Study Guide

The Wave Chapter 6

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Chapter 6

  • The next day, there's a major first. Ben is late to class, but when he gets there, all the students are already in class, sitting quietly and stiffly at their desks with their new posture. Whoa!
  • When he realizes this isn't some kind of joke, he decides to continue with his experiment.
  • He goes to the board and writes the word "COMMUNITY" under the words "STRENGTH THROUGH DISCIPLINE" (6.7). He explains that community is "a bond" that holds together a group of people who are working toward the same goal. It's "the feeling" (6.10) you get when you work together with others for something that is bigger than any individual person.
  • David totally gets what he's talking about and thinks it could be really useful for the football team.
  • Ben continues: community, like discipline, is something they will have to experience to understand.
  • Okay, so now they have two mottos: "Strength Through Discipline," and "Strength Through Community" (6.13).
  • The students each get up, stand by their desks, and recite the mottos. Laurie and Brad look uncomfortable, but finally, they join in.
  • Next step: Ben says they need a slogan for their community. He draws a wave on the blackboard: their movement will be called "The Wave" (6.43). He says they will also have a salute: he forms his hand into the shape of a wave and then puts it against his left shoulder.
  • The students practice the salute until they get it right. Ben says that whenever they see another member of The Wave, they should give the salute.
  • Now, Ben asks each member of the class to give the salute and say the motto.
  • (What the heck? Mottos and salutes and a logo? This is where things start to go from creepy to really creepy…).
  • After school that day, David tells Eric about his plan to use ideas from The Wave to improve the football team. Eric is skeptical: he isn't sure that they should even tell anyone outside the classroom about The Wave.
  • Then Brian gets in on the conversation: he says that he would do just about anything to be more successful at football.
  • A guy named Deutsch, who wants to steal Brian's position on the team, starts teasing Brian. Things escalate quickly, and all of the sudden, Brian and Deutsch are about to get into a fistfight.
  • David gets in between them and says that this is why they can't win. They don't act like a team: instead, they're just a bunch of individual guys, each out for himself.
  • David is sure they could win if they had more of a sense of teamwork. Eric (who seems to have changed his tune) urges David to tell the other players about The Wave.
  • And so it begins: David starts by telling them about the mottos and showing them the salute…

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