Study Guide

Jeanne Galletta in Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

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Jeanne Galletta

Practically Perfect in Every Way

We first meet Jeanne when Rafe does. She's giving her student council speech about listening…but Rafe's definitely not 100% listening.

He's too busy daydreaming about sharing a basket of fries with this girl who's not only pretty, but also seems like she might actually talk to him one day.

Jeanne is sort of like the anti-Rafe. Teachers love her because she follows all the rules, gets good grades, and is super-helpful. She also has tons of friends and participates in lots of activities. We can see why Rafe totally falls in like with her even if he's nothing like her.

A boy can dream, can't he?

But she's also the kind of person that Rafe feels weirdly comfortable opening up to. Think about it—he tells her about Operation R.A.F.E. before anyone else, even though he doesn't know if she'll rat him out or not.

She doesn't…but she's not super-impressed, either:

"Why would you want to run around school in your underwear? This whole rule-breaking thing of yours is getting kind of… stupid, to tell you the truth." (30.8)

Rafe thinks he's fighting the power by breaking all these rules, but Jeanne thinks he's just acting like a giant dope.

Sweet Charity

Maybe that's why she invites him to the bake sale when he takes his little break from Operation R.A.F.E. He doesn't seem like such a lost cause anymore, so maybe he'd like to dress up like a falcon and dance around for charity…and then get friend-zoned?


"But I don't want you to get the wrong idea. It just seemed like you were… I don't know… changing, and I thought it might be good for you to—"

"To what?" I said. I was really embarrassed, but I was also a little bit mad, and getting madder.

"You know," she said. "To join in with school stuff, that kind of thing."

"You thought it would be… good for me?" I said. "Like I'm your little project, or something?"

"I didn't mean it that way," she said. (40.21-25)

Jeanne can say she didn't view Rafe as a project, but didn't she? Kind of?

She's sort of like Mrs. Donatello—she's trying to get Rafe to live up to his potential. We're not saying it's a bad idea: Rafe probably should be finding better stuff to do with his time than vandalizing school property and pulling fire alarms. But Rafe is super offended by it.

In the end, Jeanne and Rafe are able to bury the hatchet and wind up as friends (and detention buddies), and both of them are able to learn from each other. Jeanne finds out that there is such a thing as a stupid rule, and Rafe learns that being a little bit normal isn't so bad.

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