Blog Post #3
First Marking Period
Our Fearless Leader, Fizz Ed, Friends, Heathering, Burrow, Devils Destroy, Cheerleaders, The Opposite of Inspiration is...Expiration?
Melinda is still dodging the principal and skipping some classes, and then, there is gym. Ugh. Gym, Physical Education. Best part of the day for some people, worst for others, and the rest just muddle through. Even though Nicole is not really talking to Melinda, she isn’t downright mean, and while it’s not much of a lifeline, it is something. Then there is Rachel/Rachelle. What an awful ex-friend. I wish I was in that bathroom with Melinda, and could have given Rachel a piece of my mind. She’s so toxic, and even though it is painful in the moment, it’s probably best in the long run that Melinda doesn’t have her as a friend anymore.
But wait, there’s more. Heather. I don’t know who I feel for more, Melinda or Heather. I’ve been there. Trying so hard to find something that fits, something that will make you belong. In this case, Heather is the perfect friend for Melinda. She is so wrapped up in her goals to be something, that she never pays close attention to Melinda, or tries to analyze Melinda’s feelings and actions. Part of that can be excused by the fact that Heather never knew the old Melinda, thus, has nothing to compare her current behavior to, no standard to live up to or match. But still, Melinda is no fool, and she knows that she, and her behavior, can fly under the radar, as long as she has Heather as her main “friend”.
And then Burrow. Yes! Here comes the librarian. OK, so she’s not exactly a superhero or game changer (well, and argument can be made as the origin of the pass idea), but she certainly does not make things worse. And, maybe even more importantly, this is the chapter where Melinda finds her solace, an old janitor’s closet, which literally becomes her safe space….and then bam! Laurie Halse Anderson pulls no punches. In Devils Destroy, we see Melinda overtly bullied, and the party that started all of this trauma is brought up. Months later, and her peers still can’t let it go. Two sentences I love from this chapter. “The same boys who got detention in elementary school for beating the crap out of people are now rewarded for it. They call it football.” And, “Our cheerleaders are much better at scoring than the football team is.” Oooh, burn. And no worries, those very same cheerleaders get their own chapter. Do yourself a favor. Read it, if you already haven’t. And the, please let me know what you think!
And then, finally, a breath of fresh air. Even though Melinda is struggling with her art project, she is able to at least try, and she is working through some of her struggles and emotions. I also loved when Mr. Freeman recommends that the students use books to study the Masters.
a : straying outside the proper path or bounds ▪ an errant calf
b : moving about aimlessly or irregularly ▪ an errant breeze
c : behaving wrongly ▪ an errant child
*All definitions taken from Merriam-Webster