Sundays With Ingrid (Dedicated To Sammie, In Memory)
Were people at school looking at her funny? Ingrid couldn’t tell. Ms. Groome was looking at her funny for sure, but nothing new there. “And now, class,” said Ms. Groome, “we’ve got just enough time for a quick pop quiz. Pass these around.”
Ms. Groome had a thing for pop quizzes. This one – with the heading Algebra Two Pop Quiz #46 – had seven questions, which should have been a good omen, but Ingrid knew better. She scanned the first one: Two rafts are floating down the Mississippi River. The first raft travels at a speed of …
Floating down the Mississippi River. That sounded pretty good right now. Ingrid had never seen the Mississippi River. Never even seen it, and yet she’d spent whole years of her life inside this school building, Ferrand Middle, where the air got so stuffy and overheated on winter afternoons like this. Nothing to be done about it – that was the way things were. But why? Did it have anything to do with those huge economic forces Dad sometimes talked about? Like surfers on a wave – we can change our own direction a little bit but we can’t change the wave.
In the margin of Pop Quiz #46 Ingrid started sketching a surfer on a wave. Where to begin? How about the surfer’s legs? Surfing must be all about balance, so maybe an angling calf line like so, and then another one, narrowing down to –
“Class. Pencils down. Pass your papers forward.”
Yikes. Ingrid whipped through the answer boxes, filling in numbers willy-nilly.
“I see that ‘pencils down’ doesn’t apply to you, Bruce. Mind telling the class what makes you so special?”
Everyone waited in anticipation. This was going to be good. Thank God for Brucie. Ingrid erased the beginnings of the surfer on her wave and passed in her quiz.
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