Study Guide

The Wave Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

  • Ben realizes that The Wave is really catching on. Students who aren't even in his history class are coming to sit in on his lessons – even skipping their real classes and using free periods to be able to make it.
  • Even though the class is bigger, things are still organized and calm, thanks to rules of The Wave. Ben's students are very quick to answer the questions on the readings.
  • But there's just one thing: he notices that the answers they give in class and in their homework assignments are short: they don't have a lot of thought behind them. He thinks they'd probably do well on a multiple choice test, but not so well on an essay where they needed to think things through.
  • Ben has also heard that the football team is now using The Wave: Coach Schiller actually stopped Ben and thanked him. This is getting pretty big.
  • Since everyone has been so enthusiastic, Ben has asked some of the students what it is they like about The Wave. There seem to be two main responses: some students like it because it's new; others like it because it makes sure everyone is equal.
  • We're now in The Gordon Grapevine's publication office with Laurie and the other staff members. They're trying to have a meeting: the paper is scheduled to come out next week and nobody has their stories ready. Surprise, surprise.
  • When Laurie asks for story ideas, Carl brings up The Wave. Everyone agrees that it's a pretty big story; in fact, it's probably the most interesting thing going on at school.
  • Since Laurie is in Ben Ross' history class, the other staff members think she should be the one to do a story about it. She's not sure she has enough information to write a whole story about it, but she agrees to at least give it a shot.
  • Laurie has been careful to avoid the topic of The Wave at home. But tonight, her mother brings it up.
  • Apparently, Laurie's mom and Robert's mom ran into each other at grocery store. Robert's mom was raving about the positive changes she'd seen in Robert since he joined The Wave.
  • This is a bit worrisome to Laurie's mom. Why? Well, she thinks Robert fits the pattern of somebody who has joined a cult.
  • People who join cults, she says, are often trying to escape from an unhappy life. Joining a cult allows them to get a new personality and to start fresh with their lives.
  • Well, wait a second: what is the problem with that? To Laurie, that sounds like a good thing.
  • According to Laurie's mom, the problem is that Robert is depending on The Wave for his new personality. Outside of school, where there is no Wave, Robert will continue to have problems.
  • Okay, confession time: Laurie admits to her mother that she isn't interested in being part of The Wave.
  • Phew. Her mom is relieved: she knew Laurie wouldn't be taken in by something like that. And she really is worried about all the other students, the ones who do believe that The Wave is a good thing.
  • Laurie reassures her mom: she thinks The Wave is just a fad. It will pass.
  • There's still more to talk about, though. Her mother brings up the pep rally on Friday: she heard that it's turned into a Wave rally.
  • Laurie explains that it's just a pep rally for Saturday's football game, but her mom says she heard that two hundred new Wave members would be inducted into The Wave at the rally. Yikes: doesn't sound like any old pep rally to us.
  • But don't worry, Mom! Laurie insists that Mr. Ross is a great teacher: he'd never create a cult at school. Laurie just wishes people would hurry up and get over it. Even her boyfriend David and her best friend Amy are into it. It's starting to get annoying.
  • Mrs. Saunders is glad that Laurie isn't into The Wave, but she warns her daughter to be cautious. And sure enough, after their conversation, Laurie wonders if her mom might be right about all of this after all.

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