"welcome to merryweather high " through "heathering"
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It is Melinda Sordino’s first day of ninth grade at Merryweather High School and she is the first one on the school bus. After analyzing bus seating etiquette—“wastecases” sit in the back, too many people sit in the middle, and young children sit in the front—Melinda decides to take a seat near the front of the bus, figuring that it is her best chance of seeing her friends as they board. However, as the bus picks up more students, both friend and stranger alike deliberately ignore Melinda. By the time the bus has reached its final stop, Melinda is the only person seated alone.
At Merryweather High, ninth graders are herded into the cafeteria for a freshman orientation. Melinda notices janitors repainting the school sign. Merryweather’s mascot, due to complaints of lewdness, has just changed from the Trojans to the Devils. As she enters the cafeteria, Melinda describes the various cliques the grade has broken up into. Her friend group from last year has disintegrated, and each member has joined a separate clique. Melinda, however, remains alone.