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Time for a do-over. Flash back to the first day of school, but this time it's from Mrs. Olinski's perspective.
She's not as confident as she seems. In fact, she's downright nervous about getting back in the classroom.
It doesn't help that Hamilton Knapp can't see the blackboard. (Somehow, Mrs. O doesn't seem to understand that he's just being a jerk. We're pretty sure he can see just fine.)
Now we shift into a different perspective. This one's new. It's not Mrs. Olinski's, but it's not any of the kids, either. In fact, it sounds a lot like a good, old-fashioned omniscient narrator. And he's got something interesting to say.
A while after The Souls formed, they decided they needed a project, something a little more meaningful than calligraphy or peeling wallpaper for Julian's dad.
Julian has an idea. (We get the feeling he has lots of ideas.)
They're going to help Mrs. Olinski.
Yeah, yeah. How are a bunch of sixth-graders going to help a grown woman? And just what does she need help with, anyway?
Well, we're not exactly going to find out now. Sure, Konigsburg throws in some phrases about "giving her a lift" (4.27) and "stand on her own two feet" (4.23), but that's not particularly illuminating.