memory. I'd pray to her for help tonight—if I remembered. Sick of practicing, I slammed the dictionary closed. Howell shushed me from the front of the room and got an apologetic shrug in response. Opening my algebra book, I took up my usual study hall position, head on arms on book. Staring out the window, where a Colorado spring snowstorm littered the air with frozen confetti, I repeated the maladjusted definition to myself.
Lacking harmony with one's environment. That hit home. My entire life was off-key. My parents' divorce was the pits. Dad kept the house since his computer consulting business was just a couple of miles away, and part of the time he worked in his office at home. She asked us to move with her, but Chase and I didn't really want to change schools. I mean, we grew up in Denver. All my friends were here. We saw Mom on weekends, when she wasn't busy, which was once a month, maybe, if we made an appointment. I missed her. Two homes, two allowances, two working parents.
If we play our cards right, we can really rake in the big ticket items—cars, CDs, computers. We just make sure Mom and Dad have to compete for us. What a material boy. Though maybe he was right.
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I could use a whole new wardrobe. Plus, if I had pair of leather boots, like the red Georgios Jennifer Caldwell was wearing beside me Howell loomed over me, breathing onions from lunch on my face. Welter would like to see you in her office," he said. Adults were so terribly u-n-a-m-u-s-i-n-g. The principal's office was filled with a lower-life assortment of middle school dropouts.
Vacant-eyed flunkies hung around in the waiting area, straddling the wooden benches or just sniveling in place. Considering all the diseases communicable through wood, I decided to stand. Not to appear totally stuck-up, I leaned against the wall and faked gum chewing. There was a geeky girl standing next to me. She smiled. Welter's door opened suddenly. He turned to holler, "Yeah! Cooties crawled up my arms. Clucking with disgust, I brushed off the invisible vermin.
Welter caught me in her crosshairs.
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She took up her place behind the desk. Smiling at me through steel gray eyes she said, "I'd like to ask a favor of you. You know, teach her about the way things are done here. Be her sponsor. Welter said, "She's been home schooled all her life. I won't know where to place her until she takes her achievement tests.
She comes from a small town in"—Mrs. Welter opened a folder—"Kansas, I think.
How Do You Spell GEEK?
A hick. When was I going to have time to tutor a hick from the sticks? Welter, I appreciate your picking me, but I don't have time to tutor. My schedule is like totally full. Maybe Kimberly—" Oops, she wouldn't appreciate me dropping her name. I thought maybe you could use someone to talk to. Someone who's going through a similar experience. Welter went on, "You won't have to tutor. She just needs someone to show her the ropes, make her feel comfortable here at Shiffley. Since she's never been to public school, she might need a bit of catching up socially.
Actually, this is just the scaffolding of this minor but solid book, whose interior plot has far more to do with trying to spell out feelings than spelling words. Peters The Stinky Sneakers Contest skillfully interweaves the competition with a story of friendship and shifting alliances. Ann, asked to show Lurlene around, first tries to think of ways to escape the odd, clumsy new girl. But when everyone ridicules Lurlene as a "geek," Ann realizes not only who her own real friends are, but that she can be a better person than she imagined.
Believable dialogue testifies to the casual cruelty and stumbling kindnesses of middle-schoolers, as well as their saving humor. Ages Mais livros de Julie Anne Peters Ver tudo. Keeping You a Secret. Lies My Girlfriend Told Me.