|Claudia Kishi Middle School Drop-out Chapters 11-15
||[Feb. 7th, 2017|10:37 pm]
Baby-sitters Club Snark-fest!
Claudia is disgusted at having learned something. I just imagine her as Cosmo from the Fairly Oddparents when he’s talking about school and he’s like, “Nothing bad happens there. Except for learning.” I seriously think Claudia might be morally opposed to learning something that isn’t art. Anyway, Claudia basically learned that no matter how shitty things might seem, it might not be as shitty as you thought. Yeah, I can see a teenager begrudgingly admitting that the world didn’t end when something bad happened.
Claudia’s gotten used to being back in seventh grade and everyone else has, too. Yeah, usually some other shit will happen and whatever dumb shit you did will be forgotten. That’s how I comfort myself when I make a mistake at work and my supervisor isn’t happy. I tell myself that something will come up and she’ll have forgotten about me. This next part is just eye-roll inducing, so forgive me if I do a quick recap without going into too much detail. I don’t want to look at this for any longer than I have to. Also, you guys know when you have lots to say, but you can’t put it into words? Yeah, this is what’s happening.
Basically, Claudia is a celebrity in seventh grade because she’s one year older than the kids. Seventh graders are such dorks and not one of them are as cool as she is and they all know it. She’s actually saying this. I can’t think of any retort but, “Wow, what a conceited bitch.” I’m not sure if I would have thought Claudia was cool. I did want to dress like her, but I don’t know if I would have admired her. The girls I admired usually did well in school. I feel like if I watched Claudia not trying and not doing any homework and whining about doing any homework, I’d be annoyed. I never really had any patience with my classmates complaining that our teacher gave an assignment. And Claudia probably would have been on my shit list for her anti-reading approach.
But yes, Claudia is so popular because she’s in eighth grade and eighth graders are like gods. I did have a degree of awe when it came to the upperclassmen, but it wasn’t like I was sacrificing things to them. I think Claudia’s probably just lying to herself about how popular she is. I refuse to believe the whole grade just kisses her ass. Maybe she’s not paying attention to what people are actually saying. Everyone is wearing what Claudia wears. So it’s like that scene in Mean Girls where Regina wore a top that showed her bra and everyone in school wore that. Now someone random seventh grader is going to be like, “I saw Claudia Kishi wearing a scrunchie, so I bought a scrunchie.
Claudia never has to eat lunch alone because people actually fight each other to sit at her table. We had assigned seats at lunch in middle school. Also, why is Claudia so popular? I can get people being popular, but I can’t imagine someone being so popular that people would fight to sit at their table. But I was a loner during school, so I was never exposed to shit like this. All the boys are staring at her. I think Claudia just has too high of an opinion of herself. I can understand being a little in awe of an upperclassman, but I was not going to fight with someone just to sit next to them.
Claudia is actually doing well in her classes. She actually puts up her hand and answers a question correctly. She says this is a historic occasion. Raising her hand, getting a question right, or both? I have a hard time believing she never raised her hand or got one question right. Surely she must have had a lucky guess at least once?
Claudia also impresses herself by actually writing down the results of an experiment. So doing classwork impresses you? Well, Claudia spent most of class thinking about how pretty a rock was instead of paying attention to the assignment, so this is progress. Maybe this time she’ll actually do her homework instead of waiting to copy someone else’s answers just before the teacher collects it. I’m sure Claudia has done this before. Claudia is also keeping up with her reading and remembering things after she takes a test. It’s nice to see her put in some effort and pick up good study habits. I’m not sure if this will be reset in the next few books. Are we going to go back to, “Claudia studies for a test the period before she has it and doesn’t do any homework?” Or are we going to have a Claudia that has decent study habits?
Claudia takes a math quiz and answers the questions she does know and saves the ones she’s unsure about for last. Rosa taught her that. Has no one ever taught her these tricks? Some of the stuff Claudia learned with Rosa seems like stuff teachers should have taught. I’m going with two options. The school is really shitty at teaching and spends time thinking up dances for dumbass occasions such as the leaves turned brown or there were flowers in the snow, or Claudia just never paid attention. Or maybe it’s a mixture of both.
Claudia gets a ninety six on her test and is on cloud nine. I can’t blame her. I sucked at math as well. It’s a nice feeling doing well on a subject you aren’t really good at. It’s nice that Claudia studied and went back to check her work. She should feel proud of herself. There was this time in sixth grade when I studied for my science test and got the highest grade in my class. Another time in college, I got an A on my math test because I spent hours studying and doing practice problems. I was really proud of myself because I’d actually studied and put some effort into my work. It makes me think that maybe I could have done better in some subjects if I was more willing to put in an effort. I don’t think I’d have been getting straight A’s in math and physics, but maybe I could have gotten something that wasn’t a D.
Claudia is really happy until she finds out that she can’t go to the eighth grade dance. The eighth grade is holding a separate dance. She asks if she can go because she has the maturity of an eighth grader. I didn’t know that there was such a huge maturity difference in eighth and seventh graders. Maybe there is, but I think there are some cases where a person would be at the same maturity level as an eighth grader and a seventh grader. What’s next, Claudia is going to demand to go into a club that’s 21 and over when she’s 18 because she has the maturity of a 21 year old?
So now everything good that’s happened means nothing because Claudia can’t go to one dance. Claudia says she’ll be separated from her friends. I know they aren’t in the same grade and maybe they can’t go to the dance together, but she can still hang out with her friends outside of school, right? I mean, don’t she and Stacey go to the mall? But I always thought the BSC were like work acquaintances. You’re on decent terms with them and can have a pleasant conversation, but that’s as far as the interaction goes. And I wouldn’t even use the phrase decent terms with the BSC, given their shitty behavior.
Claudia whines that she can’t socialize with her friends, so nothing matters. You can’t go to a dance and you don’t have the same classes and lunch periods. But you haven’t been permanently banned from socializing with your friends. You see them three times a week and there’s nothing stopping you from saying, “Hey, let’s go to the mall.”
Claudia goes home and whines some more about having no friends and you just can’t socialize with them in school. My best friend and I rarely had classes together in high school and we had strict parents, so it’s not like we could just be like, “Let’s just go to the mall.” Also, if the girls made it to high school, I’m pretty sure they would have been separated even more because of different class schedules. I’m imagining it was like that scene in Boy Meets World where Cory and Shawn freak out because they have different classes and are separated for the first time. I wouldn’t be surprised if the BSC split up even more in high school. Or maybe Kristy would be enough of a control freak to demand that the administration place them in all the same classes.
Claudia says her art class is nice. Yeah, because everyone kisses her ass. If the teacher had said one negative thing, she'd have been like,"She's a moron and I don't want to take that class anymore." She also says you’re defined by what grade you’re in. How do people know what grade you’re in? I can understand if you have on a seniors shirt or if you know the person, but I wouldn’t be able to tell what grade a random person was in. Most people were shocked when they found out that I was a senior in high school because I look really young for my age. Claudia goes back to staring out the window and doodling in her notebooks and not giving a shit because her life is over because she can’t go to a dance.
At the BSC meeting, Claudia is still in a funk. She says that the club is mature, responsible businesswomen, but they still like to dress up. I just have to roll my eyes at that. Stacey is going as a flapper. In a few years she’ll just wear lingerie and animal ears and call that George. Mallory is going as Emily Dickinson. Jessi is going a ballet dancer. Abby is going as a soccer player. Kristy is going as the big bad wolf and Mary as Red Riding Hood. I detect a hint of les yay.
Claudia tells them about the dance and how she can’t go. Mallory asks if she’s coming to the afternoon party. Claudia refrains from rolling her eyes because the party will have games and that’s totally babyish. So what do eighth graders do at their dance? Hire strip dancers? Do body shots? Play dice games where if you roll a six you have to suck a dick and if you roll an eleven you have to cop a feel? I’ve heard about schools having different dances for the lower grades, but what’s the difference? I’ve never been to a dance, so I have no idea.
After the meeting, Claudia fantasizes about being sent back to kindergarten while her classmates graduate.
Claudia complains some more about how everyone being babies. Her classmates are babies for being excited for Halloween. The seventh grade boys are immature for flicking water and tossing apples at each other. I would have rolled my eyes at that, but is Claudia really trying to say eighth grade boys wouldn’t be doing stupid shit as well? The girls are screeching and screaming. Yeah, like you and Stacey wouldn’t be screaming like you were being murdered if someone fucked up your hair. I have a hard time believing that eighth graders wouldn’t do shit like this.
Mallory and Jessi come to talk to Claudia. They try to get her to enter the pumpkin carving contest and say she’ll win first prize. They say they can show her off to their classmates and Claudia snaps that she doesn’t care if a bunch of little brats are impressed by her. Mallory and Jessi’s jaws drop and they’re clearly hurt. Does Claudia take back what she said? Hell no. She doesn’t want to. The sixth graders and seventh graders are totally immature. I hope Jessi and Mallory give her the silent treatment.
Claudia storms off. One guy calls Claudia a fair maiden and asks her to wait up. He’s dressed as a knight. Claudia calls him a jerk. I’m sure that if he’d been in eighth grade, she’d have found him charming. But Claudia is in one of those moods where everything pisses her off.
Claudia does apologize to Mallory and Jessi, but she says it’s clear they don’t understand what she’s going through. They have no idea what it’s like to not fit in. Claudia was one of the popular kids in eighth grade and she’s popular in seventh grade. I wouldn’t say she has a hard time fitting in. I’d say Mallory would probably feel like she didn’t fit in. I think lots of people in middle school felt like that.
Claudia, Mallory and Jessi take the kids trick or treating. Claudia whines some more that every eighth grader is having fun at the dance while she’s stuck with the little kids.
Claudia wins first prize at the art show. Is anyone shocked? I hope not. It was freaking obvious she would. Her teacher gives her a nice pep talk about how she had a difficult time during school and got held back twice, but managed to succeed. So that’s two people (Rosa and Serena) who had a difficult time during school but still managed to succeed. I wonder if Claudia will think that if they can succeed, she can as well? I wonder if this will serve as inspiration?
Claudia realizes the BSC wouldn’t have cared what grade she was in. Yeah, they would have ostracized you for speaking to someone else, not for being in another grade. As long as she didn’t speak to any seventh graders, she’d be fine. Claudia goes to the party at the hospital and has a great time playing charades and wheelchair racing. I guess she decided that it wasn’t so babyish after all. I’m a little confused about the 180 though. I know the pep talk helped, but Claudia was fine with being back in seventh grade until she found out she couldn’t go to the dance. Then her mentor says she got held back as well and everything’s fine? I probably missed something because I started skimming after reading about Claudia acting like her life was over because she couldn’t go to one dance.
The BSC probationary period is over, by the way. There’s a note from Ann Martin about how Claudia was moved from the eighth to seventh grade and had a hard time fitting in. She suggests ways to make friends, such as trying out for activities you like or joining a sports team. First of all, making new friends is strictly prohibited in BSC land. Second of all, Claudia never had any trouble making friends in seventh grade. They were all kissing her ass. I don’t know where this came from.