Study Guide

The Wave Chapter 8

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Chapter 8

  • David and Laurie both walk to school. In tenth grade, David started taking a little detour that went right past Laurie's house. At first, he would run into her about once a week, but soon they got to know each other. Once a week turned into almost every day.
  • What David doesn't know is that Laurie was watching for him from her window and meeting up with him on purpose. Sneaky!
  • On the third day of The Wave, David picks up Laurie on her way to school. He's very excited about using The Wave for the football team: even the Coach Schiller thinks it might work.
  • Laurie tells David that her mother is worried that The Wave is some kind of "brainwashing" (8.5) and that Ben Ross "is manipulating" (8.7) the students.
  • David says Laurie's mom is nuts and that all she does is worry about everything all the time. (Hey, our moms do that, too! Maybe it's a mom thing.)
  • A little disagreement starts to erupt. Laurie gets defensive: she never said she agreed with her mom. But David points out that she didn't say her mother was wrong either. Laurie wants to continue this discussion with David about The Wave, but she doesn't want them to argue, so she backs down.
  • Crisis averted, but discussion halted.
  • When Ben Ross' students come into the classroom today, things are a little different. There's a poster in the back of the classroom with The Wave logo on it.
  • Ben then passes out little yellow cards that he calls "membership cards" (8.27). He tells them that if their card has a red X on it, it means they are a "monitor" (8.31): Monitors are supposed to tell Ben if any members of The Wave aren't following the rules.
  • Robert and Brian both have a red X on their cards and they actually look pretty happy about it. People who don't have an X, on the other hand, don't look so happy.
  • Laurie asks what the point of this is. Good question. Ben says, "It's just an example of how a group might monitor itself" (8.38).
  • Next, Ben turns to the board and writes the word "ACTION" (8.39). He says that discipline and community are nothing without action.
  • He asks if the class believes in The Wave. They enthusiastically chant, "yes!" (8.41). Well then, they'd better start taking some action, Ben says.
  • Laurie is standing with her classmates, but she's beginning to feel really strange about the whole thing. She doesn't like the way that everybody will do anything Ben Ross says, without even questioning it.
  • Ben tells them that the first action they need to take is to recruit other students into The Wave.
  • David and Eric are pretty psyched about this. They were worried that they weren't supposed to tell anybody about The Wave, but now they know they did the right thing by sharing it with the football team. Phew.
  • The students start to share their super positive feelings about The Wave. Once student, George Snyder, says that he finally like he's a part of something.
  • After some share-time, Ben tells the students to give the salute. They do so with lots of enthusiasm, and then they chant the mottos.
  • Ben can tell that this isn't a game anymore. His students really are The Wave now, acting as one body.
  • He's pretty sure they could continue this on their own, but he knows they are devoted enough to him as a leader that he can keep them under control. Eek.
  • At lunch, the members of The Wave all sit together. Even Robert Billings is accepted into the group. Laurie asks if anybody else thinks all this is a little bit odd.
  • Everyone has a different answer. Amy says it's just different: it's just that Laurie isn't used to it. Brad says he likes that it cuts through all the little groups at school: this way, they are all together as one community. Sounds nice enough.
  • But Laurie isn't sure she likes that.
  • Brian jumps in and reminds her that she'll be reported to Mr. Ross if she breaks any Wave rules. He grins to show he's just kidding, but… yeah. David defends Laurie: she's not breaking any rules, he says.
  • But then Robert chimes in: according to him, if Laurie really was against The Wave, she would be breaking the rules.
  • Whoa. Everybody is super surprised that Robert is speaking up this way.
  • But Laurie decides that if The Wave is helping Robert fit in at school and become more assertive, it can't be all bad. In fact, to say The Wave is a bad thing would be like saying Robert should sit by himself at lunch every day like he used to.
  • So she keeps her doubts to herself.

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