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by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak Chapter 68 Summary
Genetics In biology class, they are studying genetics. Ms Keen's voice is unbearable and Melinda is super bored. Today's class is "about some priest named Greg who studied vegetables […] and blue eyes" (68.1). Melinda isn't sure what vegetables and eye color have to do with each other. Luckily, she has David Petrakis to borrow notes from. (The "priest named Greg" is Gregor Mendel, sometimes known as "the father of genetics." Read about him here.) Melinda breaks her pencil so she can get up and sharpen it. She needs to move around a little. Ms. Keen says that, "We get half our genes from our mother and half from our father" (68.3). Mom thinks Melinda is more like Dad's family. In Dad's family, most people sell insurance or are with the police force. Dad thinks Melinda is more like Mom's family, "farmers who grow rocks and poison ivy" (68.3). Melinda used to pretend she was adopted and that her real parents, Mr. King and Mrs. Queen, who lost her when their kingdom was attacked, would come rescue her from her life. Melinda draws a tree for her supply closet, which she'll have to hang out in if class doesn't get more exciting. Ms. Keen announces a quiz for tomorrow, and Melinda wishes she'd been more alert. The chapter ends with "TEN MORE LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL" (68.10.) (See Chapter 1 for the first ten.) Number One is "You will use algebra in your adult lives" (68.10). (Open up that book for the other nine…)
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