When You Reach Me
How we cite our quotes:
Mom has swiped a big paper calendar from work and Scotch-taped the month of April to the kitchen wall. She used a fat green marker, also swiped from work, to draw a pyramid on April 27, with dollar signs and exclamation points all around it. She went out and bought a fancy egg timer that can accurately measure a half minute. They don't have fancy egg timers in the supply closet at her office. (2.1)
Let's face it: this novel is obsessed with time. In this paragraph alone we see Miranda's Mom using a calendar and an egg timer, both ways to measure time. She will be practicing for the speed round (37 seconds) in the game show $20,000 Pyramid. Through this repetition we see that time is highlighted as a really important idea.
I have my own trick. If I'm afraid of someone on the street, I'll turn to him (it's always a boy) and say, "Excuse me, do you happen to know what time it is?" This is my way of saying to the person "I see you as a friend, and there is no need to hurt me or take my stuff. Also, I don't even have a watch and I am probably not worth mugging." (8.2)
Miranda's street smarts include this handy tip about asking strangers for the time. Why is Miranda's strategy effective? Why is time especially important for Miranda's character?
"Miranda?" Mom calls from the kitchen. "We need you to keep time. This egg-timer ticking is driving me crazy."
So I watch the second hand of the kitchen clock while Richard feeds Mom clues. Then Mom gives the clues while Richard guesses. (9.1)
In this scene Miranda is the timekeeper during her mom's practice session. What does this say about Miranda's relationship to time?