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Pay it Forward
by Catherine Ryan Hyde

p.7 More than three minutes later she emerged from the principal's office, smiling too widely. Too openly. People often display far too much acceptance, he'd noticed, when they are having trouble mustering any for real.

p.9-10 At his former school in Cincinnati, Reuben had a friend named Louis Tartaglia. Lou had a special way of addressing an unfamiliar class. He would enter, on that first morning, with a yardstick in his hand. Walk right into the flap and fray. They like to test a teacher, you see, at first. This yardstick was Lou's own, bought and carried in with him. A rather thin, cheap one. He always bought the same brand at the hardware store. He would ask for silence, which he never received on the first request. After counting to three, he would bring this yardstick over his head and smack it down on the desktop in such a way that it would break in two. The free half would break up into the air behind him, hit the blackboard, and clatter to the floor. Then, in the audible silence to follow, he would say, simply, "Thank you." And he would have no trouble with the class after that.

p.16 When I was little I asked my mom why we have pain. Like, what's it for? She said it's so we don't stand around with our hands on a hot stove. She said it's to teach us. but she said by the time the pain kicks in, it's pretty much too late, and that's what parents are for. And that's what she's here for. To teach me. So I don't touch the hot stove in the first place.

p.21 It was like a map, I decided. You know, with red lines to divide up the states, and blue lines for the rivers, and brown folds for a mountain range. Which is more important: This deal we all make that Idaho stops being Idaho right here, or the mountains and rivers were there before anybody took to tracing?

p.209 "See, honey. You don't understand. Like I said. I guess it's a grown-up thing."
     She looked over her shoulder on the way out of his room. Trevor looked down, picking nervously at the bedspread.
     "Maybe I don't want to be a grown-up, then."
     "Well, honey, nobody really does. God knows it was shoved on me against my will."

p.234 He yanked the cord out of the wall and threw the phone through the bedroom window. He thought it might make him feel better, like beating a wrecked truck with a baseball bat. It proved disappointing, though. Now, instead of an awkward naked man standing in his room alone, he was all that with a broken window. And no telephone.
     He should have known he wasn't the venting type.