Answers 1Add Yours
Meet Melinda, our narrator. She's riding the bus to her first day of high school. It's bad. Her old friends won't talk to her, much less sit with her on the bus. The school assembly is worse. Kids are laughing at her. Rachel is with them. Melinda wishes she could tell Rachel, especially Rachel, her secret. Melinda reads Rachel's lips saying "I hate you" (1.11). She wants to cry.
The narrator misses biology class because she can't find it. English class is taught by a woman with "no face" (2.1) whom Melinda calls Hairwoman. Social Studies class is taught by a teacher Melinda calls Mr. Neck. Lunch is bad. The problem of having nobody to sit with is solved when a guy called Basketball Pole hits Melinda with mashed potatoes, causing her to flee. Mr. Neck stops her, and since she can't tell him why she's leaving, she gets in trouble.
Next stop: Art class. Much better. Another old friend, Ivy, is here, but she and Melinda don't make eye contact. Mr. Freeman, the art teacher, says that they are in "the only class that will teach [them] how to survive" (4.3). Everybody pulls slips of paper from a broken globe Mr. Freeman passes around. Whatever is on the paper is what they'll be working on for the year. Melinda's paper says "tree."